There are a lot of aspects to successful branding, but having a good logo is one of the most important ones. If you run a membership site, your membership logo is often the first thing people will see when they stumble upon your brand — so it’s essential that you create a logo that expresses what your community and personal brand are all about.
In this article, we will take a closer look at branding, membership logos, and how you can create the perfect one for your needs.
What Is Branding and Why Does It Matter?
Branding is the process of creating a name, identity, and image for a product, service, or company. A strong brand will help you to differentiate your offering from the competition and build trust and loyalty with your target audience.
Generally speaking, branding is misunderstood because a lot of people assign it to one tactic or another — when, in reality, a powerful brand is a collection of many different elements working together.
A brand is not just a logo, it’s not just a color scheme, and it’s certainly not just a tagline. A brand is an emotional connection that people have with a company or product, built with the help of:
- Well-chosen colors that send out the right message
- A unique and memorable logo
- An easily recognizable font
- A style guide that ensures consistency across all channels
- A specific Tone of Voice used across in all marketing and advertising texts
For the purpose of this article, we will elaborate more on one of these elements — logos — and we will apply it to membership sites to see how you can create a logo that will perfectly represent your brand.
Homework before Anything: Research Your Ideal Audience
Before we dive deeper into how to build your membership logo, we should first the foundation of your entire brand: your ideal audience.
Researching and documenting who is your ideal member is one of the most important steps you can take when starting a membership site. Once you know who you’re talking to, it will be much easier to create marketing assets, generate good content, and build a business strategy focused on revenue growth. It will also be much easier to know where you want to take your brand — and how to build it in a way that reflects your values and what your membership site is all about.
To help you get started, here are some questions you should ask yourself when trying to identify your ideal member:
- What is their age?
- What is their gender?
- What is their occupation?
- What are their interests?
- What are their needs?
- What are their fears?
- What are their aspirations?
Once you have a clear image of your ideal customer, document everything and refer back to it when you create any kind of content or marketing asset, to make sure you adjust your strategy and messaging accordingly.
Think of Your Unique Selling Proposition
Say you already know who your “Ideal Buyer Persona” is.
How about you, though?
Who are you, and what is your promise? What is the value you plan to bring into your members’ lives?
In other words, what is your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?
A USP is a specific feature (or set of features) that makes your product or service different from and better than the competition. It’s what sets you apart and makes you memorable in the minds of your target customers.
Some examples of strong USPs include :
“The only membership site that helps you to improve your memory”
“The most affordable membership site for busy moms”
“The membership site with the fastest delivery time on the market”
If you don’t have a USP yet, sit down and brainstorm until you come up with one. A great USP doesn’t happen overnight, so don’t worry about not knowing it from the get-go. Even more, you might even have to go through several iterations of your USP to find the one that perfectly encapsulates what your brand is all about.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when building out your USP:
- What are the main benefits of my membership site?
- How does my membership site differ from others in my industry?
- What makes me unique?
Remember, a great USP is short, sweet, and to the point. Be as specific as possible while still being able to communicate what you do in just a few words. Here are some examples on how your Unique Selling Proposition could sound:
- “The only membership site that helps you to improve your memory by 95%”
- “The most affordable membership site for busy moms”
- “Become a better marketer in just 2 hours a week”
And What Is a Membership Logo, More Exactly?
A membership logo is a graphical representation of your membership site’s identity, made up of an image (or images) and/or text that communicates the essence of who you are and the value you bring to your members.
In other words, it’s the face of your brand that people will see every time they visit your site, social channels, see your invoices, or receive an email from you.
The Importance of a Logo
Logos are extremely important. So important that 75% of people recognize a brand by its logo. Apple wouldn’t be Apple without its logo — and neither would Nike, Coca-Cola, or McDonald’s.
A great logo will make your membership site more recognizable and trustworthy in the eyes of your target audience. By continuously using your logo across all your marketing assets (and distributing them correctly), you will increase your brand’s recall value, which is the likelihood that your target customers will remember your brand when they need it.
Several mental processes play into how humans perceive logos. On the one hand, logos are tightly connected to imagery and symbols — and the human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text.
On the other hand, when your logo is everywhere, people will be more likely to tap into the Mere Exposure Effect — a psychological phenomenon that dictates that the more often people see something, the more they will like it.
So if you want people to like your membership site, make sure they see your logo as often as possible!
The Essential Elements of a Good Membership Logo
Alright, so having a membership logo is essential — and in order to have that, you must first clarify your Ideal Buyer (Member) Persona and your Unique Selling Proposition.
What, more exactly, does a good membership logo look like? What are the specific elements that make great, memorable, and effective logos?
Of course, this might vary a lot from one case to another, but in general, the following best practices will help you create a logo that hits the mark:
Use Easy-to-Read Fonts
Your membership logo should be easily readable, both in small sizes (like on social media profile pictures) and large ones (like on billboards). Some of the more popular (and easy-to-read) fonts include Helvetica, Arial, and sans-serif fonts in general
Script fonts like Baskerville, Goudy, and Garamond can also work well for more luxurious membership sites.
Limit Yourself to 2-3 Colors
The human brain can only process a limited amount of information at one time. For this reason, it’s best to limit your membership logo to 2-3 colors, no more. Ideally, they are your brand colors (which you have already set up before diving into the logo creation process.)
Keep It Simple
The best logos are usually the simplest ones: an apple, an “M”, a swoosh.
Why? Because simple logos can be quickly associated with a certain brand.
Don’t give your potential customers/ members more work: keep your logo simple, as they are already bombarded with tons of information every day. The simpler your logo is, the more likely it is they’ll actually remember it.
Use a Graphical Element
Most membership logos have a graphical element (an image, icon, or symbol) in addition to the name of the site.
This graphical element needs to be minimalistic and easy to remember, so it can be quickly associated with your brand.
Your graphical element could be anything that’s related to your niche. It can be a book or a quill if you teach people how to write. It can be a ladle if you rally people around your cooking courses. Or it can be a graphical representation of Venus if you’re running an astronomy club.
Make Sure It’s Scalable and Looks Good in Black and White
Your membership logo should also look good in black and white, as it will be often printed on documents, invoices, and so forth.
This is why it’s best to use vector images (created in programs like Adobe Illustrator) for your logo. With vector images, you can easily resize them without losing quality — and you can turn them into black and white without any issues.
Use Negative Space Creatively
Negative space is the area around your graphical element or text. If you want to add a touch of uniqueness to your membership logo, use this space intelligently. For instance, Amazon’s logo has an arrow between the letters “A” and “Z” — symbolizing that they sell everything from A to Z.
Some membership logos are elegant and memorable, while others are tacky and forgettable.
If you want your logo to be in the first category, stay away from cliches and overused symbols. This means no cheesy images (like a shaking hand for a real estate company) or blue/ green globes with white clouds (for an eco-friendly travel site).
Hire a Professional Designer
A great membership logo design will give your site an instant boost of professionalism and trustworthiness. So if you have the budget for it, we definitely recommend hiring a designer to create your membership logo.
However, if you want to stay within a tight budget, you can create your own logo using a free online logo maker like Canva, which offers a wide variety of logo templates to choose from, to create a membership logo free.
Conclusion: Have Fun with It!
Creating a membership logo shouldn’t feel like a chore — this is actually one of the fun parts of writing your own solopreneurship adventure!
So have fun with it, explore different directions, and trust your gut feeling. If you’re proud of your membership logo, chances are other people will like it too.