It’s always interesting to hear a business owner say,
“I have a logo. And business cards. That’s my brand, right?”
Ah, well then, if that’s what you think about your business and your brand, then there’s a bit of bad news coming your way:
Your logo is not your brand.
Not even close. But it’s easy to see why you might get confused. Logos usually do become the “face” of a business, usually the first thing people recognize and remember. So it’s easy to see why you might assume that the logo alone is your “brand”.
So if your logo isn’t your brand-then what is?
Definitions of “brand” are plentiful and varied. Here’s a few:
- it’s the promise you make to your buyers;
- it’s what people come to expect from doing business with you;
- it’s that “one thing” your clients come to associate with you;
- it’s the way your business is different from your competitors;
- it’s what you stand for.
- to a great extent, your brand is your reputation.
These days though, brand has come to mean how people feel about your business. Yes, it’s all about the relationships, the way a company makes you feel, all that touchy-feely stuff. Think about companies like Starbucks, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Apple, Swarovski. And honestly, when such names come up we usually have fairly strong feelings about them. That’s right. Feelings.
So I have to tell you that your brand has little to do with colour swatches, trendy typefaces, or Pinterest mood boards. It actually has to do with
- the clients you serve and the specific way you do it;
- your vision and purpose in serving those clients;
- the experience you provide, time after time
- and finally, it’s about how you communicate all of that to your audience.
And that’s why these days I’m not loving checking my email and finding requests to “design a logo.”
Inquiries like that tell me that a potential client hasn’t thought carefully about what their brand actually is and the “big picture” for their business. It tells me that they are often in a rush, and that their logo is simply one item to tick off their to-do list.
Here’s something I want you to remember: a logo isn’t something that you pick off a shelf. You don’t just “make it work” with the rest of your visual brand.
Your logo should be the cornerstone of your entire visual brand…and not an afterthought. It should be the foundation of your visual brand. But before you can create that visual brand you have to think about what “your brand” actually IS. Once you’ve spent some quality time doing that, then you can look around for a designer that will create a business image with a professional, consistent, put-together look made just for you.
And that’s why I don’t want to just design your logo. I want you and your business to have a visual brand that reflects what your business is really about. This isn’t something that gets created in an afternoon, so if you think that you need to investigate this some more, I will be glad to help. My goal is to create an accurate reflection of what you really do and why. And the plan needed to share that vision with your audience.
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