Start the New Year With a New Logo

Tips for creating a descriptive and effective company logo

Start the New Year With a New Logo


On the first Sunday after New Year’s Day, congregants at a church in Chicago do not wish each other Happy New Year. Instead, they wish each other “Happy New You.” The thinking behind this is that the new year provides an opportunity to shed the past and start fresh.

With the new year fast approaching, some cleaning contractors are starting to examine their businesses. They are looking at what was and was not accomplished during the year and deciding what changes they’d like to make. This is especially true when it comes to the marketing and branding of their companies.

Business owners may consider building a new website; adding more content to their current site; or hiring a marketing, communication, or SEO firm.

However, one small—but essential—thing tends to get overlooked: the company logo. Logos are far more important than you might realize. Moreover, if you are considering giving your company a fresh look for the new year—a new you, so to speak—you probably should start with your logo.

Logo Benefits

A well-designed logo may:

  • Pique the interest of potential customers
  • Impress current clients (make them proud you are their service provider)
  • Differentiate your company from other cleaning contractors
  • Facilitate brand recognition
  • Convey what your brand is all about.

Once a new logo has been created, it should be used everywhere:

  • Company marketing materials
  • Business cards
  • Business gifts
  • Internal and external stationary
  • Email signatures
  • Company websites and social media sites
  • Favicon.

A favicon is the small icon some websites have to the left of their URL address. While not everyone takes advantage of this logo opportunity, most websites allow you to use your company logo as a favicon.

Descriptive vs. Nondescriptive Logos

Most cleaning contractors will turn to a graphic or web designer to develop a new logo. One of the first questions the designer may ask is whether you want a descriptive or nondescriptive logo.

A descriptive logo includes text along with commonly recognized images or designs. These communicate to others the type of products or services you are offering.

A nondescriptive logo, on the other hand, usually has no text.

Here are two examples:

  • The Burger King logo is a descriptive logo. It has a unique design, but to make sure everyone knows what it markets, the word “burger” is prominently written in the logo.
  • McDonald’s took another approach. Their golden arches have no words. However, that was not always the case. Early McDonald’s logos did add the word “hamburgers.”

The same is true of Nike. While the company has used its famous “swoosh” for decades, at one time it added words such as “run” or “Nike” in the logo. Today, neither McDonald’s nor Nike need to do this. Their logos are famous around the world.

While many cleaning contractors would prefer a nondescriptive logo, that may not be the best option. As we have seen with McDonald’s and Nike, in most cases a company must grow into a nondescriptive logo.

Think Descriptive

Here’s another reason that cleaning contractors should select a descriptive logo.

A recent study involving 597 participants and reported in the September 2019 Harvard Business Review found that descriptive logos can be more effective. According to the researchers, “Descriptive logos more favorably impacted consumers’ brand perceptions…and are more likely to improve brand performance.”

Their research also uncovered that descriptive logos:

  • Make brands appear more authentic in consumers’ eyes
  • More favorably impact consumers’ evaluations of brands
  • More strongly increase consumers’ willingness to buy certain brands
  • Can boost a brand’s net sales.

Logos in Review

So, what have we learned?

For cleaning contractors wanting to start the new year fresh, especially when it comes to their marketing approach, a new logo should be at the top of the list. Further, a descriptive logo, with some text, is preferable.

As to the actual design, images, colors, and more, work with a professional graphic designer.Selecting the designer is very important in creating a logo that can be effective for five years, if not longer.

When selecting a graphic designer ask to see examples of his or her work. This will help you narrow down your selection to find the designer who best captures a logo to convey what your company is all about.


Ron Segura

President of Segura Associates

Ron Segura is president of Segura Associates. His company works with large organizations to streamline their cleaning and building operations as well as promote sustainability and healthier cleaning strategies. He can be reached at

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