Taking an Uber to my meeting I decide to stop on the way for coffee. 5 minutes ahead I use the Starbucks app to place my order. The app knows what I like, so creating my ‘warm’ double-tall-nonfat cappuccino with extra foam is a matter of one single tap. Rinse will swing by tonight to pick up my dry-cleaning for the week. By that time my living room furniture from Greycork should have arrived. All of it. I will assemble it without tools in 4 minutes, just before the dinner ingredients arrive at my door step. It’ll take me 10 minutes to make my farm-to-table dinner with Gobble tonight. My wife will be impressed.
Welcome to today. Slowly we adapt to a new way of doing things, and rather quickly are we getting used to it. Automation is the norm. Tech startups introduced us to what I dub ‘concierge service for the masses’. What used to be a luxury, is now expected. What used to be ‘disruption’, is now advancement.
Today we have very long brand memories of very short brand experiences. Those experiences are being supported by the icon we tapped, the actions we took, and the visual brand language that supported us along the way. Todays’ brands are built on the interaction of experience and flawless design. The first touchpoint more than ever is the logo/icon, which in many cases you simply tap to start your journey with a brand.
How much brand design remains with us after our experience? How much does a logo matter when we swiftly tap and move on? Here are 3 tips that will assist you when contemplating your next logo design, or current logo re-design, while keeping today’s consumer behavior up front and center:
1. You Have 8 Seconds To Communicate
Brand identities in today’s age need to focus on, and re-iterate, the essential qualities of a product or service in the simplest way possible while conveying more than ever before. Us humans are becoming more visual. Our attention span has dropped to 8 seconds before getting distracted. Put the two together and your logo turns into a key asset when communicating your overall brand, because it is one brand element users can not opt out of. Oftentimes it presents the only way to opt in.
2. Your Icon Has Its Name For a Reason: It Demands To Be Iconic
Since no one reads the marketing copy that went through twenty iterations to finally make it onto your web site (no one, but you, and perhaps your team since you are paying them for it), it just ends up turning into an annoyance to many users. It’s a road block to get to the images or the video that describe what you are trying to say verbally, in a stimulating visual way. In this visual journey, the logo mark and associated logotype turn into the focal point that is being associated with the brand experience when it comes to apps, and that spills over into our behavioral patterns outside the ‘digital realm.’ The more iconic your mark and typography, the more it’ll differentiate and stick in people’s minds. Today more than ever before, this becomes a do or die for logo designs, or call it an app icon if you will.
3. Make Your Logo Smaller. Even Smaller.
While brand identity designs needed to function at small scale, because they had to be fed through a fax machine in black and white and still be recognizable (hold their shape), yet convey the same meaning as when they were shouting from a billboard, the rules have not changed. The roles have changed: We can now, for the most part, skip the black and white version of your logo design, but your logo will live in the tiniest of social media avatars as well as (quite often) the app store. So small is – still – beautiful; it has to be.
As the consumer comes to expect simplicity and swift completion of tasks in a straight up user interface, we need to look at the creation and usage of a product or service logo in a different way to further evoke and support this experience. With lifestyles changing dramatically, so does our interaction with brands. Now that ‘the concierge service’ movement is turning mainstream, expectations of your brand are changing.
Make your logo your support during this change: A trusted friend that will bend over backwards for you and your followers; it will adjust during stormy weather; it will talk to even the ones that will only give it one second of their time. Most importantly, it will always strive to form a meaningful connection with each and everyone of them. And then when you hit the pillow at night it will keep on working for you while your Fitbit will be busy calculating your sleep pattern.