McDonald’s or Burger King? Coke or Pepsi? Tide or Gain?

What are your choices? And do those choices have more to do with the quality of the product or the appearance of the brand?

You may be surprised at just how much influence a brand logo has over your decisions…and how you can use those same logo design principles to affect your target audience’s choices.

The Importance of the Logo in Branding

A logo’s primary colour is indicative of its number-one value, and subsequent colours indicate its other important, but nevertheless subordinate, values. The messages sent by colour are not only powerful, they transcend literacy and language barriers. Brands use colour to convey messages about their values; those colours also attract consumers who cherish the values represented by the colours. In short, this means that a logo’s colours work to attract a brand’s ideal clients.

Let's compare the messages sent by the McDonald's and Burger King logos.



The McDonald’s logo’s main colour is yellow. Its secondary colour is red. Yellow symbolises happiness and optimism (which pairs nicely with the strapline “I’m lovin’ it.”). Red indicates passion and vitality.

The Burger King logo also utilises yellow and red; however, blue also plays a role. Blue is indicative of dependability, intelligence and composure. This goes along with Burger King’s royal connotation, and lends a perception of maturity.

The logo you’re most attracted to will be determined by your preference of Juvenile Happiness vs Intelligent Maturity. This is interesting, considering that Burger King patrons are the only ones walking out wearing silly paper crowns. This proves that a targeted logo can, over time, have more influence than product type or quality.

Shapes used in a logo also contribute to brand perceptions. Here are some observations using the same McDonald’s/Burger King example:

McDonald’s golden arches didn’t start as parts of its logo, but rather as architectural elements of its restaurants. Arches are typically symbolic of strength and regal stature, and so viewers of the McDonald’s logo feel that.

Burger King’s logo is chiefly circular, which encourages feelings of inclusiveness, security, protection and complete service. This circular theme causes onlookers to feel that everyone is welcomed, and that they can expect a great experience at this restaurant.

Do you prefer a brand that is imperial or all-inclusive? Strong or protective? Your answers to these questions will probably help to explain why you made that last fast-food stop.

The importance of the logo in branding is often overlooked. A brand’s logo is the face of the business—the visual element that people will associate with positive brand experiences and the visual element they will use to recall those experiences and to create more.

Your logo will transcend language barriers. Your logo will be recognised by those too young to speak and too old to verbalise. Your logo will speak for your brand when words are not appropriate or available.

It’s that important.

Now that you know a little more about the importance of a logo in branding, do you think it’s a good idea to throw together a quick, pretty little picture? Or to hire a designer on the cheap?

Logo design is one place where an investment in a professional who shows a genuine interest in your brand will never be ill-spent. This is an investment that will repay…with dividends.

I invite you to contact How to Build a Brand for more information regarding the importance of a logo in branding. And I encourage you to learn more about the entire brand and branding process with our B.R.A.N.D. Kick Starter Online Masterclass, available here.

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