Logo and Brand Identity Aren't the Same
Guest Post by Katleen Richardson
Developing your brand identity is an ongoing, dynamic process, and it's shaped by many
things. There's the image that you put out there, a unique identity that helps consumers understand what differentiates your business from all the other choices at their disposal. There's also public perception of your business, determined mostly by the way that stakeholders experience your services or products. Of course, each of these is comprised of a multitude of facets that come together to create the full brand identity equation.
It's surprising, therefore, that so many business owners hire someone to design a logo, and then think they're done creating their brand identity. Brand identity is so much more than just a single graphic, and developing your brand identity is something you will continue to do throughout the life of your business, whether you're aware of it or not.
Here are just some of the aspects of your brand identity:
• Your company name, and any subsequent product or service names
• Your logo, along with your slogan or tagline
• Your company's "personality," i.e. the tone with which you communicate
• Overall graphic design, including colors, distinguishing typefaces, and design style
• Sounds, scents, flavors, or any other sensory input that may be associated with your company
Every decision you make in any of these categories affects how your brand is perceived, so it's important that you consider the implications of any decision before you actually move forward with it, as consistency is key. Mixing messages can weaken your brand identity significantly. You want to strive for consistency in written language, spoken language, visual impact, tone, and style. This applies to all internal as well as external communications.
In terms of getting started with outwardly developing a strong brand identity, the first thing you need to do is clearly articulate your brand message. This will help you understand your target and focus more sharply on it, and it will also help your stakeholders know what you're all about.
Secondly, you need to address the pain points of your potential customers. What need does your company fill for them? What problems does your business solve for them? What is it you do that's going to make their lives easier?
The next thing to do is set yourself apart. Chances are, whatever it is you do for people, there is someone else doing something very similar. What sets you apart from your competitors? Why would consumers choose you over another company?
Lastly, remember the role of your customers in brand identity. So many companies spend all their time and effort on developing a good product, and then ignore other important aspects of their brand, like customer service. How good are your customer communications? Do your customers always know what's going on when they need to know? Lack of communication can lead to frustration, which is not something you want to be a part of your brand identity.
In short, although logo design is important, it's only a small portion of your overall brand. What changes can you make in your company to help strengthen your brand identity?
If you want to explore the most efficient route to your marketing goals by using the right measurement system, check out my latest post on analytics: How To Make Your Social Media Analysis Matter.
Katleen Richardson of Marketing-Advantedge.com is an experienced leader who builds integrated strategies combining research, data analysis and creative thinking. She has delivered successful solutions for the publishing, financial and telecommunications industries, as well as for conference and training companies, and professional associations. Her approach is to design customer focused, cost-effective solutions based on cross functional collaboration and results-based metrics.
Image credit: freedigitalphotos.net/Suwit Ritjaroon