I'm just going to say it.
A Brand is not the same thing as a Logo.
And there it is.
Instead they work together, holding hands—skipping down the sidewalk even (if that's your thing). It's just that more often than not, the Logo is gently ladled into the same Ball Jelly Jar with the Brand—One in the same. And the importance of what a Brand does gets looked over while the Logo's ego fuels up and implodes due to lack of support. Why not just have a Logo? Why does your business need a Brand? And YES. Put some jam on that toast! Yum.
A Comfortable Pairing
While your business might have a logo, does it have a brand? In order to establish this state of affairs, let's chat about what defines the two... walk with me...
- LOGO - A recognizably amazing symbol or mark (yes it can be made up of words) that identifies your business. Simple. Easy. Elegant. Comfortable.
- BRAND - An emotional experience felt when a client comes in contact with your business (and in some cases, just you).
At the risk of being repetitive, a Logo is just for looking at. And while that sounds bland (like toast without jam) it's actually a very tricky situation. You want your Logo to be at the point where the viewer recognizes it, identifies with, and remembers it on a subconscious level... Where they don't even realize that they've seen it. Instead they are in the busy airport, walking to the gate—carry-on in one hand, looking straight ahead while talking on their smartphone... getting thirsty and turning to go back to the Starbucks they think they passed 10 minutes ago for an iced coffee. Grande, please.
Your Logo needs to be perfect. Just like you. A Logo that doesn't work is equal to feeling bad. Clunky. Boring. Difficult. Crazy-town Crazy (in a bad way). A Logo that works is a classic—you'll never have to touch it again... Unless it asks for a hug, then well... of course!
It's that easy. Logos are just that. They work really hard for the simpletons that they are, and we need them to be that way. Less is more.
The Great and Powerful Oz
Behind every great Logo stands the Brand that supports it. Building on introspective brainstorming, it answers very basic questions that define you and your business on all levels. The big points that you need to analyze are:
- Purpose: what am I here to do?
- Mission: why am I doing this?
- Position: who do I hope to be?
- Composition: how do I achieve my purpose?
- Culture: how will I support my mission?
- Personality: my chosen style
By researching these areas, the emotional aspects of what you and your business believes and plans to accomplish, will become an established strategy. The Brand is responsible for how the world sees you -- It engages...it gives you clout, trust and supports your winning personality. Of course, if handled improperly, this foundation can easily crack allowing your audience to form opinions that could harm perceptions and goals. This is why a balance must be achieved between your Brand and the way it is handled—All pivotal decisions must be within the range of your goals. And while thinking "outside of the box" is typically a creative must, straying too far could harm the Brand you've worked so hard to achieve.
In Ending, Let's Get Started
This marriage of Logo and Brand is essential for any business. Whether the Logo is simple typography, or a swoosh running down the road (hey, wait up!), the Logo does not stand a chance of surviving without the strong guiding support of its Brand. Its partner. Look around at the mega-stars of our culture: McDonald's, FedEx, Coca-Cola, General Electric, Target, Apple, NBC, LEGO, and the aforementioned Ball, Starbucks and Nike (to name a very few). The examples are almost endless when it comes to successful companies that stayed the course with both their Logo and Brand. While all those others... Well, now you know why you've never heard of them.
Let the facts speak for themselves, if you have a Logo but not a Brand, let's talk. I mean REALLY talk—About you and your business, future plans and where you want to be. If you don't have a Logo—PERFECT, I'll be right over. You've worked hard to get to this point and there are great things to come!