Do you have a brand or just a logo?
MY ORIGIN STORY
I started Nash Franks Creative kind of by accident. I had two friends that had started their own companies and paid a designer to create a logo for them. The each loved their logos, but didn’t really know how to implement it. When they thought about have a brand they equated that to getting a logo, but a logo does not make a brand. Because I was devouring any design resources and online classes I could get my hands on, my friends started asking for my help in implementing their logo and helping them with all of the technical things that they didn’t know how to do. I absolutely loved it. Years later I’m still the brand strategist and website creator for Neatbeat Hair Salon as well as the owner’s latest business venture PIP University.
LOGO VS BRAND IDENTITY
Do you have a logo, but no real branding identity yet? Did you get a logo when you started out, because… well you had to have a logo, and now it doesn’t seem to fit? Are you just overwhelmed because you never really thought it through this much, and now it seems like too much to think about? Especially when you’re busy actually running your business? If you answered yes, no worries, IT’S TOTALLY OK!
Why is it important to have a brand vs just having a logo? Well let’s dig in and start with a quote, and then we can move on to some definitions.
What I specifically love about that quote is that he refers to stories and relationships and I think those are two of the most important aspects of a brand.
A LOGO is a graphic representation or symbol of a company name, trademark, abbreviation, etc., often uniquely designed for ease of recognition
A BRAND is the external representation of your internal vision and values - it’s the whole story that you are communicating to your customers.
Brands speak to us and tell us their story, and it’s not because the logo tells us, it’s the story & identity that each company carefully crafted around the brand, and now that logo has embodied their story. They’ve told us who they are and what WE CAN BE by purchasing from them. They did not create a logo and then tell you the story after the fact. Their logos were developed embody the story that they want to tell.
We’ve all heard the saying, “it’s just the tip of the iceberg” And I recently saw another designer, Lilah from The Higgins Creative use this analogy and I thought it was soooo perfect in graphically depicting this difference between the logo and the brand identity. The logo (the graphic representation of the brand) is what you see, it’s that tip of the iceberg. But there is sooooo much more beneath the surface, so much more.
Your story, they why behind what you do, Your company mission, the impact you desire to have on your customers and community, those areas are the foundation upon what your brand identity is built upon. Underneath you also have your values and the solutions that you bring to your customers’ pain points. All of these items that you don’t necessarily see when you look at a logo, but they are what your logo is built upon, and what it represents. That’s why it’s super important to spend the time to develop what’s beneath that iceberg.
When you are communicating your story to your audience, you should make sure that your brand story makes sense and consistency is the key here.
YOUR BRAND AS AN EXPERIENCE
Think about a time you ordered from an etsy shop or another online store – was the experience you had on the website consistent with the experience you had when the product arrived? Let’s say you were on a really well designed expensive-looking interactive website. It had soft colors and a romantic feel, but when the product arrived at the your door it’s in a crumpled box with bright neon colored, graffiti style stickers on it and no return address. Is that ‘making sense’ to you? Would you think that it came from the website that you ordered it from? NO WAY! When you confuse your potential customer like that, you sacrifice the trust you started to build when you showed them that on point killer website. And that’s a total bummer.
The number of touchpoints your customer has with you is increasing. Nowadays customers may have visited your Facebook page, Instagram feed, website, called by phone, sent an email, visited your store (if you have one), received a package in the mail, signed up for a free download, been sent some emails…. the list goes on and on. If any of these touch points do not live up to your dream customers’ expectations whether consciously or unconsciously their trust factor in your business is going to decrease.
OK, so now that you’re educated more about logo vs brand and how they combine to make your brand identity, but now what do you do with this knowledge? You can go back and take the steps that will help you uncover and develop your full brand identity beyond just that logo!