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How to Test Your Logo and Win Hearts & Minds

Logo testing is a necessary skill that can come in handy anytime. We've created a step-by-step guide to testing logo ideas for your brand.

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Knowing how to test your logo is a skill that we aren’t necessarily taught in school. But it can come in handy, that’s for sure; when you’re developing a new company, when you’re looking to refresh your current logo lockup, or when you’re running a full rebranding process from scratch. If done right, logo testing can help you compare different logo ideas and accurately predict which logo is the most unique and relevant for your brand values and to your target audiences

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Why test your logo?

Some of the best logos are the ones that tell the story of your brand, while also being simple and unique. It’s a balance that can be pretty hard to nail, but that can lift your logo to the status of ‘iconic’ if you get it right.

If you want to learn what else makes a ‘good’ logo and find some examples of logos that inspire, check out this post.

Why test your logo ideas?

  • Test your logo to determine which logo idea has the most potential for success with your audience

    That’s why you test your logo in the first place, right? To understand which one you should get behind and invest in. The benefit of testing different initial logo concepts in development is that you’ll be confident in your final decision; each option, when assessed against each other, will have been properly validated.

  • Test your logo to back up your gut instincts with quantifiable data

    Imagine that you’ve got a handful of stakeholders developing a new logo,  and each person thinks that their logo idea is the one. How can you be sure which one will be best-received without tangible proof? Logo testing is the answer. It can reveal not only which logo idea makes the most sense to your audience, but can also act as evidence to rally around as a team.

  • Test your logo to understand areas for improvement or tweaking

    Testing logo ideas is a very humbling exercise because it can show you where your logo might be lacking. Maybe the typeface doesn’t work with your audience, or the colour choices don’t stand out enough. While this might not be the most inspiring part of the exercise, try not to  be discouraged by the results; use this data to improve what you’ve designed so far and create an even better logo. 

How to test your logo

1. Identify your logo testing goals 

There are several things you should consider before you start testing your logo ideas. For the purpose of explaining why this is so important, let’s use an example: imagine you work for an energy bar brand that wants to replace people’s typical cereal breakfasts with their product offering. With this in mind, here are some things you’d want to consider:

    • What is the most important positioning point for your brand? 

      • A professional brand that cares about people’s nutrition?

      • A fun brand that wants to make breakfast your favourite time of the day?

      • A sports-oriented brand that helps you feel energized for the day ahead?

    • What are the most important features and benefits you want to reinforce with your brand and product?

      • Is it nutritional value?

      • Is it taste and flavour?

      • Is it the ingredients used?

    • Who are your target customers and what are their needs and pain points?

      • Are they stressed out college and university students who sometimes forget to eat in the morning?

      • Are they business men and women, who work late hours and need something quick in the morning?

      • Are they children and teenagers, who have sports and extracurricular activities in the morning and after school?

    Answering these questions will help you narrow down your research and move on to the next steps of testing your logo. 

    2. Determine what you want to test about your logo options

    It’s crucial that you understand which metrics you want to measure when testing logos. Typically, when testing a logo, it makes sense to select one of these four metrics to test: appeal, relevance, credibility, or uniqueness. Each of these metrics will be more or less important for you depending on what your brand stands for and what you’re looking to achieve with your logo.

    Going back to the example of the energy bar company, they’d need to understand what that ‘thing’ they’re testing is: let’s say they want to check how relevant their logo options are with their target audience. Some examples of questions could be:

    • Does this logo inspire you to eat healthier?

    • Does this logo give you a sense of energy? 

    • Does this colour palette look appetizing to you?

      3. Gather qualitative feedback when testing your logo options

      Now that you’ve determined the focus of your survey, it’s time to test your logos. It’s always good practice to have several logo ideas to test against each other, or variations of the same logo. This way you’ll find out what option works best with your target audience based on the metrics you’ve pinpointed as important. 

      Alongside the quantitative feedback you’ll get by testing the logo variations, it’s a great idea to introduce follow-up questions that allow people to give honest feedback in their own words. And it helps to be specific about the answers you’re looking for. Instead of just asking if people like this logo, make your questions more open to feedback. For instance, as an energy bar brand, you could ask:

      • What type of product or service do you think this business provides?

      • What types of people do you think this brand serves best?

      • What association do you make with this logo? 

      When you’re working on a logo design for weeks or months, you might be susceptible to bias, overlooking the things that your logo could lack. Therefore, these types of questions can help you pinpoint where your brand currently stands and where your logo could be off-base. We’re telling you, logo testing is a humbling practice!

      4. Review your logo testing results 

      Your study results are back and it’s time to analyze them. Get to know how effective each logo idea was and how the options performed against the business metrics you care about. Does one or a few of the options align with what you’re looking to achieve, and are there any areas of opportunity that you can tap into? 

      As an energy bar company, you might find out that your primary audience didn’t like the futuristic typeface of your top-performing logo, but absolutely loved the green colour in a logo that didn’t perform well overall. Perhaps, it makes sense for you to explore this colour in the new design or find a way to incorporate it into other areas of your branding (e.g. website design, marketing campaigns, etc.). 

      We hope these simple steps gave you a sense of how to test your logo, regardless of where you’re at in your journey. If you want to see what logo testing looks like in practice, connect with an Upsiide expert and discover which logo best represents your brand and best aligns with your target audiences.