Brand Before Logo
We have been in many a conversation with a client who has uttered the phrase “we need to get a band done for our app” or “we are considering a rebrand” – in both instances they are usually thinking only about their logo.
They are thinking about the main association that they have in their minds with big name companies for whom their logo has become part of popular culture. For example, the Apple logo. You’re picturing it now, the small white apple with the bite out of the right-hand side. You don’t even need a picture of it here in this blog to know it.
But the facts are, firstly; Apple’s logo now is different from it’s very first logo and it has taken an awfully long time to become so recognised. In fact, the logo is just the memorable associated image, what you actually think of when you think of Apple is their brand.
Brand and Logo – What’s the difference?
First and foremost, if we continue with the Apple analogy, the logo is the apple, as already explained.
The brand is every single touchpoint you, or any other customer or potential customer has with their company.
That is EVERY. SINGLE. TOUCHPOINT.
That is what a brand is.
Apple’s brand includes;
- Their stores – clean, white, modern, open plan, fresh and unique etc
- Their products – sleek, stylish, well-made, intuitive, interesting, expensive etc
- Their software – simple, user-friendly, fun, easy, clean, clever etc
- Their marketing messages – new, exciting, fresh, different, ground-breaking, user-focused, the cutting edge of technology etc
- Their public image – big, clever, great products, great software, new and boundary-pushing, innovative etc
- Their customer service – friendly, helpful, easy, modern, high quality and personal
The list goes on and on and on. This is their brand, it is everything about their company, everything about how you as a consumer think about their company, everything they do, everything they create, every product they sell, every interaction they have with their customers or the media.
Their logo is just the apple symbol.
So how do you create a strong brand, not just a nice logo?
Take this simple sentence and remember it, take it to your heart and you will see the benefits – brand is everything!
Your brand is everything you do, from sending an email, to putting together a proposal, to sending an invoice to firing a client and everything in between.
The font you use on your website, the colour of your flyers, the way you present your marketing messages, the wording you use in your communications, the way you deliver your product or service, the way your customers feel about you.
Ultimately, the way your customers feel about your company is your brand. But you can control it, it is within your power to do so. The crux of the matter is, if you let your customers define your brand you might not like the results.
Define your brand
You define your brand by first looking at successful brands (especially ones you like yourself) and understanding what they do well. Understanding every touchpoint you have with that brand and deciding if that gives you a positive or negative feeling about them.
Once you know, you can replicate or alter as you wish to ensure that your customer’s experience and association with your company is more than just a logo. You want your customers to have a positive feeling about your brand, a negative one is obviously not good, but many would argue that it is perhaps better than an indifferent one.
For example, let’s take BT.
Personally, my view of BT is universally negative. I find them to be slow, unresponsive, utterly useless in their internal communication and an utter shambles when it comes to organisation. I get the impression they do not care a jot for any customer with any kind of complaint or grievance, my opinion of them is that they receive such a volume of complaints that they have just gotten used to it being part and parcel of what they do.
However, I’ve just spent a paragraph and a minute or so of my time talking about them. There are numerous other telecoms providers out there – most of whom I couldn’t name – to whom not a word of this article is dedicated.
So, negative brand can still get you exposure. But long-term it will only be damaging.
Your logo is the last thing
Imagine you have decided to start a new company. Often, one of the first things in your mind is the shiny new clever logo emblazoned above the door of across the product.
And yes, that recognition point is important, but before you even get there you need to define your brand.
Who your customers will be, what your price point will be, the impression you want people to have of you, what colours will help translate that message, what words will help translate that message and how your staff will interact with your customers and on and on the list goes. It’s a science.
Only once you have a clear image of all of that should you consider your logo, because all that branding will ultimately define what your logo is.
Need some help getting started? Or want to modernise your existing brand or logo?
Written by Alex.S
Digital Marketing Consultant & Keynote Speaker @ Dragonfire Marketing