Say what? Yup – you don’t have to love your logo!

Don’t get me wrong, as a business owner or a marketing manager, it’s preferable that you love your brand before you go on selling it to other people (your customers). Moreover, when we design a logo or brand identity for our cool clients, we go through a few internal reviews (average of 20 iterations), before presenting the final cut to the client. I always say – if you (the designer) don’t absolutely love and ready to marry those variations, don’t show them to me, and of course not to the client.

But why am I contradicting myself here in this post?

Did you know that when Phil Knight (the creator of Nike) first saw the (now) famous “swoosh logo” he said:

‘Well, I don’t love it, but maybe it will grow on me.’

Choosing a logo could be one of the most challenging marketing decisions you might need to make in your business. The pressure of selecting “the right” logo could be overwhelming, and rightfully so – you are creating an identity for your company, but the analysis paralysis could cause even more harm than the potentially not-so-perfect-logo.

Back to Phill Knight. What did he do?

He didn’t love the logo, and he didn’t love the name of the company either. The Nike name comes from the Greek goddess of victory, and the idea came to Nike’s first employee, Jeff Johnson… in a dream. That’s right, no usability testing, no focus groups…

So, why did it work so well (obviously) for Nike, even though the owner of the business himself didn’t like it? Perhaps, because he knew it’s not in the form or the shape of the logo, it’s something bigger (behind it) that makes your brand a success.

It’s about the bigger picture

If you have to think – think big. As a business or marketing manager, you already have so many decisions you need to make on a daily basis. Making quick decisions allows you to keep moving forward, no matter what. If you keep stalling at every marketing flyer, slogan, and promo – it will be very hard to stay competitive, especially in this day and age.

Your customers don’t buy your product because they like your logo

Your brand is a vehicle of recognition, for the customer to purchase your product again and again. Simply put it – one of the key functions of branding is to make it easy for your customer to differentiate your product from your competitors’. Yes, that simple. So when a new customer comes across your product, they buy it, they like it, they start looking for that familiar brand and your logo after they enjoyed your product. Making sure your product is worth looking for is much more important than a pretty logo.

Your logo will never be static, so you will have a second chance.

That’s right! If you don’t absolutely love your logo today, just know this – branding is an organic thing – your brand will keep growing along with the business. So if your current logo was designed by your neighbor/brother-in-law/friend, perhaps it’s time to step it up and refresh it.

Now, what exactly didn’t Phill Knight like about the original Nike logo? Take a look.

There’s no doubt the logo has matured and grown with the company. And I am sure by now Phill Knight had enough time for this logo to grow on him, to love it and so much more.

nike logo evolution

Got a branding challenge of your own? Give us a shout or stop by our marketing agency in Vancouver, we always have chocolate!

Happy branding!