Think You Can Skimp on a Logo? Think Again.

Much of a brand's personality starts with its logo. Here are a few tips on making sure your logo stands out from the rest.

learn more about Rachel Avallone

By Rachel Avallone

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Why do you buy the shampoo you use? Or a specific brand of pasta? Or what about that bottle of wine? Is it because of the price or the packaging? I, for one, will readily admit that my choices are often made on looks. Not surprisingly, I'm not the only one who acts this way.

Brand image is all about perception. People are ready and willing to spend more for a brand that they know and trust. When they buy a specific product or service, they are buying into the brand.

Research shows that the way food is presented actually affects the way we taste it, and, believe me, that doesn't just happen with groceries. But where should you start? How do you get people to buy into your brand? In design, you need to start with your logo.

Related: 7 Stupid Branding Mistakes Your Small Business is Making

Your logo gives a customer that first "taste" of your business, so make sure it has the right ingredients. It visually tells a consumer or customer what they can expect from your product or service. It displays a personality, an ideal and a backstory that people immediately tap into, so you better be aware of what yours is saying. In the words of well-known logo designer David Airey, "a truly enviable iconic design will…be simple, relevant, enduring, distinctive, memorable and adaptable."

Need a little help? To get started, think about these four questions:

1. What words or feelings do you want people to associate with your brand? Your logo immediately says something about your company. It gives customers an idea of your business's "personality". The colors, iconography and typography work together to send a cohesive message about who you are as a business, what you offer and what you stand for.

2. How do people find out about your company? How can your logo stick out from the crowd? People see hundreds of them a day, so know where your customers are looking. Then make sure your logo is visually enticing and stands out from the competition in that area or market.

3. What do your customers care about, and what is the best way to reach them? Your brand undoubtedly has values that affect all aspects of your business. These are things that customers will relate to and care about. Is sustainability important to your customers? Are your customers all about speed? Maybe your customers are super concerned with health? These are all things that will be portrayed through your logo and will allow your target consumer to connect with your brand, so know what he or she is looking for.

Related: The Genius Behind the Whitney Museum's New Logo

4. How do you want people to remember your brand? If you have a good logo (or a nightmarishly awful one), people will remember it. There are logos that make you do a double take and logos with clever hidden images or wordplay. There are simple and timeless logos that never age and always look fresh. Think about how you would like your company to be recollected and work for a logo that will be visually memorable.

Once you have the answers to these questions, find yourself a good designer that you trust and that understands your brand. A good designer should ask these questions and more to help you create a logo that lasts. They will think about hierarchy, color, spacing, fonts and a plethora of other design details that will translate into the perfect representation of your company. Design has the power to visually attract, educate, excite and cause emotion in people, so its importance can't be overlooked.

Whether you sell toilet plungers or are a secret agent, your logo needs to fit. Just like the elements to your favorite dish, it will need to be a perfect mix, one that will get you to take that first "bite." In other words, don't skimp on your logo. A bad logo will haunt you but a good logo will stand out on the shelf of competition and get you where you need to go.

Nee a little inspriation? Check out David Airey's logo site and get ready to drool.

Related: 5 Signs that You Need a New Logo

Rachel Avallone
As the branding assistant at Sisarina, a Washington, D.C.-based branding firm, Avallone uses her eye for design and creativity to keep projects moving. When she's not adding her skills to design projects, you can find her doodling intricate artwork in her notebook and tweeting about the latest trends.

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