Your logo Your brand
If you had to choose a word, a phrase, or even a paragraph that described the very essence of your business, that you wished to project to your target audience; what would that be? And then how does this translate form your customers point of view or, what is their experience? Is your logo your brand?
While your logo may be the crown in the jewel, or the first touchpoint for your customer, so much more goes into what makes your logo your brand. Even with common sense design, website and marketing solutions should enlighten and inspire the senses, to truly reflect you and your business in a way that connects and delights your audience.
And so in theory, each time your fans interact with your brand, or an item of your promotional material is read, or an article on your website is opened, it reinforces this core message. To build a bridge that delights and is personal to make every interaction a success, a nod, a wink or a like. To know your audience receives and understands your message.
If we can inject these feelings into our work and promotional material, over time it will become our branding, and will be linked back to our logo branding as a visual trigger. This in turn becomes a very valuable tool for your company to use on all forms of promotional and marketing material.
So what about your company? Do you understand the value of your business branding? In many cases, over time and built up reputation your brand can be more valuable to your business than your tangible assets. Although largely intangible, your brand embodies the very essence of your goods and services, symbolised in a logo, but conjuring up many emotions and responses by the public.
For example, New York brand consultants Interbrand has estimated Coca Cola’s brand value at US $69 billion! A crazy figure and who knows how they arrived at it. The point is though, market research will show time and again that most people agree that Pepsi tastes better than Coca Cola when the brands are unknown. However when the taste tester knows what brand they are drinking, the test results are reversed and the results show that most like the taste of Coca Cola over Pepsi! This is clearly an emotional and loyal response to one of the world’s most well known products and brands since its inception in 1886.
(Consequently if you look on the Coca Cola website, their company summary states: “The Coca Cola Company exists to benefit and refresh everyone it touches”. Nice, direct, and accurate!)
Now not many people are dealing with a brand as enormous as Coca Cola, but through good brand management and market research to devise your brand strategy, you can capitalise and develop a strong brand image for your business that will also incite the desired response from your target audience.
Below are some tips on how to develop, nurture and use your brand through your logo and marketing material to the best advantage for your business:
1. ANALYSE IT: It may just be a logo in your mind, but look at it honestly. Are you proud of it, does it have the look you’re trying to project to your customer? Does it look fresh and up to date, or have you outgrown it?
2. FIX IT: Depending on what stage your business is it, maybe a total redesign of your logo is in order. As your business has grown and diversified, your logo may not have! Perhaps a fine tune is in order. Whatever your decision, if you have the budget, we recommend using an experienced designer at this point. Your identity is so important and as your logo appears on everything, it should be the best it possibly can be!
3. APPLY IT: Now that you’re happy with your logo, look at its application to all bits of marketing and promotional paraphernalia, business stationery, placement on product packaging, websites… the whole box and dice. If it’s going to work best for you, it has to be applied to everything, and consistency is paramount.
4. REFERENCE IT: I cannot emphasise enough how critical this is. You need to ensure company colours, fonts, and the general integrity of your logo and its application can be quickly referenced in a manual. Small or large, depending on your business size, this is a guide supplied to all who use your logo and thus promote your brand. You must protect its integrity.
5. TRADEMARK IT: Why go to all of this trouble if you don’t trademark and protect your brand! To find out how, go to www.ipaustralia.gov.au.
6. LIVE IT: While a picture paints a thousands words, a creative and consistent visual identity is only part of your brand. The way your business and product performs is also a big player in setting you apart from your competition.Really know who you are, who you supply and the service you provide, and your brand will evolve with you.You must keep your staff up to speed in this area too, they must learn to live and breathe your brand if it is too develop in the way you wish.
Last but not least, there is no set formula to branding. It’s very individual. What makes Your logo Your brand? Your business history, your client relationships, your existing logo… these are all the building blocks to developing your brand image. The way that customers feel about your brand, including personal experience, rumour, belief and other information filtered through when dealing with your company is the real measure of your business’ brand.
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