Let’s start with the fun part. There is a company called Accenture that has a very interesting logo. Accenture is a worldwide software development company that employs 411,000 people and brings in $50 billion in annual revenue. How much do you think it cost them to create their logo?
A) they draw it on a paper napkin
And the answer is: the numbers above don’t even come close!
Take a deep breath now, because it cost them a whopping $100,000,000. Yes, they shelled out 100 million bucks for this! And let’s be honest – it looks pretty basic.
Here’s a better known example, think about Pepsi. It cost almost $1,000,000, but is it really that special? And is it really worth it to spend that much at the beginning of your business journey like the companies above did? After all, the logo means nothing without a strong business and potent brand behind it.
Obviously, it is not the logos that brought these companies huge success, but the fine-tuned business processes and the hard work of their founders. There is nothing in the world preventing anyone else from having the same logos, but would their businesses reach the same heights? That’s the tough question.
Instead of spending months and tons of energy trying to get a great logo, a successful serial entrepreneur would do this instead:
- Find a market fit for their idea/product
- Create an MVP (minimum viable product) to test the idea
- Get the first paying customers
- 4. Actively gather customers’ feedback
- 5. Improve the product
So, as an aspiring business/venture/startup founder or even a small Facebook group owner, the very first thing you need to work on is some basic branding. You need to have at least something to present your business, but forget what they say about how “a logo should represent your core business values.” Ultimately, it should – but at this point, you still have limited clients, revenue, and no business. What’s the point of having a logo to represent your core business values if you don’t have any real business in the first place?
Get paying customers first – think about the branding later
Consider these examples: Nike is a multi-billion dollar company whose logo cost $35 to make. Twitter made one for the cost of one meal at McDonald’s ($15), and Coca-Cola spent $0.
All these companies’ logo costs were tiny, yet they are hugely successful! Have a look for yourself:
1. Google: $0
The original Google logo was designed in 1998 by Sergey Brin, one of Google’s founders, in GIMP. It has since been fine-tuned several times, but the original concept remains intact.
2. Coca-Cola: $0
The famous Coca-Cola logo was created by John Pemberton’s bookkeeper, Frank Mason Robinson, in 1885. Robinson came up with the name and chose the logo’s distinctive cursive script. The typeface used, known as Spencerian script, was developed in the mid-19th century and was the dominant form of formal handwriting in the United States during that period.
3. Twitter: $15
The Twitter logo was designed by Simon Oxley in 2009.
4. Nike: $35
The Nike logo was designed by Carolyn Davidson in 1975. The price only included the original logo design, which has since been refined, but as with Google and Coca-Cola, the original concept has been kept intact.
Is the Nike “swoosh” worth anything without the company attached to it? When you are buying coffee on your morning commute to the office, do you buy it because it has a good logo or for the taste? When visiting your dentist, do you visit him because he has very expensive logo or because he does his job perfectly? These are the simple questions all founders should ask themselves before anything else.
Statistically, 90% of startups fail. Would you rather invest more money in exposure, advertising, new client acquisition, and testing your product – thus giving your business a major advantage – or spend that hard-earned starter capital on an expensive branding package that gives you nothing back?