“Can you ‘do’ me a new brand?” asked the prospect client. Answer: “Do you know the difference between a logo and a brand?” Prospect client: “They’re the same thing!” No they’re not. The craft of Corporate Identity or logo design seems to be becoming a thing of the past and your brand is so much more than a logo.
Simple works – Your logo is your fingerprint; unique to you and recognisable. Your brand is your personality; the intuitive emotional connection that underpins a relationship. A logo, an icon or symbol by which you are recognised – easier to explain than create – this may be a combination of an image, shape, colour and/or typeface that becomes associated with you, your business or organisation. Before thinking about how long you’re going to live with this logo let’s start with naming. We have named a number of varied projects including Charities, student lifestyle company and race teams and the naming is important – bear in mind the SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and social media @ and # etc so you can achieve your own space instead of trying (and investing in) being heard above the noise.
Your logo: highly subjective and, yes, you have to like it and be emotionally attached to it but it has to be right for your audience… in every way. There are many considerations – international cultural influences, colour choice and if you are ever likely to TM, R or SM your logo? You’re also going to have to live with your logo for a long time and only very carefully consider an update (not a change) in the future… so make sure it firstly reflects your business in style and tone-of-voice but secondly is timeless – it might look great and have the colour that’s in vogue now but trends change.
Your brand: What sort of company are you? ‘Cool’ and contemporary or serious? Techie or trendy? How do you market yourselves? How do you answer the phone, are the toilets immaculate, is your coffee great? All (and a lot more) influences what your customers, suppliers, partners and employees think of you, feel about you and talk about you. We call this the ‘pub currency factor’ – if you are highly regarded, trusted, liked and recommended then you have a brand equity all strive for… and in the digital age it is harder to achieve and even harder to maintain. So, when asked to ‘do’ a new brand we start by asking; “Is it a logo you want, a Corporate Identity?” A logo is the keystone to developing a brand – but a brand takes years to establish and nurture; impacts every part of your business and determines how you communicate with all your audiences internally and externally. Never, ever, forget to communicate with your staff as they ARE your business… this is so often an ‘overlooked’ element of marketing communications – happy staff means loyalty and good customer care – because they care… a vital part of building a brand.
Controversial comment inbound… there are many very capable design studios but there are few graphic designers that really understand how to develop the strategic architecture of a Corporate Identity, develop a multi-tier scaleable Corporate Identity Guideline Manual, implement the program and then stay the course and build the brand. This is why marketing communications (Marcomms) is a long term investment and asset to the business as against a cost.