Updated: Apr 14, 2020
You’ve got this cool, new logo but nobody knows you. So, how can you reach those most important to your business' growth?
Reality check. Your logo is not your brand. On its own, a logo won’t speak to your audience.
Top business leaders know that brand building is more than your logo. The logo is a key element that could influence the visual perception of an audience. But top business leaders also know the logo is just the start. Branding is the foundation, the follow-through and the last impression.
Here are some of the branding mistakes you might be making:
• Not researching or understanding your audience
• Imposing your own opinions and preferences
• Thinking your logo alone is going to sell your service
• Not keeping your brand consistent
• Forgetting that your brand is built on an experiential foundation
To put things in perspective, your brand is made up of elements such as your website, advertisements, brochures, business cards, communications, social media platforms, and any other methods you use to get your message to your audience. This is the ‘package’ you are offering customers, and your logo becomes your mark of quality and service. The design should flip the light switch in the customer’s mind and remind them of who you are. Your logo is that little ‘bzzzt’ reminder for customers that you have more to offer than your competitors.
Creating your brand starts with asking the difficult questions, Identifying your audience and realizing that your brand is not what you say, it's what they say it is. Many business owners make the mistake of knowing from the get-go what their brand should be, and it usually starts and ends with a logo sketch or design. Brands cater to people, and people want to know their opinion matters. Start by listening, then analyze and do your best to tell their story through a full brand strategy and creative. You should always complete the process with a proper strategy document for your team as well as a full-range brand style guide.
Effective branding and a well-thought-out strategy will increase your business’ value. Hand-in-hand with your logo, it generates customers and creates trust. Your audience sees the pride with which you uphold your company brand, ultimately carrying through to the service your brand provides. Trust and service to your audience will undoubtedly drive profits!
In 2019 stats show that 82% of investors want the companies they invest in to have a strong brand and 95% of companies have formal brand guidelines. This shows that in addition to a business plan, the second most important element you should complete to grow your business is a full brand strategy and brand creative guide. Without these elements, your business is likely to fall flat on execution.
For example, a top brand like Nike is clearly defined by its logo, but Nike’s branding influence certainly doesn’t stop there. If Nike relied solely on its logo, it would long since have become boring and more likely defunct.
Nike keeps its brand alive through advertising, partnering with big corporations and sponsors and most popularly, uses famous personalities to ‘wear’ them. They regularly endorse sports stars and sports teams, offering free clothing, footwear, backpacks, water bottles and a myriad of other products with their logo emblazoned on them. This is their most common branding strategy, among the obvious other methods such as social media, storefront design, presence at marketing fairs, product fairs, etc.
The Financial Times Top Brands Ranking 2019 shows Amazon, initially simply an online marketplace for books, now a multi-national tech company delving into everything from the sale of electronics to food, holding the number one position on the list as one of the best brands throughout the world. Even Coca Cola was only number 14 out of a hundred. So, what can we learn from the big brands?
Author, Denise Lee Yohn breaks it down in her book, What Great Brands Do that Separates the Best from the Rest. She refers immediately to the fact that great brands “start inside”, building the brand with the wonderful, skilled people onboard, and speaking to their audience, asking questions. Great brands really do “sweat the small stuff” and make them count. Your logo exists to present the face of your brand to the world, only the tip of the iceberg, that first impression. Your brand is the underlying research, strategy and analytics required to leave that positive lasting impression.