My how things have changed.
I can remember a time when it was really important to have a cool business card with a custom logo that attempted to embody the qualities of a brand while differentiating it from competitors. Yet, as businesses of all size have flocked to crowdsourcing web sites to have their logos created in a structured “contest”, the value of this previously essential business graphic has been recalibrated by the market. And in the eyes of the market, a logo’s value is now about $99.
In an expensive place to do business like the San Francisco Bay area, that equates to less than ONE hour of billable time. And in many cases, this is less than what many marketers pay for their monthly internet, text and voice mail on their smart phones.
The new value: no longer in your wallet.
Interestingly, this is not just another case of digital devaluation. It codifies the fundamental shift that has taken place for what’s important for a brand. Today, a more contemporary measurement of what delivers value to a brand is its total presence on the internet. This includes not just the web but all of the social, local and mobile channels of choice being used every second by prospects everywhere.
In essence, the value of what used to be a foundation component in marketing communications, the logo on a business card—and even the business card—has been displaced by the more valued “results” that are delivered by a search on the web.
What’s of note here is that appearing in the preferred top position of a search results list when someone is looking for the value that a brand offers takes significantly more investment, expertise, resources and time than creating a groovy logo or unique business card. Connecting all of the dots to ensure that a brand is taking advantage of and utilizing every opportunity to raise or sustain a top search results position is nothing less than a formidable task.
What’s more, any belief that a creative silver bullet, a marketing panacea or a well funded communications campaign will achieve or sustain a top search results position is simply folly in today’s rapidly changing marketing environment.
Graphic effects of change.
As brand strategy expert Greg Satell noted in a recent post, “We are, in a sense, in a post-promotional age, where core values need to be infused throughout the organization and not just trumpeted in promotional materials.” Or through inconsequential graphics.
Whether it’s local or global or both, the value of a logo has clearly receded. And the market has measured the contribution that this graphic commodity now provides for increasing the true value of a brand. Because business understands that if prospects searching for what a brand has to offer now have the opportunity to start a conversation, virtually anywhere, so that prospects can investigate their solutions and compare and contrast them with competitors, they improve the opportunity to convert that prospect in to a customer.
In this economically challenged environment, it’s difficult to see how or where a logo can make a difference in improving a brands search results ranking or adding any measurable impact on what business truly cares about—new customers, increased revenue and building sustained relationships.
Beautiful logo? Or top search results position?
Would you trade a high cost, graphically beautiful logo for a top search results ranking or your own community of engaged and interacting prospects and customers? Please share your thoughts.