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The Secret Ingredients to Grow a Healthy Brand

  • Writer's pictureNicole Powell

Avoid This Branding Mistake

Updated: May 29, 2023

The biggest mistake I've seen time and time again by small business owners who DIY their logos is this...

They only make ONE logo and use it for everything.

This, my friends, is a big no-no. Itโ€™s important to have a primary logo and secondary logo as well as a sub-mark to represent your brand. Why?

๐ต๐‘’๐‘๐‘Ž๐‘ข๐‘ ๐‘’ ๐‘ฆ๐‘œ๐‘ข๐‘Ÿ ๐‘๐‘Ÿ๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘‘ ๐‘ค๐‘–๐‘™๐‘™ ๐‘๐‘’ ๐‘“๐‘’๐‘Ž๐‘ก๐‘ข๐‘Ÿ๐‘’๐‘‘ ๐‘œ๐‘› ๐‘Ž ๐‘ฃ๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘–๐‘’๐‘ก๐‘ฆ ๐‘œ๐‘“ โ€œ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘–๐‘›๐‘”๐‘ โ€ ๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘‘ ๐‘–๐‘กโ€™๐‘  ๐‘›๐‘œ๐‘ก ๐‘”๐‘œ๐‘–๐‘›๐‘” ๐‘ก๐‘œ ๐‘๐‘’ โ€œ๐‘œ๐‘›๐‘’ ๐‘™๐‘œ๐‘”๐‘œ ๐‘“๐‘–๐‘ก๐‘  ๐‘Ž๐‘™๐‘™.โ€œ

For example, for our client, 4 Paws 4 Rescue, we created different versions of their logo so they had a bunch to choose from depending on their need. It is extremely important your logo is legible and visible and oftentimes, one version just isn't going to cut it.

When it comes to branding design, I leave it up to the experts. In my career, I've been a part of some amazing design projects, but I am not too proud to admit that I am not a designer myself. I know what looks good from a consumer standpoint and my brain is overflowing with ideas, but don't put me in front of Photoshop. For this reason, I LOVE collaborating with our team of graphic designers to create logos and branding designs, patterns, assets, and more.

For the non-designers like me out there, here's an easy-to-understand list of definitions that explain WHY it is crucial to have a variety of logo versions in your toolkit.

๐—ฃ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐˜† ๐—Ÿ๐—ผ๐—ด๐—ผ: Pretend your logo suite is a boy band. Your primary logo is Justin Timberlake.#itsgonnabeme This is your main logo and will be THE ONE that is representative of your brand, the star of the show... of course, thereโ€™s a caveat. You have to make sure it fits within the space youโ€™re given and every element is legible and stands out. If not, then you should use your...

๐—ฆ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐˜† ๐—Ÿ๐—ผ๐—ด๐—ผ: Your secondary logo is JC Chasez. This logo is equally as awesome but used when the primary logo just doesnโ€™t fit the space provided, or if your main logo โ€œjust doesnโ€™t look right.โ€ Itโ€™s not your go-to logo and is used sparingly but remember, it should also fit your overall brand look & feel.

๐—ฆ๐˜‚๐—ฏ-๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ธ: AKA brand symbol or icon (think Nike swoosh, Appleโ€™s ๐ŸŽ or McDonaldโ€™s golden arch). Consider your sub-mark Joey Fatone, Chris Kirkpatrick or Lance Bass - very important to your logo suite, but not the headliner. Sometimes, youโ€™ll find the sub-mark in the primary or secondary logo or it can be a standalone symbol. Either way, the sub-mark will also be representative of your brand and fits your overall look and feel.

Use it on:

  • Social media profiles

  • Website favicon

  • Or, any other places where your other logos are too big. If you canโ€™t read it, then your audience canโ€™t either so use a different logo.

Tip: Make sure the name of your business or one of your other logos appear on the branded piece if you plan on using just the sub-mark. For example, on your Instagram profile you probably already have the name of your business as the username or in the bio, so it's A-OK to use your sub-mark as your profile photo.


Still don't believe me that you need to have a comprehensive logo suite? Check out these insane statistics, which display the importance of kick-butt branding.

It only takes consumers 10 seconds to form an impression of your brand. If they can't read your logo or it screams DIY, what do you think their first impression will be?

Brands with consistent branding expect to earn 23% more annual revenueย than the brands that are inconsistent. (Lucidpress)

HOMEWORK TIME: Look at every piece of marketing you have from your business cards to your website. Are you representing yourself in the best light possible with the logo you're using? If not, it may be time for a re-brand!

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Nicole Powell

Meet Nicole Powell, an expert whose journey spans from Manila to the Midwest, helping businesses transform into profitable and brag-worthy brands with research, creativity and neuroscience. With a determination to uplift fellow entrepreneurs, Nicole draws from her experience and mentorships with industry leaders for the past 15+ years. Her mission is clear: pay it forward, sharing the knowledge and skills she's acquired to empower others.

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