How important is logo design and a brand to a business?

Business titans say even though it is intangible, it is highly valuable.

Often I get asked about how much I charge for a logo design. It is always such a weird question to answer because to someone that doesn’t understand the power of a brand, a logo is somewhat akin to a commodity, like a barrel of oil. Many assume that it takes 15 minutes on the computer to type in their name and draw a random shape, and BOOM….we have a logo. Actually, that method is probably more like a PLOP…we have a logo. “Drive up to window two sir and we’ll have your logo ready for you. The total will be $0.99.”

Of course with that kind of thinking, there’s no real thought about what would make your brand / logo special. There is nothing with any real uniqueness that gets developed because the number #1 priority is low cost, which usually leads to low quality. Something has to give, right?

So why should businesses invest in their brand? What is the real value of a great brand?

Give a listen to a couple of industry titans:

If this business were to be split up, I would be glad to take the brands, trademarks, and goodwill and you could have all the bricks and mortar – and I would fare better than you.”

– John Stuart, former Quaker Oats chairman (1877–1969)

“On this annual report you’ll find all the assets of Coca-Cola listed. You will not find a line item for the value of the brand, but I suspect it is far more valuable than all of the other assets combined. What would you rather drink – Coke or Royal Crown?”

– Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway Chairman (1930–)

After working in the industry for 25 years it’s been amazing to watch the power of new brands like Starbucks, Google, Facebook, Netflix, and Apple. Yes, buildings and computer networks, and accounting are all important to running a business. But let’s not discount the power of branding. That is what consumers and customers of products and services attach to. They want something unique to like that appeals to their rational thinking and emotional senses. While a brand is intangible, it can still be seen, felt, heard, and possibly smelt. Investing in your brand is investing in your future profits and dividends, just like any other form of investing.