There’s nothing wrong with using a pre-made logo, or even making one yourself, in the early stages of your business. With a tight budget, those are sometime the only options.
However, pre-made and DIY logos can only get you so far. Eventually your business will outgrow them. When that happens it’s time to start saving up, so that you can invest in a professionally-designed logo as soon as possible.
So how do you know when you’re at that point? Well, luckily there are a few tell-tale signs that will make it very obvious when you’re ready to upgrade your logo.
1. You See Your Logo (or Similar Logos) Being Used a Lot
The first sign is that you see a lot of other businesses with the same pre-made logo, or very similar logos to yours. This is particularly bad if these other businesses are within your own industry. Not only will your business blend into the crowd, but a potential client could mistake a competitor for you, and you’d lose out on that business.
Even if these other businesses using the same pre-made logo are in different industries, it's still a bad sign. Although, this may be slightly better than the above scenario, it really just means that your logo is too generic.
If you’re seeing your logo or a similar variation of it all over the place, then it’s time to invest in a logo that is a more unique to your industry and completely customized for your business.
You can see how the before logo below is rather generic. It could easily get lost in the crowd and it looks like many other logos out there.
The after version really reflects the style of Jessie Bennett Photography as a business. It is unique, and complimented by the rest of the branding, and her beautiful photography, it creates a very memorable impression.
2. It Doesn’t Reflect the Personality of Your Business
Another way to know that it’s time to upgrade your logo is when it’s not reflecting the personality of your business. Maybe it never reflected your business well, or maybe your business has evolved. Either way, it no longer aligns with the overall style and mood of your business.
One good way to test this, is to jot down a list of adjectives that describe the way you want your business to be perceived. Then ask some friends, or better yet, your ideal client, what words come to mind when they see your logo.
You could ask this question in a Facebook group where your ideal client might hang out. See if their responses are similar to the list you made. If not, then you know it’s time for a new logo.
Below is a great example of this. The logo on the left was what The Butterfly Cake Factory was using before they hired me, but it did not match the personality of their business. They wanted to be perceived as classic yet trendy, modern, innovative, elegant, and passionate.
With their new logo, I used clean lines to keep it modern. The delicateness and overall simplicity of the logo lend an air of elegance to it. Their new logo is a much better representation of their business and will attract the higher-end clients they’ve been focusing on.
3. It Doesn’t Attract Your Ideal Client
If you’re logo isn’t reflecting your company accurately, it’s probably not attracting your ideal client either. This could be because your ideal client has changed as your business has grown, or maybe you’re just starting out and you’ve never been able to attract your ideal client.
This one is a little trickier because there could be a variety of reasons why you’re not attracting your ideal client. However, your logo could definitely be a major culprit and it’s a good place to start if you want to attract a different kind of audience.
The benefit of hiring a professional designer is that they can walk you through the branding process, which will give you a better understanding of how you should be representing your business in all areas.
For example, one of the questions on my branding questionnaire is “How do you want your company to be perceived in the marketplace?” This question helps my clients to think about the way their business is currently being perceived and how they want to shift that.
Their answer to this impacts every part of their business, not only their logo, but the tone of voice they use in marketing materials, what they post on social media, the customer service they provide, and the list goes on. It will form the solid foundation on which they build the future of their business.
The example below shows the original logo for Your Milk Shoppe, and the logo I designed on the right. Their ideal client is an overwhelmed mother, in need of a helping hand. They want to instantly make her feel calm, welcomed, and supported. It’s easy to make the a good first impression with your ideal client when you have the right logo.
4. You’re Embarrassed by It
This is such a simple and obvious one, but I couldn’t leave it out because this alone is reason enough to invest in a new logo!
You have worked so hard to build your business and you should be proud of it! You should invest in marketing and tell everyone you can about your business. If your logo is holding you back from doing that, then it’s absolutely time to save up for a custom logo that you can be proud of.
It’s amazing what custom branding can do for your confidence. Here's what one of my clients says that branding did for her:
“Professional branding for my business has impacted not only my business, but me personally as a business owner…branding my business...has been without a doubt, the best business decision I have made not only for business and the bottom line, but for myself. To look at my brand and be proud of the work I do and love how I am represented in the marketplace has been life changing.”
Are you ready for that same kind of confidence in your business?
If so, shoot me a message and we can talk about how to get you there! I promise, IT IS possible for you to love your logo and be proud to show off your business.