Is It Okay To Use An Emoji In Marketing? Can I Have One In My Logo?

Jul 12, 2019 | Advertising, Blog, Business

As a business owner, you know some business concepts are timeless. For instance, playing fair and providing quality products or services are tried & true ones. But, as the world changes, things like technology, transportation, and communication can change, the lay of the land in the business world changes with them. The advent of the internet age has opened a myriad of new channels for businesses to spread their messages. And that means, you’ll certainly have new questions to ask and answer for your company—questions like can you use emoji in marketing?

Business for the 21st century

Certainly, a business owner wouldn’t have asked that 100 years ago. Naturally, you have plenty of other questions, too. For instance, you may be wondering how often is too often to reach out to customers on social media or via email. Additionally, you could be mulling over whether you need to be on social media at all. Or you might simply be considering which modern media and technologies your company should choose. 

Today, let’s set aside most of your other Cyber Age questions and zero in on emoji in marketing. Why? It’s simple—July 17th is World Emoji Day. So it’s a perfect time to address these remarkably popular little visuals. 😍🎉🙌

Emoji vs emoticon

Some may use the terms emoji and emoticon interchangeably. But, here today, we’re talking about those little pictures you’ll find on your texting keyboard and elsewhere. Don’t get us wrong we’re not knocking emoticons — the punctuation “faces” used to express emotion. (Like the  : ) emoticon or the ; ) emoticon). We’re just not talking about them today. 

Can I use emoji in marketing?

Let’s say you’re sitting at your desk masterminding your business strategy for the next year (or two or five). You’re brainstorming ways to appeal to your customers and clients, and emoji is on the table. You use them all the time in personal communication, maybe even while you’re talking to co-workers or clients. But you’re wondering if you can use emoji for other purposes, too. 

Neon emoji signs

Can you use emoji in marketing? 🤔 Of course, you can! 😊 Maybe you even should. And if you do, you’ll be joining the ranks of other companies, even big ones, who are doing it. 

From Hilton Hotels to Ford Motor Company to Chick-Fil-A, you’ll find emojis in the social media feeds of major companies. If they’re doing it, you can too. Even Walmart gets in on the emoji action, too. And The Royal Family uses emojis on Instagram and Twitter. Which tells us something about the social acceptability of using the graphics on social media. 

Can I use an emoji in my logo?

Aside from emoji in marketing, you may also be wondering about using them in a logo. This is a great question. If emoji are good for your business, then the more the better, right? Perhaps you think a logo emoji would be the perfect way to craft a whimsical, fun-loving company image.

You might be tempted to find the nearest emoji and send it off to your graphic designer. After all, we’re used to having them near at hand and using them at will. But before you use one in your logo, you need to look into your legal obligations. The blog at LizerbramLaw.com addresses some relevant content in their article Are Emoji Protected by Copyright? 

If your company already has an attorney, check with them first. If not, it may be time to consult one before finalizing your logo. (Or even before designing it, depending on the stage you’re in).  On the other hand, your logo’s graphic designer may also be a source of information on the topic. 

Market with your company, your medium, & your clients in mind

Crafting great marketing media for your company or organization could certainly include emojis. Naturally, you want to take what your group does into account and harness emoji (or not) accordingly. Remember that you can have too much of a good thing. 

Various emoji balloons

Additionally, emoji in marketing might be great for some businesses, but unnecessary for others. If you’re a food truck or a local cafe crafting social media posts, emojis might be just the thing. For a funeral home creating marketing emails, emoji could appear tasteless. 

More than emoji in marketing

Of course, emoji in marketing is just one part of the marketing picture. There are other things to consider, too. To get you started, check out The Importance Of Brand Awareness To The Success Of Your Business. Also, try 5 Of The Worst Mistakes You Can Make With Your Promotional Materials

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