The logo used by a business can greatly influence its success – that much should be clear from the instant recognisability of some of the world’s most famous corporate logos.

At the most basic level, a logo helps to make a business look professional. However, in an age in which many of us are spending less time than ever actually contemplating what a given business has to offer before deciding whether to buy, the right logo is also vital for capturing customer attention and instantly communicating what the customer can expect from that company.  

Here are some of the best ways to ensure your logo design has the right impact.

Ensure it says something about your products or services

You might not think that such elements as colours and shapes communicate much about what a business actually provides, but past research suggests something very different. One study reported by the Association for Psychological Science, for instance, found that “the mere circularity and angularity of a brand logo is powerful enough to affect perceptions of the attributes of a product or company.”

This means that a round company logo, for instance, may evoke associations with perceived ‘soft’ characteristics such as comfort, care, warmth and sensitivity. By contrast, a more angular logo might indicate durability.  

Take a close look at your rivals

You might be wondering whether we are giving you this advice so that you can mimic your competitors, or instead so that you can depart from them. The short answer is that doing such research into your rivals at the start of the process gives you ample licence to do both.

After all, when you compare the logos of your most successful competitors, it may become clear to you that there are certain branding conventions that keep cropping up in your sector. This might enable you to play on some familiar associations with your own logo design.

However, it’s also true that many historically successful logos have been so precisely because they were so different to what was ‘expected’ in their industry. Apple, with its legendary logo resembling an apple with a bite taken out of it, is a great case in point. What consumer technology rivals had that kind of visual identity back when it was first launched in the 1980s?

Aim for flexibility and ease

When designing your logo, there’s a vital balance to be struck between simplicity and quirkiness. Yes, you naturally want your logo to be distinctive, but you don’t want it to be so much so that people spend a lot of time studying it. It needs to communicate something of the essence of your firm in a heartbeat.

Your logo should also be versatile enough that you can make slight modifications to it and use it in various contexts, without losing its essence. Can your logo be adapted easily to look good on your letterheads, on the packaging of your products, above your brick-and-mortar premises’ front door, and online? By online, we don’t just mean your company website, but also its social media profiles and even online marketplace sites like Groupon.  

There’s a lot that any business logo needs to do, and your logo alone won’t make or break your company. Nonetheless, it’s still a key component of any successful firm’s overall branding mix, and by following the above tips, you can help to ensure that your own logo does all of the right things.