What is the purpose of a business logo in the outdoors industry and how can you benefit from it?
Logos are everywhere. It is the most well-known design term available and discussed. Many have inquired about logo design from us in the past who were unsure if they needed it. Those who talk to us about a logo have in their mind a perceived idea that they are in need of one without knowing what benefits they would have by having one. Or if they should have one at all.
I will say it here: Everyone does not need a logo!
If you have an Instagram account and like to post images about your enjoyment of the outdoors you may not need a logo. If you have an Instagram account and have the ambition to provide content to the outdoors industry that brings value to the community as an outdoors personality, then you may need a logo. Just having an Instagram account does not necessarily mean you need to invest in a logo.
Let’s talk about who needs a logo and how they will be benefited by it.
But first, You need to consider these things before you choose to have a logo designed for you or your business:
IT IS AN INVESTMENT
Your logo is an investment in you as a business. The logo will go far beyond just placing it on Social Media, as we will discuss later. You get what you pay for in this area. When you seek to cut costs in this area, you may end up with a logo that will need to be replaced in a short amount of time. To ensure that you get a logo that will appeal and stick with your audience, you need to invest in a designer who knows how to make that connection.
FIND A DESIGNER
There are apps out there that will help you generate a basic and common logo. There are people who may be able to use Photoshop or Illustrator. There are websites where you can get a template-style cookie cutter logo for cheap. Can you get away with having a logo designed through those avenues? Absolutely. But the truth is that designers are professionally trained in developing a logo that will connect with your audience and look authentic. Designers have your goals in mind while they are developing your logo for your brand. And here is the difficulty of working with designers, they are not cheap. Just like any career, designers have invested money and hours to develop their craft and business understanding to be able to do what they do. Rest assured that there are many affordable designers out there who do great work.
LOGO DESIGN APPEAL
Your logo needs to appeal to your audience, not just to you. We all have ideas about what we think looks cool. Art and design are subjective. A big tip for you who may want to have a logo is: Your logo is not for you. Your logo is designed to appeal to those you want to connect with. A designer will know how to talk to an audience. Logo design goes far beyond just playing around in Illustrator or Affinity Designer. It requires research and understanding of brand strategy. If you find a designer and are ready to have a logo designed, there are some questions that you need to answer before you hire them.
Now, the question is who can benefit from a logo?
OUTDOORS PRODUCTS BUSINESS
This should be an obvious decision. If you are selling a product to the outdoors industry, a logo is a must for your business. After you have developed your brand strategy, it is time to develop a brand identity system. Logo, color palette, typography, and many other assets are a part of your brand identity system. Your logo will go on all of your products and will be representing you beyond the sale. Outside of products with your logo, you will have extensions like apparel that will allow your audience to get excited about your products and develop a fan base for your brand.
OUTDOORS SERVICE BUSINESS
Offering a service to the outdoors industry? Are you a guide or an outfitter? A logo is necessary as a part of your business. You may offer a service but you are in the same place as a product-driven business. Developing a brand strategy and identity system will align who you are as a servicing brand. Your logo will be a bit different from those brands who sell products. As your logo will not be represented on a product, it will be applied to all extensions of your business. Apparel for people who visit is a must to both represent your brand in the market but also develop some collateral income for you during the “slow season.” Plus, people will be more than happy to spend money on your apparel if they like you as a brand.
So, you want to become a professional in the outdoors industry? Are you going to get into the sport or do you want to become an influencer in the industry? There are many things to consider when deciding to brand yourself as a business. And it IS a business. You are choosing to establish yourself in the market for the sake of gaining sponsors and/or monetary supplication. Just like the businesses I listed above, you will have to establish a brand strategy and then develop an identity system. Your logo will represent who you are and how people will perceive you in the conversation in the outdoors industry. Your logo will be the mark to rally around as you develop a community around your personal brand. Not only will it allow you to be established as a professional, but a logo will also allow you to supplement your income with merchandise. As you may know, people like merchandise. Hoodies, t-shirts, coffee mugs, and many other options will give people a way to support you as a brand.
If you notice there is a theme to the tips listed above: Brand Strategy.
Whether are you a products business, a service business, or a personal brand you will need to have your strategy on point and ready to go before you hire a designer for your logo. You may even be able to find a designer who offers brand strategy and are able to develop both for you in a streamline.