5 minutes

Do your customers care about your logo?

The answer to that question is hidden in the question. Hint: “care“ is an emotional word.

At BS LLC, we work hard to design compelling brand identities. Why do we spend so much time researching your customers and competition to do so? Why do we support the concepts we present with design history, technical details, color theory, even fine art education? Because graphic design, at its best, not only solves a problem, but supports an emotional reaction to a product or service experience. An emotional connection with your brand translates to a willingness to trust you, which translates to a willingness to purchase.

Brand Identity versus Graphic Identity

One of the reasons business owners undervalue the power of graphic design is because they mistake Brand Identity for Graphic Identity.

The identity of your brand speaks to the reaction a customer has to the overall experience with your products and services. The components of brand identity include and exceed the fundamentals of positioning, purpose, and yes, look and feel. At BS LLC we are obsessed with getting these fundamentals correct. Why? Because a Graphic Identity illustrates or “brings to life“ the Brand Identity.

Are you a manufacturing company that is built upon robust materials, remarkably tight construction tolerances, and expert engineering? If so, your Brand Identity may be defined by confidence, dependability, and strength. Your Graphic Identity would therefore tend toward colors, shapes, images, typography, and messaging that reflect these themes; moreover, it would suggest the emotional experience that your Brand Identity promises to new customers and reinforce this experience to existing customers.

The dance between Brand Identity and Graphic Identity should be an intimate one. If a brand’s identity is not accurate, or worse, never really addressed at all, the resulting Graphic Identity is likely to be disjointed, confusing, or low-quality.

An emotional foundation

We all have emotional reactions to images. Just take one characteristic—color, for example. Red evokes aggression, action, and urgency. Blue has always represented thoughtfulness, calm, or even intelligence. This is why we see so many automobile and motorcycle racing teams utilizing red while many banks and financial institutions use blue in their visual identities. Most of us would prefer a financial advisor who was calmly and rationally building a solid financial future for us rather than an impetuous, aggressive one!

Therefore, a Graphic Identity that accurately reflects the Brand Identity enables the customer to “see themselves“ reflected in the brand. In short, this reinforces trust. For new customers, “This is a brand that I can relate to,” and for existing customers, “I’m glad I encountered this brand; it’s the right one for me” are inherently targets of a good brand design process. Without a pre-existing environment of trust, it’s impossible to consistently pitch prospects for new business, and increasingly challenging to grow business with current customers.

Dissonance and visual identity

Hopefully we’ve shown you how a brand's Graphic Identity can be accurate or inaccurate, strong or weak. But here’s another important characteristic of graphic design and how it can support your business: consistency.

Think of the myriad number of ways a brand represents itself to both prospective and current customers. Here’s just a quick, off the cuff list: Signage, packaging, printed communications, email, websites, apps, infographics, uniforms — the list goes on!

If your organization is large enough, you don’t have just one graphic designer producing these materials; most likely you have several different internal and external parties doing so. How do you ensure consistency across all of these different touch points? Can you imagine what the customer impact would be if the colors weren’t consistent, or the imagery and language were different between a brand‘s online catalog and its in-store experience? How would that affect perception, how would that affect behavior, how would that affect the bottom line?

This little thought experiment should make it clear that a well-designed and tightly defined identity presents much more than brand differentiation; it creates a psychological ecosystem that feeds sustainability and growth.

Think about that the next time you're tempted to purchase a ready-made logo from an e-commerce website!

It’s more than care. It’s about trust.

As you can now see, your customers and your potential customers care so much about your logo and your entire brand visual identity that it affects their likelihood of engaging and purchasing. we’re all familiar with the phrase, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,“ but we have all driven past a local eatery simply because its visual identity made us feel less than comfortable or didn’t grab us or didn’t reflect something about ourselves that ultimate leads to the thought that “this isn’t for me.” For brands we regularly engage with, their Graphic Identities become a sort of security blanket. When we see familiar logos and familiar design elements with brands we trust, it makes the purchase experience a little easier. It represents a direction, a school of thought, a triumph of sorts against chaos. Some people love logos and will tell you they care about them, but most will not, and in fact, most will say they don’t care, but that’s because they don’t really perceive how the Graphic Identity is truly making them feel, because that process is entirely subconscious. 

if you think your sales are starting to suffer because your Brand Identity doesn’t match your current Graphic Identity, or your your brand lacks consistency across touch points, or you’re thinking of launching a new brand and want to make sure it is built on the best foundation—give your friendly neighborhood brand geeks at BS LLC a call or email.