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When First Impressions Matter: What does your logo say about your business?

Paul Stainton
Paul Stainton on December 16, 2016 - 8:01 am in Logo Design

Your smile. Your handshake. Your clothes. Whether it be in a personal or professional setting, these are all elements that help make a positive first impression.

The same applies in business. From the look of your storefront or office space, to the condition of your company vehicles, to the greeting your receptionist offers, to your logo, it all makes a difference in how you are perceived during those first crucial few seconds. Together, those elements answer one very important question:

Will potential customers trust you enough to give you their business? 

We, as a society, are busy. We don’t always take the time to understand what helps us formulate our opinions of people or businesses. But, as a business owner, it is very important that you take the time to understand what kind of impression you are making.

Certain small businesses can afford to be a little more cavalier about first impressions, because the risk a customer takes when hiring or purchasing from you is minimal. 

Potential customers may be far less concerned with the overall brand conveyed by their local dollar store. Or, they may not care that the company that mows their lawn has a well-crafted professional image.

That’s why many small businesses, seasonal businesses or part-time businesses rely on friends, family or acquaintances to design their first business logo. 

Or, perhaps, those companies have not yet realized that a small investment in a professionally designed logo can make a big difference to their business. 

Small businesses need to make a good first impression

Smart small business owners know that they can’t run the risk of having their logo — a key part of their first impression — designed by anyone but a professional. They know that they need something that positively reflects the quality of their products or services right from the start. This is especially important in certain industries, where trust goes beyond the financial aspects of handing over money, but also to the potential impact on their customer’s everyday lives.

At Deluxe, we see that on a regular basis. Certain types of businesses are much more willing to invest in a well-designed, professional logo because they understand the importance. For those businesses, the wrong logo could cost them thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars.

Take your local dentist, for example. Below are two very different approaches; without thinking about it too much, which one inspires more confidence at a glance?


Even the instinctive decision that one dental practice “looks” less professional could send potential customers to their competition.

This applies to a wide variety of businesses, in a variety of ways.

Think about the importance of conveying that message of trust when considering certain products or services.

  • Building Contractors — Are they trustworthy enough to stick around and finish the job? Will the work be completed correctly? 
  • Real Estate Agents — Will they truly help you get the best value for your home and/or get the best home for the money you have to spend? Or are they more concerned with their commission check than your happiness?
  • Business Consultants — Can you trust them with something as important as your business and your livelihood?
  • Education & Childcare — Will you feel comfortable trusting these individuals or businesses with the most precious part of your life?
  • Insurance Brokers — Will they be there when you need them most?
  • Banks — Is your hard-earned money safe with them?
  • Doctors — Your life is literally in their hands; are they up for the job?
  • Plumbers — Can you afford them? Will they do the job right?

Making the RIGHT first impression is crucial

With a logo, it’s not just about looking good. The right message has to be conveyed to the right potential customers.

A well-designed logo can convey quality and trust with the right usage of colors, fonts and imagery. Plus, an experienced logo designer knows how to convey the right message:

  • They know when and how to make a logo look professional but not too fancy, as too fancy can equate to high price tags in a customer’s mind.
  • They understand when personality is important.
  • They understand how to be casual when needed, because you don’t want to show up to the family picnic wearing a tuxedo.
  • They know the right questions to ask to understand your business and what makes it unique.

There are many options when it comes to getting a logo designed for your business, just as there are many options when it comes to purchasing an outfit for a critical business meeting.

Making the right choice can make all the difference to the short-term and long-term success of your business.

Get the secrets to great logo design with our comprehensive guide

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