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What does your logo stand for?

DesignJonathan AlderComment

 

What does your logo stand for? Logos – or marks, or brands – have been used to establish the origin of products for centuries. But they’re more than just a badge. They’re a statement about the quality of your goods. So, what does your logo stand for?

Simple visual symbols have been used since 2000BC to help customers identify the source of goods. Pressed into clay, carved into wood and burnt onto livestock, these symbols have been a badge of ownership. In North America in the 19th Century cattle ranches developed a sophisticated system of brands, to identify livestock when they were grazing on the open range.

But these brands were more than just crude badges of ownership. They were also a statement of quality. If cattle from a particular ranch developed a favourable reputation for the quality of their meat, than the brand they carried would be considered more valuable. Cattle with that brand would command a higher price.

In the 21st Century our technology maybe more sophisticated, but the role of the ‘brand’ remains the same. The logo that is stamped, printed, sewn, glued, screwed or etched on to a product is not only a badge of origin, it can also be a mark of quality.

Every sector has its market leader. Usually, the company that is considered the market leader has done something to earn that reputation. They’ve made their product stronger, safer, faster, longer-lasting, more attractive, easier to use… there are lots of possibilities. So the logo on those products is now seen by customers as a symbol of the qualities associated with the product – a kind of visual shorthand. Anything that carries that logo is assumed to share those qualities.

So what about your business? What about your products? What does your logo stand for? As a business you are in a position to influence how your customers see your products – the values they associate with them – but you need to be proactive. You need to take the initiative. You need to define what values are associated with your products and identify every opportunity you have to demonstrate those values. If you do that you’ll be able to confidently answer the question: ‘What does your logo stand for?’