When it comes to launching a business or taking an existing company to the next level, it’s easy to assume a great logo is all you need to get started. While a bold symbol or emblem is essential, there’s more to smart marketing than meets the eye.
The ultimate key to success? Developing a robust brand strategy that shows the world who you are and what you have to offer.
Before we explore the key reasons why you need a brand, not just a logo, let’s take a look at the differences between the two.
Put simply, a LOGO is a symbol, usually made up of text, shapes, and images. Its central purpose is to identify a business, so it must be clear, concise, and memorable. When you’re browsing online or through products at the store, logos are usually the first thing we see and often play a critical factor in purchasing decisions.
Having a strong logo is important for a variety of reasons, including:
— Making a great first impression on new customers or clients
— Grabbing attention in a sea of similar competitive brands
— Building the foundations of your unique brand identity
— Creating a memorable look for your products or services
While full-version logos usually include text (often brand name or slogan), it is the symbol you choose which makes the most impact. For example, if you see a bright yellow M glowing on the horizon, you can be sure there’s a McDonald’s restaurant somewhere up ahead. Similarly, if you’re browsing for a new mobile and see one featuring a half-eaten Apple silhouette, you can be confident that an iPhone is on offer.
A logo is the fundamental sign that distinguishes your business from the rest, but it truly is nothing without a strong brand identity to accompany it…
Now we’ve established what a logo is and how it supports your business, it’s time to develop our understanding of your key tool to success – your BRAND.
While the word is often used to describe a company or business, it’s much more than that. A brand is a defining concept that makes your offering unique, made up of various essential components. Imagine your business is a pyramid. Your logo is the final piece that creates the pyramid's point, but beneath is a series of well-thought-out layers that contribute to your overall strategy.
A strong brand ismade up of 4 key elements:
— Brand identity
— Brand image
— Brand culture
— Brand personality
If you can master your strategy and make sure each of these components is carefully considered, you’re bound to achieve your goals – no matter how ambitious they seem!
First things first, a brand helps you to tell YOUR unique story. While a logo does some of the work when it comes to capturing your mission or your USP, it’s your brand that supports any claim it makes. For example, if your logo features lots of green imagery or even some foliage, customers might infer sustainability or strong ethics are a vital part of your story. The problem is, if you don’t have a developed brand strategy, mission statement, and marketing materials to back this up, your story remains untold.
No matter who you are or what your business looks like, it’s essential that you TELL the world what you have to offer. Smart branding is the best way to achieve it.
This point is particularly important if you’re trying to cut through the noise in an over-saturated market. Let’s take the beauty industry as an example – logos, packaging, and promotions packed with clean lines, pastel colours, and minimal design. How can a new business possibly hope to stand out from the rest? Even with a bold, out-of-the-box logo, you’ll still face the risk of blending in.
That’s where your brand comes in. With a strong, well-defined concept behind you, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle any market. Your brand not only tells the world what you sell, but it also shows them what you stand for, why your product is different and why you’re worth the investment.
Building trust with new and existing customers is one of the biggest benefits of creating a brand identity. Convincing people to invest their hard-earned cash into your products or services can be difficult, and unfortunately, a logo alone just won’t cut it. Particularly for new businesses, it’s essential to spread a consistent message far and wide to win over your audiences.
Your brand identity should be recognisable, distinct and unique to you – but it should also capture your defining mission or values. If you can make these factors clear enough and showcase them consistently throughout your marketing assets, you’ll have no trouble hooking customers in for good.
Despite what many people believe, branding isn’t just about aesthetics. When you make branding a priority, you’re also putting strategy at the top of your list – this is the key to future proofing your business. If you were to build a house or put together a piece of furniture, you wouldn’t do it without the blueprints, right? Instead of hoping a logo will get you to where you need to be, you’ll be able to create a brand-led strategy that puts your story front and centre.
If you’re overwhelmed by the prospect of building a brand strategy that works for your business, we’re here to help. Visit our website now to learn more about our professional design services, or check out the rest of our blog for more expert insights!