Today we’re covering the basics of why your brand is not just a logo and is actually a mixture of visual and written elements that make you think, feel and act.
A few weeks ago, while on the phone with a potential web design client, I asked about their branding… were they happy with their branding or did they want to give that a little refresh along with the website?
Their response was one I’ve received many times, “I love my logo, so I think I’m okay.”
Yes, having a logo that you love is important but your brand is so much more than a logo.
Okay, then what is a brand?
Total aside, if you’re ever bored, look up the meaning of a brand on Google and get lost in the rabbit hole of the seventeen million options available.
While there is no shortage of definitions and interpretations of what a brand is, I’d argue that the one constant is this: a brand is the way a company makes you think, feel and act.
One of the most famous quotes on branding is from Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos and he says, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
So where does the logo fit into this?
A logo is one piece of the brand puzzle. It’s an identifier of your brand. If it’s strong enough (think Apple or Nike) it can make you think, feel or act a certain way. However, it’s not the ONLY element of a brand. Think of the logo more as the lead in a play; it serves a very important role but it is nothing without the support from the rest of the cast.
Of course having an eye-catching logo is the goal – I mean, duh. But a logo isn’t the be-all-end-all when it comes to your brand. It’s more like the starting point. The tip of the iceberg. The first book in the Harry Potter series. It’s the beginning of a journey. It’s what builds brand recognition. But, it’s only part of the story.
What else makes up a brand?
Creating a brand that has an influence over someone’s thoughts and feelings, and drives action comes from a combination of visual and written elements that connect with your ideal audience.
From a visual perspective, a cohesive brand uses the same colors, fonts, photography style and graphics. These pieces are the supporting cast to the brand’s logo and it’s imperative that they’re consistent.
When it comes to the written word, each brand has a certain tone and writing style. The goal is to create a cohesive brand voice throughout the various touchpoints with your audience. A great example of this is the Wendy’s Twitter account – it’s snarky and sarcastic. While the Wendy’s Facebook page isn’t as conversational as their Twitter account, the tone of voice is similar in nature and consistent with their Twitter writing style.
It’s so easy to think that your logo is the most important part of your brand and get lost in the minute details of perfecting it. But, a brand is so much more than a logo and is made up of visual and written elements that, over time, can foster community, build connection, influence thoughts and make people act.
Creating a brand doesn’t happen overnight and your company’s branding can be fluid – as your business changes and evolves, so will your branding. The most important concept to remember is that your brand is what helps your business build relationships and create trust with your audience.
All my best,