A logo is the visual that people remember about a company. The right logo can connect with our memories or interests and cause us to stop and look at it. A logo triggers an instant visual impression of your practice, representing the brand and marketing message you want to send. A picture paints a thousand words!

A good logo will be remembered. Words (your name) go into short-term memory and are only stored temporarily – “in one ear and out the other.” Images (your logo) go directly into long-term memory, where we store thousands of images. Think about it: How many times do you meet someone, only to forget their name the next day? How many times have you seen an ad and tried to tell someone about it by describing an image because you can’t remember the company name?

What message is your logo sending?
Your logo sends a message to everyone who sees it. Coordinating with a brand strategy that identifies your values, goals and mission, your logo can be designed to send the right message and strengthen your image. A good logo instantly connects people with the company and creates positive feelings.

How does a logo affect emotions?
Numerous studies have shown how strongly images and logo designs affect our emotions, and the power of logos in creating brand awareness and loyalty is well documented. The emotional impact of the logo is created with its colors, font style, shape, images, and words. For example, many people have a fear of dentists; the color red may mean blood to these people and turn them off. A script font as part of branding or logo design, however, looks like handwriting and has humanistic qualities that can give your practice a warm, friendly personality.

Why is a professional logo so important to your practice?
Logos are just as important for dentists as for any other profession. The logo is the first step in creating a brand image for a business or practice. This helps people essentially put a “face” to a business name. A logo also serves as the starting point for developing your brand. Whether your office is fun and bubbly or dignified and classy, that image starts with your logo. People who relate to the personality of your practice, reflected in your logo, will feel more comfortable when they arrive.

Follow the five basic logo style guidelines for a successful logo.
Today’s consumer is bombarded with logos – in the home, on the street, at work, in the store. How can you be sure your logo stands out and makes the right impression? A good logo meets these five basic style guidelines:

1. Appropriateness. Your logo must represent your practice and values. Your target market should be attracted to and relate to your logo design. Do some research to make sure your design is in step with your competition. If your logo is too far left field, you may not be sending the right message to attract your target audience.

2. Simplicity. A logo design that can be described will be talked about and remembered. You have just two to three seconds to get the person’s attention, so the simpler the better. A complex design is much more difficult to recall. For every rule there is an exception, but sticking with a simple design is most often the best decision.

3. Functionality. Your logo needs to look just as good in tiny print as on a building. Special effects and detailed images make it difficult to use the logo in a variety of formats. If you don’t recognize your logo when it’s blown up or can’t read it when it’s shrunk, you need to go back to the drawing board.

4. Versatility. Logos should be designed with no more than three colors in most instances, and need to be as recognizable and effective in one color. Your logo should work well as a print or digital image, on business cards and signage, and even on merchandise such as pens and T-shirts.

5. Timelessness. This is not easy, but it is important. A good logo will continue to represent your practice as it grows. The design should not be dated, so that it can be used effectively year after year. Remember that your logo is how people will recognize your practice.

Your logo should create a positive image of you and your practice, and is most successful when used throughout your branding and marketing strategies. First impressions are lasting – an inviting logo will provoke a positive response and encourage people to call you. The right logo will be an effective 24/7 marketing tool, helping to grow your practice and revenues as you establish an enduring presence and reputation.

– Mike Shoun, President and CEO

Originally published at www.thedentistsnetwork.net/dmktg4.html