Many entrepreneurs and small business owners confuse the difference between their logo and their brand. Most of the time, they think that their logo is their brand. They’re content with hearing how good their logo looks, and feel that they’ve done enough to represent their business.
In reality, though, slapping your logo across all of your marketing material is not enough. It’s your brand that you need to focus on to make your marketing impactful. Your brand is what gives your logo meaning.
“So no, a logo and a brand are not the same thing.”
A logo is a design element
A logo is merely an element of your design collateral, one of the many facets of your branding. It is something that is easily recognizable, often including a name, symbol or trademark. It’s a quick, visual representation of a brand. If well designed, a logo should evoke some sort of memory and emotion from the viewer – but this is mostly dependent on the brand.
A logo should identify a brand in a way that is recognizable and memorable. It’s an identity system.
Your brand is what you stand for
Your brand is your business identity, and it’s what the business stands for and what it represents. Your brand is the culmination of every interaction that your customers have with your business. It’s a more holistic perspective of how your customers experience your business – how it makes them feel, their relationship with you and what they think of you. It’s forming a connection with your customers.
Your brand involves not only what you look like, but how you speak – your tone, your lingo, your vibe. It’s how honest and transparent you are as a business, and how you want your customers to perceive what you are offering. Businesses need to use their brand identity to get their customers to feel something towards them. A brand should identify a business in a way that is personal, instinctive and emotional. It needs to have a personality.
Focus on your brand
As a consumer, the things that we buy says something about us. Why do consumers choose one particular car brand over another or buy clothes from certain fashion labels? It’s because they relate to what that brand is selling, and they aspire to be what that brand represents. It’s not because they liked the logo.
A logo by itself is simply a graphic element. Your brand, however, is everything about your business. It is both tangible and intangible – representing your business, while giving your logo meaning.
We’re not saying that your logo isn’t important, we’re saying that it’s not the ‘be-all and end-all’ of your business marketing. A well-designed logo combined with a clear, well-researched brand strategy is what will help you effectively and efficiently reach your audience. Your brand strategy will allow you to communicate your message in a more visually attractive way, creating extraordinary and memorable experiences.
Your brand is the invisible thread that pulls all elements of your business together. It should be found in absolutely everything that you do. It extends to your print materials, your website, your social media profiles, your commercials, your partnerships, your store design and all other touchpoints within your business.
It also extends to your company culture, how you speak to each other, and how each of your employees represents your business in their daily lives. You wouldn’t hire a tea drinker to sell coffee, right?
You’ve probably heard of the term, ‘on brand’. Well, this is precisely it. Being ‘on brand’ means maintaining a consistent theme across all touchpoints of your business.
How to be ‘on brand’
When putting your brand strategy together, you need to think about how you can tap into an emotion. How can you get your customers to have a connection with you? How can you get them to believe what you believe?
First off, you need to understand who your customer is. Look into their demographics, what they like to do, their hobbies and how they speak. If your business is already established, do some research to see how your customers are talking about you. Look at Facebook, Instagram, blogs and review sites to see what your customers are saying about you when they think you aren’t listening.
Once you’ve got a good idea of who your customer is, then you need to figure out how to get them to fall in love with you. Think of it as matchmaking. You can’t change your customer though; you can only change the brand. Adjust your brand strategy to speak directly to them, in their own language.
Are your customers young, vibey and flirty or cool, calm and sophisticated? Will they relate to the latest slang on the street, or will it make them cringe? You need to be able to get into their head and predict their reactions.
(customer + good branding = <3)
A simple test to see if you are doing your branding right is if you cover up your logo on your website, business card, brochures or newsletters – can they still be identified as yours? Are they following the same consistency in terms of the message, tone, colours, typefaces and design? Are these elements recognisably YOUR brand?
Let’s build your brand
Kay Media does branding. We don’t stop at logo design. We dive right into the heart of your business to figure out how you are representing yourself. When doing a rebrand, we start from the beginning. Understanding your customers and how to get them to fall in love with your brand. A clear brand strategy is created, with specific design guidelines, precise tone of messaging and general company ethos.
After that, it’s all about carefully implementing your brand strategy into each touchpoint of your business. Considering all aspects of what makes up a brand and integrating that into our design process and marketing strategies.