More than a logo: the purpose of branding
Nobody can ‘create’ your brand.
A brand isn’t a logo or a set of fonts and colours. It’s not even what you say to customers. Your brand is what the public thinks of you when you’re not around, and you’re not in control of that. Well, not completely.
Businesses have a personality and reputation. They give first impressions, just like people. When you meet a new person, very quickly you decide whether they are friendly, unapproachable, withdrawn, or fake. You decide whether you trust and want to get to know them within the first few seconds. Those initial feelings may fade away as you see a different side over time, but that first impression always matters.
Whenever a person sees a representation of your business, whether your logo or your sales staff, they will pull up that feeling and decide whether they want to buy from you or avoid you.
The visual of your brand – including the logo – will help to shape what the first impression is. But even if the first impression is positive, your customer is on the lookout for you to show a different side. That’s because we buy from people and businesses that we know, like and trust. Building that good reputation within a community of people takes time and consistency.
A brand identity
Your brand identity consists of visuals and messages that you say to customers in print and in person. It’s the reputation that you build with your product or service, as well as how your employees act and the customer service that you provide.
Your brand is your promise – the big idea of what your business is all about.
That’s why any good branding process starts with research. No one can actually create your brand, however, we can create materials, messages, and guidelines that help represent what that promise or big idea is to the public.
Through interviews and market research, the branding process begins by defining your business personality and what audience you are selling to. That information will guide the design process and the writing process. It will also guide any marketing or training of your staff in the future. That’s why branding should come early in a business, and why, if your brand is out of sync with who your organization truly is, you may need to think about re-branding.
Have you ever met someone where their appearance told you one thing and their words said just the opposite? Did you feel like you wanted to get to know them better? Did you like them, and did you trust them? Probably not – they likely made you feel uneasy and on guard.
When a customer sees a brand that doesn’t match who you are and how you operate, they feel the same way.