Brands… logos… branding… are each of these the same thing? Are you feeling confused? If you own a business, run an organization or manage a blog it is important to understand the definitions of each of these as well as how they work together to support your business/organization.
What is a logo?
A business’s logo is a graphic depiction of the business’s brand. So, let’s return to this after reviewing what makes up a brand.
What is a brand?
A brand is what a business is known by. It should send a clear and concise message of what the company expects its customers to “see” when thinking of that company. Does this mean a brand is a logo? Absolutely not! For instance, if I were to say “Coke” would you immediately think of the Coke Company’s logo? Or would you think of a traditional bottle in the original Coke shape? Or would you think of a glass of bubbly caramel colored liquid? Or something else all together? Ultimately, is Coke a logo in your mind or something entirely different? For most of you, the logo is NOT the first thing you thought of. Does this mean logos are not important? Absolutely not! But let’s not get sidetracked. This is just the beginning of what a brand is.
So, how does a business go about building a brand that provide a clear and concise image in its customers’ minds?
First, let’s focus on what a brand should consist of… what makes up a brand. A brand should:
- Be credible — original and reflective of the products/services offered by the company.
- Provide an emotional connection to customers.
- Motivate customers to connect with the company.
- Create awareness of the company.
- Create loyalty to the company.
- Have a logo.
- Have a tagline.
- Have a mission statement.
What is Branding?
Branding is ensuring your brand is consistently represented throughout your company. To start branding effectively you should develop branding objectives that include what the objectives are and how to achieve them. Branding objectives can include where your brand should be present. Common areas in which a branding should be visible are on printables, website, over the phone, and in email. Uncommon areas (but equally important) are in instructional materials (i.e. training curriculum, job aids), throughout business culture, in employee meetings, and in customer presentations. Branding in a permeation of the brand throughout and flowing out of a company. Ultimately, it is the internal culture and the external image of a company.
Why is branding important?
After explaining what a brand and branding are, I would hope this would be obvious. However, just in case you need it spelled out… Branding is important because it tells your customers and employees who/what your company is. You are educating your customers and employees through your branding to ensure your business can perform the way you expect it to. Through our research we found the YouTube video below. This shows the history of brands and how a brand can build a business. Take a moment to watch.
Now back to logos…
Your company logo is a visual representation of your brand. The colors, design, and way your logo is used is a reflection of the brand you are attempting to portray. Warning tangent…I must say that people do not focus enough on the usage of their logos. Colors and design are our focus and yes, they are important, but they are not the entire package. Usage is EXTREMELY important. Never forgot to use your logo in a way that is flattering to your brand. Our customers are provided with branding guidelines (how to use logos) in any case in which we are not the controlling the use of the logo. Of course we always hope that we will be providing all services that are related to their logo but there are times that they may need to use their logo outside of the services we provide. Good logo design includes branding guidelines that MUST be followed.
Ok, back on track…It is worth taking the time to make sure your logo is that true reflection of your brand at all times. Logos are everywhere. Don’t think you can afford Branding…Here are four things you CAN afford to do (from smallbiztrends.com):
- Clarify what your brand stands for.
- Audit your marketing materials.
- Create demos with stories.
- Use colors, symbols, and other visuals to create associations.
Not sure where to start? That’s where we come in. At Bloom 7 we are super passionate about helping small and medium-sized companies develop solid successful brands. Let’s sit down and chat about a great plan for your brand.