Logo vs Branding - why your new logo is only part of your branding strategy

Logo vs Branding - why your new logo is only part of your branding strategy_IMG

When you're looking into new logo development for your business, you need to think about your overall branding strategy.

The reason for this 'global' approach to thinking is simple....

If you don't have a solid, carefully thought-through brand strategy, then your logo is... well... just pretty artwork on the page.

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So, what IS branding all about?

Your branding is MUCH more than your logo. It is the WAY you do business.

Does that sound a tad grandiose? Let me unpack it a little for you.

Here's two quick examples of branding in action...

1. If your friend said she was going out to dinner tonight at the Hilton, you would have an immediate idea of the type of experience she would have. You can picture the piano music, the spread of the buffet, the linen table cloths, the attentive wait staff and the atmosphere.

2. On the other hand, if she said she was going out to McDonald's, you would conjure up an entirely different picture. Different food, different atmosphere, different level of interaction with the staff.

It wasn't just the logos that painted those pictures in your mind ...

Had history unfolded differently, Hilton's could have been the fast food outlet, and McDonald's could have been the five star restaurant. It isn't the logos that make the difference.

What REALLY shapes the position they occupy in your mind is the EXPERIENCE that those businesses have created. This is what created your perception about:

  • Quality,
  • Price,
  • Value,
  • Ambience,
  • Convenience,
  • Presentation,
  • Service standards,
  • Speed of delivery,
  • Choice of menu.
  • And any number of other things that you associate with each business.

So, based on this, one could argue that your brand is the foundation of your business. It is what sets you apart. It is the platform on which all of your marketing and promotions will rest.

A solid, well executed brand strategy is what makes good businesses great!

THAT is what branding is all about! And you MUST have that sorted BEFORE your logo is developed.

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Working on your branding for your business is exciting. We love working through the process, as it forces you to look at your business through fresh eyes. We ask questions that get you to look at the bigger picture, and think about the REAL reasons your business exists.

Although I don't have time to go into the whole process in this article, here are some of the issues we consider. You may want to think about YOUR business in the light of these questions...

  1. Direction - Where do you want the business to be in the next 5 to 7 years?
  2. Persona - If your business had a personality, what would this person be like?
  3. Solutions - What do your customers want from you — and how do they want it?
  4. Uniqueness - How you are different from your competitors?
  5. Value - What is it about what you do that keeps your regular customers coming back?
  6. Positioning. Where do you 'fit' in the market compared to your competitors?
  7. Sector - What is the branding and identity of your competitors like?
  8. Perception - How do you want to be perceived by the market?

And so it goes on. As you can imagine, there are more questions and issues to explore and clarify, and there are often sub-sets of questions beneath these.

(By the way, point #5 is WELL worth exploring. Go for a coffee with some of your regular customers and ask them for their views about your business. You may get some really eye-opening insights into what they like about your firm. Often, you'll find that a seemingly unimportant aspect of your service may, in their eyes, be highly valued.)

Once you have clarified the issues above, the next step is to figure out how you will create an experience that addresses the answers, and sets a foundation on which to build for the future.

When this is done, THEN you can have your graphic designer get cracking with your logo and visual identity.

When things are handled in the correct order (Brand strategy first, logo second) you'll end up with a logo that makes a solid contribution to your marketing efforts — communicating the RIGHT message and strengthening your position.

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Tell us about your brand strategy and logo

With a properly thought-through branding strategy, you can move forward with confidence, knowing that everything is working together to set you apart and give you a competitive advantage.

We'd love to help you to grow your business, and you can be sure we will take a genuine interest in you, your ideas, your objectives and your challenges. So get in touch with us today by arranging a no-obligation chat about your branding and marketing needs.

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