The thumbnail version:
- Logos are important for small businesses to confer professionalism and legitimacy
- Small business logo priorities and big business logo priorities are different
The full version:
Some business writers and consultants tell small businesses that “a great logo is essential” because it will “trigger brand recognition.” What’s happening here is that they’re failing to make a distinction between big business and small business—the needs are completely different.
For most small businesses the need for a “great” logo has nothing to do with “brand recognition.” Let’s not kid ourselves that the buying public will ever recognize our logos the way they do for, say, Nike, Coke, McDonalds, and Mercedes. For us, the benefit of a “great” logo is that it confers an air of legitimacy, speaks to our professionalism, and gives the appearance of a serious contender.
So what should our prime considerations be when designing a logo for our small business? As hinted above, a good, clean, professional design and, preferably, also tell what our business does. This is why I favour word logos instead of obscure graphic designs that say nothing (remember, something like the Nike swoosh will be meaningless for your small business).
A logo has an important job to do promoting your shop as professional and legitimate. “Brand recognition” in the Nike sense is not a priority. Design with this in mind.