A great logo can make or break a new website. Recognition is an amazing tool for reaching the prospective user. This can help incorporate a mission statement as well as core values into a small easily recognizable blip. Good logos can essentially be free advertising, tying in everyday events to a website. A few examples are: Google, Facebook, Twitter and Yahoo.
These are at the moment leading websites, with incredible recognition, and following suit with industry leaders has been a proven model for success for businesses for at least most of the 20th century as well as the 21st century. First the success of these businesses have been built on their ability to be both recognized and remembered, due in no small part to strong logo placement.
Building a great logo is not a process which can be rushed. The first step in logo building is deciding who is being targeted by this logo. What are the uses of the product, and of course what is the intended feel of the website. When setting out to design a logo, color choice is often a first step, then incorporating shapes or letters.
Remember when creating a logo ask yourself ”who are the industry leader for your website?” If you would be creating a social networking site for a specific demographic, there are two questions to be asked. First, what are interests widely held by the target demographic? What are themes that are generally well regarded within the targeted community.
Industry leaders have put out logos to enhance recognition. This recognition can very easily turn into revenue. This approach has been used for decades by generic companies and is called product placement. In grocery stores this in achieved by placing your product close to industry leaders, and only have a subtle difference from an industry leader. Western Family Foods has used this to become an industry leader in generic food products for decades and has seen strong success.
Bing has had a strong add campaign recently, incorporating its name into its logo to enhance product recognition which is the basic reason for a logo. Google.com has had its name and color combination of blue, red, yellow and green as parts of its logo. Their logo has become recognizable enough that they have been able to spin off a second smaller icon logo using its base colors for products such as Google Chrome, their web browser.
Following industry leaders is an excellent tool for an up and coming website, but at a point a new website needs to differentiate itself from other websites. Using a generic looking logo can doom a website to only a small following, gaining little new interest after its initial startup. Consider this, what separates your website from others who are after the same demographic.
After a few considerations and strong color choices, a logo should begin to form in the minds of its creators. Most importantly though, consider many options for logos and see how these logos effect a prospective audience.
In the end, market research is not replaceable. Before deciding on a logo, have several choices and ask people you know who may correspond to the target demographic what they think. Ultimately there is no replacement for good market research.