This Thursday's guest post is a first in that it was unsolicited, and it introduces an international perspective since its author is from the UK. It's been cool how many people globally have been following Brainzooming, particularly because of Twitter. Next week's guest post will originate from Australia.

Relative to the topic, we haven't spent too much time on Brainzooming discussing branding and specifically how logos fit into marketing efforts. We'll address some of that gap today with this guest post from Ben Johnson of Logoinn, a custom logo design service provider based in the UK. Here's Ben's take on integrating logos into branding efforts:

Branding is an early step in developing a company or product. Naturally, you want potential customers to recognize your brand from among the competition by showing you have something not being offered by anyone else. Yet, among all the introductory activities business leaders face, they may consider logo design a secondary matter. That's not sound strategic thinking though if you're trying to mount a successful marketing and branding effort.

For example, think of Nike. The “Swoosh” first comes to mind. What if there were no Swoosh? Would you as quickly recall the perceptions you have associated with the Nike brand? Most likely not.

Hence, before moving ahead with a marketing and branding effort, a well-designed, attractive logo is vital. A strong logo is necessary to directly impact the customers' minds and convey your brand attitude and benefits to the target market.

Other reasons to place a deliberate emphasis on establishing an innovative, strategic logo design? Doing so:

Gives your brand a unique identity
One of the most important functions of a strong business logo is establishing a brand identity that's easily recognized and remembered by customers. A person may not remember your business by name alone, so integrating a logo into your identity system makes it easier to create customer recognition of your business at a glance.

Shows stability, reliability, and credibility
If you don’t have a logo or have one that doesn’t accurately portray your business message, it can undermine customer confidence and desire to do business with you. A logo that accurately represents your business, however, contributes to leaving a lasting impression of stability, reliability, and credibility.

Can make your brand a personality
Think again about Nike and the brand impact it would lose without the Swoosh. Would its brand be as strong today if that image weren't known by customers? Would the name work as well by itself? A unique logo gives a brand personality that can dramatically improve memorability over the long term.

Provides more polish for your brand
Having a logo is important, and having a professionally-designed one is vital. If a logo doesn't look professional or is not well designed, it will reflect poorly on your business image. Customers may get the impression you don’t care about the way your business presents itself, which might signal you also don't care about the quality of products or services you provide.

You can start the design process by brainstorming images you want to represent your business, engaging a logo design company for help, and ultimately working through the entire design process. Obviously, developing an appropriate logo takes time and effort, but getting a strategically sound logo in place is a crucial initial investment that will open the door to successful marketing and branding, which should contribute to your company’s long run success. - Ben Johnson

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