It turns out your logo might not be working as hard as you think it is. Research from UCLA asked participants to recall or identify the Apple logo. Ready to be shocked? Only 1 participant out of 85 could correctly recall it. And when it came to identifying it, less than 50% of participants were able to do so.

So if customers can’t even recall a logo as common as Apple’s, what is the purpose of branding? Before you give up on your logo, let’s talk about how they really work and how to tell your company’s story more powerfully through branding.

How Logos Work

If all of your marketing material is just words, it’s not going to be very interesting. Your logo can add visual appeal to your marketing campaign, but it doesn’t have to work alone. It’s simply one part of your brand marketing. One piece of the puzzle. Other elements include the specific colors and fonts you use, your slogans, and any marketing materials you put out. Take T Mobile for example. Here’s their logo.

Could you have recalled it without the image? Probably not. But this logo is where much of their brand comes together. It displays the letter “T” from their name and makes use of the pinkish purple color that runs throughout all of their brand marketing. Even if you couldn’t recall what the T Mobile logo looked like, you might have known their brand color. And that color makes them both memorable and recognizable. See how it all works together? That’s an essential part of good brand marketing, both the repetition and the consistency.

How to Get More Out of Your Logo

Adobe says, “It takes between 5 and 7 impressions before people remember you. Add your logo to your projects so your brand follows your content no matter where it goes.” We agree. Your logo should be on pretty much everything your company communicates. But remember that research from UCLA we cited at the beginning? It turns out that highlights a concept called attentional saturation. If we see something enough times, our brain might essentially “skip over” that item, forgetting certain parts of it because we’ve seen it before.

But that doesn’t mean you should take your logo off of your marketing materials. Instead, it means you should find ways to have your customers interact with it so that it doesn’t become something they skip over. Get creative about how to focus your audience’s attention on your brand. If you haven’t started branding your company yet, or you are ready to rebrand, think about how to tell the story of your company. It could be branding a color, like T Mobile. It could be attaching your company name to a visual, like the logos for Target or Mustang.

If you already have established brand marketing, try to do two things. First, find ways for your customers to actively interact with your logo. Second, attach your logo to things that have value for your customer. You are looking for ways to bring your brand into their conscious awareness. You could have customers scratch through your logo for a chance to win a prize or a coupon. Or you could create photo opportunities for your customers in which your logo is featured. Most people love to share photos of themselves. Another idea is to create beautiful visual content that also features your logo so that it gets shared on social media.

We might forget some logos, even those we see nearly every day. But your logo doesn’t have to stand alone. It’s part of the story your brand marketing is telling about your company.

Want to see how good you are at recognizing brands? Take this 50-question quiz to see where you stand. And reach out to our expert designers at Ethos3 to help brand and tell your story today.

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