Can you tell the difference? I can’t tell the difference…

Can you tell the difference? I can’t tell the difference…

Logo design a la drive-through-window

Recent advances in neuroscience support the notion that buying decisions are largely based on irrational impulses often unknown to the buyer. For example, research shows an IBM customer is strongly motivated by job security and peace-of-mind.

Today’s B2B customers may articulate their need for ROI or higher performance, but they won’t likely unpack that and talk about what they really want (or want to avoid). Perhaps it’s to avoid looking like or attracting business with an Enron. Well-designed brands aren’t developed in isolation and play to these important hidden drivers.

We’ve often been asked by our clients to design a new logo emulating an earned brand—such as IBM—with the notion being good fortune will rub off. Well friends, it’s just not that easy. If it was, everyone would be doing it and copyright and trade-mark law wouldn’t be a thing.

Case in point, who thought incorporating an apple into the logo for the Victoria School of Business and Technology was a good call? Whoever it was, they bit off more than they could chew. It’s a typical David versus Goliath scenario that we’re seeing play out with more frequency. After the school went to considerable expense to launch their new brand along with trade-mark application, Apple shut it down. The school had to rinse and repeat. That Goliath is a baddie you say? Well, don’t judge without the understanding that when you have a secured trade-mark you risk losing it if you don’t police it.

So what can you do? It starts at the very beginning. You need an unbiased and trained look under the hood to find out what makes your company tick. Chances are the hidden drivers of your customers are invisible to even you. Next, if your differentiation and competitive advantage aren’t clear, they need to be clarified. Then, once you have a solid positioning, design work can begin. That means reflecting the factors you’ve identified (It may well turn out to have process blue within it, but I hope for your sake it doesn’t look too close to IBM). If your design team has managed this process well, you’ll know the design is right. Another good indication will be if it’s trade-mark worthy.

If you’re tempted to get a quick and dirty logo on the cheap, just remember—you get what you pay for. There are many designers that can design a quick logo, but can they make it hold up to competitive analysis and the rigours of trade-mark law?