Why Your Logo Is Not Your Brand

You have a brand. It’s not your logo. It’s not the name of your business. But it does involve almost every piece of your business.

When most people hear the term “brand,” they think of popular companies with recognizable names and logos such Nike, Apple, Coca-Cola or Google, but your brand goes deeper than that.

One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is ignoring all of the elements that make up their brand. A successful business acknowledges the importance of the other elements, making them a top priority in their business. This is how they do it.

Brand is your promise.

Your brand is a promise to your customers. Every business is promising something to their audience. Even the companies that don’t know how to build a brand promise are still promising their customers something, whether they realize it or not. Brand is more about knowing what your promise is, and then, fulfilling that promise.

Brand is your message.

Your brand is how you communicate with your audience. It is important the tone of your messaging is consistent, to not confuse customers. Messaging is any content associated with your company; taglines, slogans, mottos, website, handouts, flyers, social media, etc.

Pick out a few recent advertisements, Facebook posts and television ads. Is your message consistent? If not, it’s time to change them.

Brand is your identity.

How do your customers see your company? People identify your company through past experiences and visual representations of your business, i.e., website, products, marketing, design, etc. Be consistent and coherent with these mediums to create and communicate a strong identity. Take the time to evaluate your company’s identity.

The best way to evaluate your company’s identity is to talk to customers or through an online survey. How your customers see you is crucial to your brand and success.

Brand is an emotional connection.

How do your customers feel about your employees, your products or your services? An emotional connection is sometimes what gets people to use your products over and over again. Whether it’s a connection with an employee that made them feel special or a product that makes them smile, you’re building an emotional connection.

Ask regular customers why they use your company. Is it because of an emotional connection or something else? It is vital to use customers’ input to better understand your brand.

Brand is your team.

Your employees are vital to your brand. As those who interact with customers the most, they represent your business in ways advertising and marketing cannot. Employees must understand what your brand is and how they are a part of it. Don’t overlook opportunities to reinforce your brand so your employees represent it accurately.

Brand is your name and logo.

Your name and logo are your visual identity. We live in a highly visual society so it is important that your logo is distinct and memorable. It needs to be easily recognizable, standing out from competitors. Look at your logo right now. What is your first thought? Hold it up to a few other logos, how does yours compare?

Brand is what makes you unique.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines brand as “a characteristic or distinctive kind.” A good brand is what sets yourself apart from your competitors. A strong brand is what makes your business successful. Don’t try to be better than your competition, be different.

Brand is not something you can create overnight. It’s not possible. It takes a lot of time, contemplation and conversation. Here are three steps you can take to evaluate your brand to move forward with a stronger one:

1. What are you telling your customers? Is it consistent and specific?

2. Look at your competitors. Don’t evaluate how you’re better, evaluate how you are different.

3. Look at your external identity. Are you consistent? Review your logo, fonts and colors across the different platforms you use (i.e. social media, print advertising, website, outdoor signage, etc.) Strive for brand consistency across all platforms.

The time spent strengthening your brand is worth it. A strong brand is a valuable brand. It affirms your credibility, delivers your message clearly and creates user loyalty; all traits of a successful business.

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