A logo is not your brand
A logo is a brand mark or icon that is used to symbolise the values, quality and promise of a product or service.
A brand is not a visual identity system or your product or what you say it is. A brand is an emotional response that's created in an individual in response to a service, product or company. You can't control it but you can help to influence it. Each person creates their own version of it. When enough people form the same opinion and response, a company is said to have a brand.
WHO YOU ARE, WHAT YOU DO AND WHY IT MATTERS
By answering these three questions, you can get to the essence of your brand. The first two are usually easy enough to answer but the third one gets tricky. By getting to the root of your ‘WHY’, will help you find what differentiates you from your competition and help you to stand out and speak to your target audience.
Your brand values are a perceived set of values thought of by your consumers. They represent what your business is about, what it stands for and what it promises. A good example of this is the Innocent drinks company. Their brand values are natural, healthy eating and sustainable production. They back up these values by:
Using green electricity at their headquarters, Fruit Towers
Sourcing fruit from suppliers who look after their workers and environment
Sourcing all bananas from Rainforest Alliance - accredited farms
Donating 10% of all profits each year to charities, that in turn help fund sustainable agriculture
Your brand story helps define who you are and what you do, as well as connect with your audience. These stories can be personal, formal, fun or educational and will determine your tone of voice throughout your business. They are not necessarily fixed and can adapt over time with changing markets and customers. Stories are a great way to build brand loyalty and trust.
One of the main challenges of branding identity is defining how the design will encapsulate the brand strategy and bring it to life. This can be done through the use of colour, typography, semiotics, images and styling.
The first thing that usually attracts a consumer is colour. Certain colours, over time, have come to represent particular moods or thoughts and can therefore be used as visual shortcuts. EG Red is seen to be associated with danger, making an impact, demanding and has been used for warnings. Visual branding can exploit this to express meaning and add personality to a brand.
Many brands are instantly recognisable due to their use of distinctive and consistent typography styling. Typography must support a brand's positioning and overall information hierarchy. Using the right combination of fonts takes practice, experience and a basic understanding of how to use typography effectively.
Semiotics is to do with how we, as consumers, build meaning into designs and logos. Appreciating and manipulating this meaning within a brand identity and the subliminal effect this can have, is crucial to branding design.
The appropriate use of imagery can help to reinforce your brand message and help to build on your brand's aesthetics. They can appear in various forms: posters, leaflets, website, social media posts, billboards etc. Whatever the look and feel of them, they convey a certain emotion in the viewer and repeated use helps to build trust over time.
The brand styling is then putting all the brand elements together and making it work in a compelling way and will include messaging and how you interact with your client base.
A well written and thought about brand strategy will take into consideration all these aspects and more. A logo is just one aspect of this and is the fastest route to recognition and reinforcement of your branding.
Do you need help with your logo or branding? I offer a range of branding packages to suit various budgets. Feel free to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org