When we design logos, a frequent request from our client is to make the logo difficult to replicate. It got me thinking about some of the most famous brands: Apple, Nike, McDonalds, and Target. Heck, Mastercard’s logo is merely two circles overlapping in a Venn-Diagram-inspired orange-toned fever dream. Just two circles. Literally, anyone can remake this.
Or look at Target, which decided to make its logo a… target. You get the idea. Simple.
These logos are simple and easy to remake. But they are also memorable. Here is the thing, complexity is harder to create and more difficult to remember.
I believe our clients are instinctually trying to avoid competitors ripping them off. This desire is understandable; they aren’t Target, Mastercard, or Apple. But the more significant issue isn’t how easy their logo is to remake – it is their market position. When you become a market leader, you don’t worry as much about competition ripping you off because your customers already know the difference. They aren’t fooled easily.
That is the core issue; your brand needs to be a market leader!
Don’t worry about your logo being easy to replicate; worry about increasing your leadership in your market until it doesn’t matter.
- The biggest brands have simple logos because simple is easier to remember.
- Worrying about being copied is a distraction from the real, hard work.
- Marketplace leadership is the way to limit being ripped off, not needless complexity.