The richest man in Africa, Aliko Dangote once quoted “you must build a brand and never destroy it. One competitive advantage I had when I ventured into manufacturing was my brand, which I diligently built in the course of my trading”. Dangote started a petty food trading business in 1977, with a small loan from his uncle. Today he employs thousands across Africa.
The reasons that mostly stand out for SMEs failure to have a good logo are: 1. Building a brand seems completely irrelevant to most small/medium business owners operating in our economic environment. 2. The obvious ignorance of what branding is. It is considered to be ‘packaging’. 3. The belief that only money or profit is king.
Hence, there isn’t a critical demand to become a brand which by implication creates a lackadaisical attitude towards placing utmost importance on the logo as a critical visual asset. It is therefore important to define Branding. Branding is the wholesome use of a company’s business collateral made into sight and sound, behaviour, symbolism, and the fulfilment of its promise as a way to influence public thinking and perception – which must be positive or favorable with the intention to ensure and engender any of the following: Trust, Loyalty, Quality, Pride, Prestige and more. A logo is not a brand. And a brand is not a logo. They are just best friends for forever – albeit logo is at the visual foundation of this friendship.
For any small/mid size business to experience real success – success being the transition to become a brand – serious attention and care must be given to one of the key elements of branding which is a good logo. When a logo is properly made it becomes the ultimate proof and the mark of guarantee of the uniqueness, differentiation and superiority of a company’s product or service. It is a logo that becomes the symbol of success. It is the logo that chiefly advertises the business, the ultimate symbol that engenders and sustains its reputation.
#SOS Symbol Of Success Series is written by Dayo Abiola. Chief Design Officer, Dayo Abiola, a logo making company.