Please take note, This will be the only image provided on this blog and at the moment; this logo is meaningless to you. Please let me explain why.

Logos have taken on a fascinating relevance for many as a brand marker, but I wonder how many just use it for pure vanity. At this point in the blog that is all it accomplishes. Hopefully at the end, it might have relatively more. I hope I can earn the right to keep you interested.

The purpose of a logo should be more than a signature, just like a sign on a building needs to be more as well. Yet all you need to do is drive down the road and see a building. or a vehicle, with a logo on it that tells you absolutely nothing. Sure, both identify something as specific. Most building signage serve to just remind people what building they work in. Far fewer actually raise awareness to potential customers about what they do. Somebody in a company is willing to spend thousands of dollars on developing a logo, or a sign that says virtually nothing.

Logos only hold value if they are associated with the representation of why a potential customer should care. Why should they pay attention? What value is communicated, that can be processed by the viewer for a decision now, or in the future. Many are pretty; but effective beyond eliciting a response of “clever” ? Ummm…nope.

The logo itself can illustrate many things associated with a category or segment, but unless you have the means to support that logo with an educational program that communicates what the logo actually means, let’s call it what it is. A picture. There are good pictures and bad pictures.

Let’s get specific.You see a sexy logo that incorporates a monkey wrench in the word plumber. It got your attention. An important function of any outdoor advertising mechanism. You need a plumber right now. OK, you might make a mental note and call when you get home. Or you might be reminded that you need to remember to call a plumber and Google for a local resource.

Unless you have seen that plumber drive by, or those of an associated fleet, numerous times, that logo didn’t benefit the plumber that paid in both time and money for that logo.

A logo can make you look more professional. Professionalism is important after you have arrived in the presence of an actual customer, but did the logo get you there or a referral that helped them understand your value? A logo can also serve to get attention, but, as a standalone branding mechanism, it has very little measurable value for the small independent businessperson, considering the time and money (which is the same thing) spent on it. Measure the R.O.I.

The logo in the early stages of your business life cycle is to add to your professional image and only that. It takes time for that logo to mean anything. Higher R.O.I. will be realized on the effort of actually driving your business. How?

Consider this. Predominantly communicate your value first, your logo second. Illustrate why you are a great plumber instead of trying to fool your potential customers into believing it because you have a sexy logo. I think you will get more calls from “My Mom wants me to be your plumber” with a picture of her kissing you, than a $30,000 logo treatment that everyone had fun playing with on your dime.

Don’t get me wrong. Logos can generate equity over time and to not use one, when that equity is established, is just plain wrong. However, if you are a small business; understand the importance of putting your emphasis on why your customer should care and gradually raise the relevance of the logo when your customers understand your value. Tie it in, but don’t make it the focus of your three seconds.After the important orientation phase, then a picture is worth a thousand words.

Just so you know where this perspective is coming from. Fundamentally, I am trained as a salesperson. I have corporately directed marketing functions effectively. I managed to increase volume over fifteen years at one company where my very first sales call introduced me to a customer that asked me, “Why would a bright young man like you want to work for a company that is just selling a fad? I took the sales volume of another company, where I directed sales and marketing, from about $12M to $35M in three years. To me, it is less about pretty and more about function and the generation of a sale. And not ice to an Eskimo, but providing a solution that really matters for a client. I learned in the trenches that a display of merchandise that was too pretty is less likely to be shopped. A display that looks “just” good, will actually sell better. If that is considered a bias; I am totally ok with that.

If I put my logo at the top of this page; would it have mattered? It might if you believe I am qualified to have an opinion. Or not. Only if I convinced you that I might know what I am talking about, would this logo have any value at all.

My website is  Feel free to take a look if you want to see what we have done for clients we have supported.