What Your Logo Says About You

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Mercari Consulting (formerly Brochures by Design)

Your logo, the visual basis of your company's image, is more important than you might think. What your logo "says" to potential customers means a lot. It tells them whether or not you're competent and professional and it tells them what your company stands for.

Your logo can emphasize key benefits that you want your customers to know about you, your product or your service. For example, do you want to be known as getting the job done fast like a delivery service? Or perhaps you want to stress quality as your main benefit like a fine restaurant? Whatever association you want your company to project, your logo is likely to make that first impression.

There are basically three kinds of logos:

1. Font-based (with only text) such as Coke or FedEx
2. Illustration (a graphic, with or without text) such as the Morton Salt "Umbrella Girl"
3. Symbols such as the Nike "swoosh"

Stand Out in the Crowd
Ideally, a logo will differentiate you from your competition. It should communicate your unique benefits. What do you want your logo to say about you? What impression do you want it to make with your potential customers?

From Business Cards to Billboards
Keep in mind that your logo should work equally well in both large and small media. It should look just as good on a business card as it does on a billboard, on the web as it does in print. Although you may be inclined to use a rainbow of colors for emphasis, it's advisable to stick with just two colors but no more than three. This is cost effective as well as providing optimum presentation. Full color printing is expensive. And remember, black is considered a color in the print world. A simple, clean, concise look goes a long way.

Don't Try This at Home, Kids
Hiring a professional graphic designer is your best bet to design a custom, attractive, captivating logo. When searching for a designer, don't opt for the lowest quote; look at their examples and see if you like their style. Additionally, look for a designer with experience designing logos in your industry. They have done their research to find out what works and what doesn't in your target market. Since a logo should last you at least a decade, don't skimp on this very important aspect of your branding. Find the best and pay for the quality you need.

Trademark It
Once you've got your logo, trademark it. This can be as simple as using the TM or SM (Service Mark) symbol in conjunction with your logo. For a more legally binding process, visit the U.S. government's trademarking website at http://www.uspto.gov/main/trademarks.htm

Use it on Everything, Everywhere
Once you have your logo designed, start using it on everything, everywhere! Visibility is key. You want that design to become associated with your company so use it on all advertising and communication - on the web, in print, everywhere!

Redesigning Your Current Logo?
One word of caution for those of you considering a logo redesign: do it gradually. Most likely, your logo has become associated with your business - and even though we all need to update our look after many years - don't make your change so drastic and so sudden that it loses its association with your business. Just as a name builds goodwill, so does your branding and you don't want to lose that. Make small changes such as with the color and gradually make the transformation complete - over time.

Whatever type of logo you choose, ultimately you want it positively linked to your company emphasizing your best features. Give some serious consideration when having your logo designed; you'll be glad you did once it becomes identified with your company's benefits and clients know who to go to for your specific product or service.

Comments (18)

Ross Willingham
Tomson Real Estate - Stillwater, OK
Realtor Associate
Good points.  Branding is key to "burning" ourselves into the mental image our customers have of us.
May 08, 2007 06:14 AM
Cynthia Mader
Long and Foster Real Estate inc. - Brunswick, MD
Great Blog and very true
May 08, 2007 06:23 AM
Jeff Fulgham
T.U.P. Realty - Tupelo, MS
Broker E-Pro ABR

I am an independent. I was lucky enough to have a cousin in the advertising business. Whe designed my Logo for me before I even opened the doors. It makes a huge difference when you have a logo that people can remember. Here is mine

May 08, 2007 06:29 AM
Justin Kaatz
ASAP Mortgage - Madison, WI
CMP
We use a generic logo that a friend of the owner made in a few seconds. It says our business motto, what ASAP stands for, and has our website. We have received some positive feedback from consumers as well.

May 08, 2007 06:40 AM
Laurie Mindnich
Centennial, CO

Our logo has received ongoing comments- it was done for a mere 300. by LogoMagic.  I had read, before deciding to open a company, that one regret that independent brokers have is that they didn't work through the public perception/logo challenges before opening their doors.  Once you have business, it's more difficult to make the changes.  But what a difference a good logo makes!  http://www.optionsrealty.com

 

May 08, 2007 06:55 AM
Tamara Inzunza
Realty One Group Capital - Alexandria, VA
Close-In Alexandria and Arlington Living

I love my logo!  I had a friend design it for me and it meshes well with my business!

May 14, 2007 02:15 PM
Trish Pachak
We Stage Colorado- Colorado's Premier Staging Experts - Westminster, CO
ASP Master - Denver, Colorado
Great post. Branding is central to how successful we can become!
May 14, 2007 02:56 PM
Carol Spengel
Prudential Rubloff - Wheaton, IL
Wheaton IL
Kevin drew us as cartoons.  I was skeptical, but it works really well on the back of little league baseball jerseys and on the kid's folders at the local schools.  It won't work well for all Realtors, but here in the burbs, it does the trick.  Sherry
May 14, 2007 03:00 PM
Jaclyn Erwin
Jackson Erwin Realty, Inc. - Charlotte, NC
ABR,SFR, REALTORĀ®/BROKER, Charlotte NC.

Okay,

Here is my logo. I am very proud of it! I had a company professionally design it.

Jun 14, 2007 02:44 PM
Jack McSweeney
RE/MAX Estate Properties - Palos Verdes Estates, CA
CDPE, SRES, e-PRO, PVS

Jack's Logo

I live on the west coast and do most of my business near the ocean or at least properties that have a view of the water, so I incorperated a little wave into mine.

 I would like to see everyone post their logo here...

Jun 14, 2007 04:18 PM
Michelle Ewing
Trademark Realtors - Riverside, CA
Riverside, CA

Image and branding are very important.  We had our logo professionally designed and it matches all of our other materials.  I'm really happy with it. 

Jun 15, 2007 02:06 AM
Dee Copeland
Copeland Group Realty - Austin, TX
Principal Broker
There are great logos. I like ours and recently rebranded our team.
Jun 15, 2007 11:50 AM
Brad Carroll
Dakno Marketing - Knightdale, NC
Real Estate Web Designer
Evy! I didn't know you were on AR. I hope you're doing well. great post!
Jun 15, 2007 12:28 PM
Anthea Click
Fresh Perspectives - www.InsideNashvilleHomes.com - Franklin, TN
Nashville Home Stager - Selling Nashville, TN homes quickly!

Evy,

Great post! I hired a graphic designer through www.elance.com and got a great deal. If anyone wants referrals - I'll be happy to give my designer's name and number.

Jun 18, 2007 07:00 AM
this profile is
Invalid - Frederica, DE
branding is indeed the key. I used to design logos for my parents friend's businesses and had a few logos on video stores around here when i was about 15 or 16. It was kind cool. Now I just write and don't really have time to design anything lol
Jun 18, 2007 07:04 AM
Skye Hawk
At Your Service! Virtual Assistant Specialists - Fountain Hills, AZ
NAR Cert. REPA "Rockstar REVA"
Evy great post. I designed mine on my own but I think I may revamp it soon.
Jun 18, 2007 09:58 AM
Paul Viau
Nova Scotia Real Estate Blog - Halifax, NS
Nova Scotia Real Estate Blog + Photo Services
I agree totally on the logo importance thing. I know that when GMAC (USA) got in the real estate business they did a survey in the public regarding how many people recognized the GMAC brand. The response was extremely high . At the time they had not opened one office yet.
Jun 18, 2007 01:23 PM
Jaclyn Erwin
Jackson Erwin Realty, Inc. - Charlotte, NC
ABR,SFR, REALTORĀ®/BROKER, Charlotte NC.

Wow,

These are some really nice logos. They are all nice. Jack and Skye: your logos really stand out. :)

Jun 19, 2007 06:13 AM