29 Jan “Why did you choose the knight as your logo?” – Iconic Reveals All
It’s a funny question we hear a lot. “Why did you choose the knight to represent Iconic Digital when branding the company?” The easy answer: “Because it’s perfect for our brand message”.
We believe in strong imagery when designing logos and brand marks. It’s easy in our field to pull a very abstract design together, marry it with hot colors, and convince clients the abstractness of the design is a good thing “because it makes people ask questions”. As silly as that sounds, it’s actually a common tactic used by some very highly reputed branding firms. While we do not profess to be the end-all authority on the matter, Iconic Digital’s branding strategy requires a different approach. We want to tell a story of the brand from the first time our target market sees ANY representation of it.
With less abstract branding strategy, your first impression has a chance to make a first impression.
Wait, what? Think about it. You’re at a fundraiser that my brand sponsored and a banner hangs in the lobby showing all sponsors with my logo at the top. My logo consists of three circles connected together each with a trendy vibrant color. Next to them is my name: BFD, Inc. You are not at all familiar with our company. If you stood in front of the banner looking at logos, do you think I would have made ANY impression, let alone a good one? That’s the problem with abstract imagery and three letter company names. Sure, it may look great and be easy to remember (debatable). The harsh reality is that if you are not communicating anything with your branding strategy, the brand is absolutely forgettable. If your logo doesn’t play a role in your brand’s story, it is not really a valuable component of your brand. That’s not exactly the outcome companies seek to achieve when spending money on branding.
Your brand imagery should grab someone’s attention and say something about what you do or what value you provide from the first glimpse. It’s fun to be mysterious and deep with design. Just remember that there is a line between a mystery and obscurity that you do not want to cross. Your brand has a story. Don’t miss opportunities to tell it!
So what’s up with the knight? What’s your story?
The knight moves differently. While all the other chess pieces move in straight lines (forward, back, left, right, diagonal), the knight chooses a different path. The path is often unpredictable. It can be highly disruptive and can confuse the straight-liners.
In chess, each straight line mover has a different number of spaces it can move, based on the amount of power it has. The strength of an individual straight line piece remains relatively stable regardless of who is playing the game. The knight, on the other hand, can be one of the weakest pieces or the strongest pieces on the board. It’s power level is controlled by the player’s skill level, creativity, and imagination. A well-played knight is disruptive, nimble, and efficient.
The knight represents our company AND our target market. Our target market is small- to medium-sized businesses that choose not to be restricted to straight line movements based solely on a predefined food chain. They may not have the budget of a Goliath in their market, but if they move differently and employ the services of skilled players, they can be some of the most powerful competitors.
As a group, we strive to help clients achieve success. As a competitor with other branding and website design firms, we also must move differently. Too often, “creative agencies” follow suit with other competitors. Many smaller agencies will fail because they seek to play a straight line game with the power of a pawn (1 space movements) against more powerful, well-fundecd competitors (queens, rooks, bishops). To us, this strategy plays right into the hands of the slow moving high dollar firms. Instead, we choose to make moves that are harder to predict until an “up two, over one” movement comes out of nowhere to cripple the competition and demoralize a straight line movement.
Would you like to employ similar creative tactics or continue the old tactics of trying to outspend all your competitors?