In all of marketing wether it be the internet, signage or print publications, you need to create a brand and keep it consistent. Make a logo, pick a color, use it everywhere you advertise. This creates brand recognition.
What is brand recognition?
When someone sees your logo and knows exactly what it is instantaneously without reading the text or thinking about it. Just by seeing the color and distinctive shape they know it is you. Hopefully they have good feelings associated with this recognition, but that is not what we are discussing now.
The #1 way to ruin brand recogniton, by not having a consistent logo.
Common misuses of logos:
Multiple logos for the same company:
I run into this all the time. Companies have 5 or 6 logos (usually because they've updated their logo several times over the years but various departments still think it's ok to use old logos). This causes confusion on the subliminal level when people encounter multiple logos for the same company, and subtracts from that instant recognition you are trying to build. It sort of causes a company identity crisis.
A common mistake by amature graphic artists. They think it has a better aesthetic appeal when they stretch a logo to fill a space. This is 100% false, not only does it look like crap when you do that, it ruins brand recognition. It destroys that distinctive shape you want the customer to instantaneously recognize on sight.
Changing the Logo's Color
This also ruins brand recognition. If your logo's color completely clashes with your design, and you absolutely cannot change your design to match the logo then make your logo be white or black to minimize confusion. You should really create designs that work with your logo, you may be tired of seeing that color over and over again, day in and day out, but the customer isn't. When was the last time you thought, "Gee, I wish McDonald's would change their colors, I'm tired of looking at red and yellow.". Never! When you see the red and yellow sign you just think, "oh there's McDonald's".
Alright, now go out there and create some brand recognition!
Please share any stories you may have about this. :) I love to hear them.