For some marketers, having a good logo equates to having a good brand. Creating a stamp that works aesthetically, uses parts of your business for inspiration or really encapsulates a feeling you’d like to associate with your brand is something of a triumph but it will never grow your business.

We’ve all been there: the logo round in a pub quiz. Easily one of the most popular rounds in this very British institution, it serves an explanatory purpose. We come to recognise logos because of the story they tell. Often the most recognisable logos are, in reality, quite unspectacular. But we engage and enjoy the narrative that the brand has created for us; whether it features in our everyday lives, is aspirational, amusingly mudune or simply necessary.

 

Let’s look at three examples:

 

Dominos Pizza

Two squares depicting two dominos. Not a design feat but Dominos have never truly invested their efforts in creating a logo that summed up the taste of their pizzas. There’s not a scrap of pepperoni in sight, and they don’t even allude to the social occasion that ordering pizza often merits. In the last couple of years, Dominos underwent something of a brand revamp, focusing on what their customers really care about: taste. An incredibly honest marketing campaign saw Dominos employees and members of the public compare the old Dominos recipe to the new one, with some participants even openly condemning the older version. Dominos are honest with their customers and their brand focuses on that integrity. They’re fun, upfront and keen to sponsor a good night in.

 

The Michelin Man

Not to be confused with the Marshmallow Man in Ghostbusters, but he’s just as fun, the Michelin Man has been a long-standing icon in the automotive industry. From a brand perspective, the logo does everything it should: his cheery face promotes the good Michelin service, and his composition reminds customers of the product. However, the success of the Michelin brand doesn’t lie in this guy, but in Michelin’s consistent growth – which is built on brand credibility. Michelin positioned themselves as the driver’s companion back in the 50s and, as the introduction of the famous Michelin Guides indicates, always put customer needs first.

 

Jaguar

Jaguar’s logo is synonymous with their brand: its luxurious, strides ahead of the competition and has gravitas. But if the brand should ever choose to rest their laurels, it wouldn’t be on their logo. The image of the leaping Jaguar cannot roar as loudly as the actual cars but the Jaguar brand has managed to maintain a weighty sense of class through constant innovation, pitching the right product to the right audience and heightening a sense of – importantly aspirational – mystery.

These three business tell their story through their brand, not their logo. In today’s connected world where brands have to fight a lot harder to get heard, success lies in the emphasis of brand strategy. Focusing your thoughts on where your brand is going, where you’re taking your customers and where you’ll be winning new audiences should be where you invest your efforts. Define your USPs and really target what makes you different.

 

As important as it is, a brand’s logo is more like a vessel and a call-to-action. Getting it ‘right’ shouldn’t come before any other business. When your strategy is defined and you know where you’re going, your logo will follow.