In my experience the overwhelming majority of people seem to think that when you refer to their brand, you mean their logo! They might also consider that it includes the colours that you choose, but it typically does not run deeper than that! In having this narrow understanding of a brand, people can miss the opportunity to create something special, which is much more difficult to achieve if you don’t fully understand what a brand actually is!
Your brand encompasses everything about your business. Your brand is people’s perception of your business which is formed from everything that they see and hear from you! It can be influenced by their experience in buying from you, the quality and type of your products that you sell, your physical and online presence, the type of people you employ, the language you use in communication, your logo, the platforms you are found on and so on! The logo is just a very small part of what comes together to form your brand!
Don’t think of your brand as something that is created and then is fixed, rather your brand can change or evolve over time for a variety of reasons. You need to be constantly working on your brand to ensure it fits with your desired brand position.
Like anything, when building your brand, you want to start with building the foundations. The logo is like a design feature on the outside of the house – you first need to build the house!
In order to build your brand, you first need to define your target market and then your target audience within that market. The better that you can understand the target market and your target audience within that market, the more successful you are likely to be. It’s like undertaking a geotechnical survey before deciding where to build your house for best results.
The next step is to determine your brand position. This involves looking at the other competitors in the market and taking into account your target audience, identifying potential gaps in the market and then ultimately determining where you want to sit within the market.
Now that you have settled on your brand position, it is important that all your communication is clear and consistent with achieving that brand position.
To connect with your target audience, people need to understand your “why” or purpose. With often so many competitors, you need to show your purpose. What motivates your business. How did your business come to be? This will potentially enable people to feel a connection and want to deal with you. Also, what is your “how”. How do you do things and how is that different to others? Then finally, it is your “what”. What are the products or services that you provide?
Once you have built the foundations, then everything else will start to fall into place. Deciding on a logo will then become a lot easier and will be based on the hard work that you have done building great foundations!