Lots of people think that branding begins and ends with a brand-new logo. And although they work together to build a memorable identity, many businesses overlook the true potential of what a brand can accomplish, settling for just a logo and color palette.
Let’s look at this a little further...
A logo is a business’ mark in its simplest form. It could be simple typography, a symbol, or both.
A brand is the emotion someone experiences when they interact with your company, at any level. A brand bears much more responsibility than a logo. It’s what people feel, see, taste, and the words they share about your product or service.
Branding can be mistaken for the combination of color, typography and symbols that represent your company, but it’s much more than that.
Branding is your strategy. The whats, whys, and hows of your business. It’s your mission, values, and the culture you create between employees and customers. Your branding truly represents who you are as people, and creators.
A brand is your employees and the connections they make. When customers experience poor communication, this is part of your brand.
A brand is your call to action. If someone visits your website and feels pressured or even tricked into converting, this is part of your brand.
You can't update your logo and expect your customers to suddenly buy into a new story. For a brand to evolve, change must come from the heart of the business. You must know where you’re going, how you’re getting there, and who you want to be along the way.
In today’s saturated market, a brand must promote a unique offering in an original way, but this will only get you so far. Attractive branding is merely the foundation, but it’s the perception formed and fostered by the public which will determine success. A brand’s audience is what truly shapes it.
Branding is a critical element of any business. Let’s look at why…
A logo is just a visual cue, the experiences that you recall when you see that logo is branding. Your brand includes many elements that are each individually important and that come together to create something memorable for your customers. Brands are complex and logos aren’t. Developing and maintaining your brand is the key to having a successful business.
If you don’t know your company’s aims and how they are going to be achieved, then no matter how fancy your logo is, your brand won’t flow.
It takes a great understanding of your product, the market you compete in, and your customers to develop a brand that sticks in the hearts and minds of consumers.
Your brand also includes your customer service. If you don’t respond to clients, or if your employees seem disinterested when customers are trying to engage with them, this reflects badly on your brand.
Constant and consistent communication with your customers is necessary to form a brand. You must connect with your consumers on an emotional level, as well as on a logical and intellectual level.
A brand image signifies an established company. It helps you appear professional by increasing your credibility and building trust with customers. A lot of customers look for well-defined companies to do business with. The ‘look and feel’ (branding) of a business often has an impact on the decision to make a purchase, and having a brand will help your business attract more clients.
3 important factors...
The why, or big idea that is behind your unique brand promise.
What you believe in, how your business operates, and where you want to go in the future.
Sets the tone for visuals and language, to reflect the internal culture of the business and define how the business expresses its offer to the market.
Refresh branding periodically as an ongoing investment rather than treating it as an expense. It ensures that your branding remains relevant to your target audience. This is crucial for your credibility. You do not necessarily have to change your logo, sometimes a few design tweaks are all that is needed.
A brand elicits an emotional response, it is the sum-total of all the engagement a person has had with your company. Ultimately, brand is about caring about your business at every level and in every detail. From the big things like mission and vision, to your people, your customers, and every interaction anyone is ever going to have with you, no matter how small.
Whether you’re a start-up, small business, or large company, having great branding has a massive impact on how successful your business can be.