The logo. It’s always there embellishing your website, invoices and business cards, and if your business has a physical location, it also adorns and announces your establishment.
But is it really that important, or is it just a superficial item no more valuable than that picture your aunt gave you for your birthday (which now hangs in your guest room so as not to offend her)?
Well, the short answer is – your logo is VERY important. And there are enough research and studies to back it up!
Unfortunately, the logo is sometimes taken for granted by inexperienced businesses, and its power is underestimated. It’s a real shame because this little pictograph carries a lot more weight than people give it credit for. Interestingly enough, this is also one of the secrets to its almost mystic power over people: it flies under the radar while influencing subliminal and emotional decision-making processes.
From the cross to the Jolly Roger
Before we even get to the modern research, let’s talk about the logo as a very ancient concept. First and foremost, a logo is a visual symbol that strives to instantly articulate some sort of identity in an almost primal way. Our historic affinity to symbols is well documented. We are moved by visual symbols and obsessed by them. People have been using symbols to communicate ever since they started drawing on cave walls hundreds of thousands of years ago. Pictographs evolved to become hieroglyphs, and then letters, which are simply symbols to represent specific sounds, and modern businesses still commonly use a single letter or two to represent their entire business.
Logos have been used to convey identity throughout history by groups of all sizes. From the mighty Roman Empire army using the intimidating Aquila (eagle), to a small, obscure cult defying those Romans in secret using the cross logo — which grew to become the biggest religion in the world.
Logos as crests have been used to identify royal families with carefully designed emblems, and during the early 1700s a well-known skull-and-bones logo began to wave on the masts of pirate ships. It became such a meme, it is still used 300 years later to identify pirates. A country’s flag is a logo so important that people are willing to give their lives for it because of what it symbolizes, and defiling a flag often carries a penalty.
As you can see, a logo has the distinct ability to visually express an organization’s identity and essence in one simple pictograph, so the investment in a good logo is justified. Forming an awesome business identity is key for marketing glory.
An effective business logo can help customers develop brand loyalty. It can boost sales, reduce marketing costs and decrease consumer price sensitivity.
The brand is the ego of the company: the charismatic outer layer of the identity that is projected and perceived by the public. Companies around the world spend billions each year trying to build a brand people can’t resist. The logo is a critical component of your brand.
Harvard Business Review actually states that people form a bond with a company’s logo and visual style. Steve Jobs understood this principle and put a lot of effort into both of these fields, and it’s one of the reasons Apple is such a successful and dominant brand. Even though its market share is not #1 in any of the fields it operates in, and its products and conduct are sometimes the target of controversy, it obliterates the playing field as far as branding is concerned. Apple is hypnotizing people to virtually fall in love with their products to the point of worship. Brands such as Mercedes, Adidas, Starbucks and others that have a powerful and memorable visual logo also enjoy an almost religious following.
Visual First Impressions
Visuals are perceived by the human brain faster than verbal information, which is why the most basic and instant first impressions we get are governed by visuals. Scientists call this the pictorial superiority effect.
A company with a poor logo will be perceived as a company with a poor identity, and a bad logo can even doom an existing powerful brand (as GAP learned the hard way following their infamous rebranding debacle). A good logo isn’t enough to save a bad company, but a terrible logo can certainly hinder a great company.
There’s an ancient middle eastern tale of a prince that wanted to see how one of his lords treated the commoners. So, one day the prince decided to dress like one of the people, in poor and raggedy clothes. He came down to meet his lord, only to be rejected by his guards with no explanation. The following day he dressed up in neat, clean and stylish clothing. That time, he was granted an audience with no problem. While not pleased with how easily the lord’s guards rejected him the first time, the prince also came to understand how much value appearance can carry.
The parable reveals a truism – the clothes make the man. As such, the logo makes the company. People will judge by appearance, and it’s not our fault that we judge quickly. It’s a defense mechanism well developed by evolution to help us avoid what we may find undesirable. We all have these internal guards that will reject on sight to filter according to our preconceived notions. Your job when you design your logo is to get past those first guards and enter your demographic’s court. What happens next is up to you, but if some people are not even tempted to make the first step, they will never even get the chance to discover what product you offer (even if it’s amazing).
I can testify from experience that I often find myself being influenced by logos and use them as a first filter. In Google’s Play Store when I browse apps, I will automatically be attracted to those with slick, stylish and interesting logos, and I will check them out first. I can also recall taking a walk in the city where an ice-cream place had a logo that suddenly popped out from the grey concrete environment, and I was enticed to stop for a quick snack to cheat my diet.
|When being listed on Google’s SERP, there’s actually a different “1st filter” you need to get through to gain customers. A good, appealing title on Google’s SERP serves as the 1st filter when searching for something online, and the second filter in this case would be the website’s logo and general appearance – specifically, how much of a professional image the website and logo project. To give the public the opportunity to see your logo, you need to learn how to write killer webpage titles and keep track of them to make sure Google hasn’t altered them. PRT supports title tracking, so here’s a quick article on how to do it with PRT:
Why you should be keeping an eye on your page’s title in the SERP and why your CTR depends on it
In a world where niches are teeming with competition, and there are sometimes literally thousands of alternatives to choose from, this first decisive filter might be the make-or-break factor for your brand. Making sure you sport an amazing logo is good for the customer as well – they want to choose quickly, and it helps them filter the overwhelming amount of choices. Essentially, a winning logo has already made one of the most important steps of getting a through the doors of perception to make the sale.
Now that we know the historic and commercial backbones, here’s the main question – how does the logo affect consumers and influence what that first impression will be?
Color has a huge psychological influence on our brains, and it plays a huge role in marketing and branding.
People make up their minds within 90 seconds of their initial interactions with products, and about 90 percent of that assessment is based on color alone!
Another series of four studies reveals how color affects consumer perceptions. It shows that color can be used to amplify a brand’s perceived personality traits, influence the liability and familiarity of a brand, and even affect purchasing intent.
The smart use of colors can influence moods and feelings and differentiate products from competitors. Colors can increase or decrease appetite, enhance mood, calm down or stimulate, all depending on what the brand needs.
The color needs to fit the brand, otherwise, it might seem uncanny and dishonest. A clinic-type business will probably use hues of blue, since those colors are associated with calm and tranquility. A company such as Harley-Davidson probably wouldn’t use pink to portray their rugged nature. Red signifies urgency and alertness, which is why the Red Cross is red. A solar panel company might choose greens to signify the environmentally friendly approach. A limousine service might go for a black logo to signify luxury and exclusivity.
While it’s impossible to determine an exact meaning to colors, there are perceptions we can fall back on that remain more or less constant because they appear in nature: red comes from blood and fire, brown from earth, blue is the ocean and the sky, yellow is the sun and the sand. Perception of certain colors also changes over time and with culture – pink used to be a luxurious royal color for men, but today it’s seen as an almost exclusively feminine color. White in the west symbolizes cleanliness and purity, and in the east it’s associated with death.
The orange that pops in PRT’s logo is considered an underdog color that isn’t often used in marketing, making it stand out as more exotic and unique on the playing field. Orange has very high visibility, so you can use it to catch attention. It represents enthusiasm, determination, success, encouragement, and stimulation. In heraldry, orange is symbolic of strength and endurance.
Picking the right logo colors is key to relaying the right message about your brand, and it’s highly recommended that new businesses do some research into color psychology before settling on a logo color.
Like color, the shape of a logo has a powerful impact on consumers. New research suggests that there’s more to a logo’s shape than just basic aesthetic appeal. According to the study, people might make complex assessments of a company or product based on the shape of the logo alone. The mere curvature or angularity of a brand logo is enough to affect perceptions of the characteristics of a product or company.
We have certain perceptions engraved by nature such as curvy shapes being associated with “softness” and angular shapes being associated with “hardness”. But what the study revealed is that the associations go deeper than that and are more complex. Not only does a rounded logo give the general feeling of “softness”, but it can also convey the associations of softness itself, such as caring, warmth, and sensitivity to customer needs. The hardness that comes from angular logos, on the other hand, will evoke feelings of sturdiness, reliability, power, and precision. Symmetrical, geometric shapes are perceived by consumers as stable, organizational, and disciplined; organic shapes remind us of comfort and pleasure. Circular shapes reflect aspects of completeness, security, movement, attention, and community. Rectangles and squares represent stability, trust, strength, and power. Triangles show movement, speed, energy, and tension.
The team hypothesized that the logo alone could influence the perception of a product before even trying it. So, in one of the experiments, 109 college students were asked to rate an ad for a new pair of running shoes. One ad used a circular logo, and another featured an angular logo. The students that were shown the circular logo said the shoes looked more comfortable, while the group that was shown the angular logo said the shoes looked sturdy and reliable.
Another study found that consumers respond better to logos that demonstrate naturalness. Simply put, logos of natural, recognizable shapes that are organic are preferred over abstract ones. Furthermore, this research indicates that within natural logos, organic designs are favored over cultural designs.
For example, an abstract logo could be just random dots or strips and have no connection with the “real” world; it is artificially constructed and non-representative of anything that physically exists. A natural cultural logo could represent manufactured objects such as a building or a car. A fully natural organic logo would represent objects from the natural world such as plants or animals.
Let your banner fly with PRT!
Now that you know the amazing power your logo holds, it’s time to let it shine! Especially after (no doubt) you spent time, money and effort in making it.
There is a magic power on the market certain SEO tools offer called White Label, and the purpose of it is featuring your logo and company details.
Any tool on the market that offers white label solutions can feature your logo in various ways and using different exposure levels. Some can have a broad range of white label options while others will barely feature your logo on anything (while still claiming they offer white label support). PRT is one of the only tools on the market that is 100% white label enabled. That means you can have our technology but with your name on it! It doesn’t matter to us if your customers don’t see our logo — we want them to see YOUR logo and be impressed so that you can grow as a business.
How to replace PRT’s logo with YOURS
Let’s get to the really cool part: placing your beautiful logo on PRT’s rank tracker and all the included features that come with it.
- SEO ranking reports – Any SEO ranking report that you send with PRT can have your logo featured on top of the report. In addition to your logo, you can also include an original header and footer and style them like you would a Word document:
You can also set the reports to be emailed from your email address instead of PRT.
- Shared Reports – These reports are live reports that are updated with ranking data at least once a day and are hosted on a unique webpage!
These special webpages can also be encrypted with a password to protect your clients’ privacy and be set with an expiration date.
The best way is to just show you what we mean, so check it out HERE. The password is ‘shared’.
The shared reports are actually one of our most acclaimed features. In case you want to know why, we did a full breakdown on shared reports here:
Introducing PRT’s updated Shared Reports: The next-gen of SEO ranking reports
- Choosing colors – The data tables and every graphic element that are seen in the reports can be customized with colors to fit your logo, aesthetics and stylistic feel:
- Unlimited templates – You can design as many unique headers and footers as you like to fit specific clients and give them that personal touch.
- MyRanks – A mobile app with your logo and company details that your clients can download. MyRanks will show your clients their live ranking data and will be updated at least once a day with fresh ranks.
This feature is a real show stopper and can be used to help you close more deals! Here’s the full story:
Taking white label reports to the next level with MyRanks
- Sub Accounts – The highest level of white label you can have. Basically, create offshoot PRT accounts with unique user names and passwords that stem from your main PRT account. These PRT sub accounts can have various levels of permissions, from read-only to full admin status. But the real beauty is these accounts will show YOUR logo on our tool!
- API – A special feature for those of you who not only have a killer logo but also sport their own SEO tool and just want to get fresh, high-quality, 100% accurate ranking data fed directly to their tool. We have all the detailed documentations for setting it up yourself, or we can have one of our dedicated API specialists help you set it up!
Building the right logo is a complex art form and requires careful planning and research, but one thing is without a doubt: a logo has a significant impact on customer perception.
Companies that have mastered the art of the logo have solidified their identity in cultural perception to a point where you cannot separate the company from the logo. Companies such as Apple, McDonalds, and Nike are a prime example of that, and you can probably visualize their logos right now without even seeing them. No matter which logo you design, we hope you proudly showcase it on our SERP tracker.
If you found this article helpful, you might want to read about another very important psychological principle that governs the first impressions of customers. It’s a principle many companies use, including Google, and it can determine how you will be perceived after you have successfully enchanted your customers with your logo and got their attention:
We have some amazing stories coming up about search engines, marketing and SEO with insights you will not get anywhere else. So what are you waiting for? Subscribe to our blog so you won’t miss out.
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PRT is a SERP tracker with over 50k users that supports the 4 platinum rank-tracking standards required for SEO in 2018:
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