Seth Godin wrote a post a couple of days back called “Your Brand is Not Your Logo”, where he called the recent re-branding efforts of a couple of big consumer brands “Cluelessness on the half shell”.  I couldn’t agree with that more.

I wrote a post a while back on product naming and this one is a bit like that one in that I will state right out of the gate that I don’t know a darn thing about Logos.  You’ll notice the lack of logo on this page.  In fact you will notice the lack of anything that looks even remotely like “Branding” on this page.  Why?  Because I will venture to say, that you, dear reader don’t give a hoot.

Over 60% of you (according to Google Analytics) are 1st time visitors.  I bet not a single one of you 60% has ever heard of me before.  Some of you got here though Twitter or came to this page from StumbleUpon or clicked on a link here from the CrankyPM or OnProductManagement.  The one thing you folks do have in common is that you came here for the content.  That’s it.  You’ll read the article in front of you and decide to subscribe, Stumble or bookmark based on that alone.  This blog is a startup and it looks like a startup – a little rough around the edges, clearly no money was spent on design and I haven’t sprung for a logo.

Now let’s compare that to a couple of the top marketing bloggers out there.  How about Seth Godin or Guy Kawasaki (go have a look, I’ll wait for you)?  Hummm.  Doesn’t look like those guys spent much on traditional “Branding” either.  They certainly have had some nice professional photographs of themselves (or at lead their foreheads in Seth’s case) done and maybe a teeny bit of graphic help but other than that, I don’t think a lot of cash was spent on “Branding” those blogs.

So what can startup marketers learn from this?  Don’t worry about things like logos because they just
don’t matter.  They’re a bit like product names.  Yes you need one.
It shouldn’t be stupid or offensive.  It would be great if it was
memorable (i.e. didn’t look like any of your competitor’s logos).
Otherwise, whatever you come up with will probably be fine.  Stay focused on the value your product delivers to customers.  That is what is going to get customers and keep customers.  Spend your time, energy and effort solving your customer’s problems and in a few years when you are flush with cash you can spring a few bucks to alleviate your logo envy.  Until then it just doesn’t matter.  Spend the thousands you could spend on a logo and get your sales folks a handful of well qualified leads.  Better yet, spend it flying your product folks out to talk to customers.  The payback will be higher.

Resources for Super-Cheap Logo Design:
There are loads of sites online where you can make your own logo for free or for cheap.  I have fooled around a bit with LogoMaker.  It gives you a bunch of standard graphical elements that you can use to design your own logo and they you can buy it for just $49.  Now that’s a price tag I can live with.
If you are like myself and too graphically clueless to get one you like that way you can try a service like Logoworks.  For $99 you can get 2 different designers to come up with 4 original designs for you.  If you like one, you pay $200 to make it your own.