A Logo is not a Brand (and our secrets on how to build one)
A Logo is not a Brand
So, you’ve decided to start a business – hurrah! It’s time to start working on your branding so you can get the word out there and get those exhilarating first few sales.
We’re guessing that you’ve already got a logo, or if not, you’ve definitely put some thought into what your logo will look like. But trust us when we say that you need so much more than that. Yes, the logo may be one of the most important aspects of your brand. But alone, it doesn’t really do much to communicate who you really are to your future customers.
What’s more, we’ll even go so far as to say that you shouldn’t start logo design without having thoroughly thought about the whole personality of your brand. Read on to hear about our secret sauce for nailing your new business branding.
So, what DOES make good branding?
A brand is the whole identity of your business. Just as there’s more to a person’s identity than what they look like, there is a lot under the surface of a brand’s aesthetics. So, let’s get into the fundamental parts of building your brand…
Vision or Mission
Here’s the most important part – the reason that your business exists and the promise that you make to your customers.
Of course, once you commit to these aspects of your branding, you need to work them through every level of your business, from how you deal with your cleaning contractors, freelance associates, or customers, to designing your processes and procedures. It isn’t something you want to jump into without a lot of thought (and input from your customers and employees, if you have them).
Let’s think about two big brands in the market and consider their brand mission and vision…
What do you think when you think of Amazon? We’d put money on it that convenience and reliability are somewhere near the top of the list. Maybe the billionaire boss, too. That’s exactly what Amazon want you to think. Even some the biggest critics of Amazon still use it due to the ease of access to goods, entertainment, and smart home technology.
So, how does that public perception match up with their brand vision?
“We aim to be Earth’s most customer centric company.”
And their mission?
“Our mission is to continually raise the bar of the customer experience by using the internet and technology to help consumers find, discover and buy anything, and empower businesses and content creators to maximise their success.”
Amazon’s vision and mission statement are simple yet powerful. And they certainly permeate through the business. Ever had to complain about an item you didn’t receive? In most cases, you’ll get a next-day replacement, no questions asked. Most telling of all, is that people seem to sail through years with Amazon without needing to contact customer services once.
We’ll delve more into how Amazon keep this theme running through their brand in more detail later.
We’re pretty sure you get a good idea of Nike’s brand with their tagline; Just Do It. Nike are all about innovation and helping you be the best athlete you can be. They exist to motivate people into action.
Nike keep it simple with a single statement combining their vision and mission…
“To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world.
“*If you have a body, you are an athlete.”
They nail the statement in a way that resonates with professional sportspeople, and the every-day coach potato too.
Key Values of your Brand
It’s vital that you consider the key values of your business. Company values should be in harmony with your vision/mission statement and should form your business strategy and the basis upon which you make decisions. If the way you do business isn’t in line the company values, it could seem insincere, inauthentic and unethical.
Common values are often around people and social responsibility, such as charitable giving, supporting equality or human rights, and promoting sustainability. They also tend to be fairly virtuous, promoting activities that contribute towards the ‘greater good’. Nike, for example use the values of innovation, sustainability, diversity, and positive community impact.
If you have staff, you’ll need to communicate your values to them, and get them to buy into those values so that they live and breathe them while they’re at work. If you get it absolutely right, they’ll take the company values into their personal lives, too.
Relationship with Your Target Audience
Now, your relationship with your target audience is very important. It’ll guide you in how to communicate with your customers in a way that attracts them to your brand and also keeps them loyal. Think about what you do for them, how they perceive you,
Let’s hop back to our analysis of Amazon’s branding. When thinking about their relationship with their customers, they could be seen as the family butler. You barely hear a peep from them as you go through your day-to-life. But they’re always right there to provide what you need, exactly when you need it. You see this in their tone of voice and their marketing methods.
There’s no long form text on their website. Marketing emails say very little, other than ‘Hello. We thought you might want these things we know you like.’ Likewise, the imagery they use tends to be simple, clean and depicts those distinctive smiling boxes to make you dream of all the things you could have arriving at your door tomorrow!
This is perfect. Well, it’s perfect for Amazon and their customers. Others will obviously need to take a different approach.
However, once you start looking at the B2B side of Amazon, everything changes. Long form text appears on those web pages, and they use more persuasive language to convince business owners to use their services. A tailored approach works very well if you have multiple audience types.
So, what are you to your customers? Are you a trusted companion? A teacher?
Position Amongst Competitors
Next up is your positioning. This is where you sit in the market in comparison to your competitors, and will help you identify your unique selling points. You should also consider whether your products and services would be considered budget, mid-market, or luxury.
Back to Amazon (again). Jeff Bezos clearly spotted a gap in the market and capitalised on that with a clear message; we can get you anything you need, and fast.
And Finally… your visual branding!
Now that you’ve thought more about the personality of your business, you can get to work on that logo you want – along with all the other intellectual property you’ll need.
Need help building your brand?
It can be difficult to work out all of the aspects of your brand without a soundboard and someone with a bit of experience. If you do need someone to talk through ideas (or even just sort your branding for you while you focus on something else), you know how to contact us.