Your brand is more than a logo
Working with entrepreneurs and start-ups is one of the most exciting aspects of what we do. The challenge of bringing to life a new product or business idea is what gets us out of bed in a morning.
However, when we start speak exploring branding with many new customers, they instantly think of their logo, business cards, or other ‘stuff’ that people see. Whilst this isn’t completely wrong – branding elements do include visual aspects – what’s often missed is the meaning behind the brand.
Your brand is the connection and emotional bond you have with your customers.
A brand is a feeling and emotion, something much deeper than just the visual appeal. A logo is merely a symbol of what you stand for. And if you don’t stand for anything, not only will your logo fade into irrelevance, but so will your company.
If you replace the word ‘brand’ with ‘relationship,’ it becomes easier to understand that your brand is so much more than a logo and the colours you’ve selected to represent your business.
Logos and other visual branding elements definitely have their place. But most people feel they can skip this step and jump right into designing something. Now don’t get me wrong, sites like 99designs do a great job of generating lots of ideas for pretty logos, but if you haven’t taken the time to figure out your business’ core values, purpose, and message, every logo you look at isn’t going to fully reflect your true brand.
To build the brand, the business must have a strong understanding of its mission or purpose. Why does your business exist?
How do you build a ‘brand’ relationship with the customers / clients your business serves?
Creating a mission or purpose statement is a good place to start. Having clarity and sense of purpose will inform everything that follows. To do this, you need to understand and define a core set of principles that truly represent what the business stands for; from its aims and ethos to its professional conduct and the way it treats people.
The most successful businesses are the ones that adopt and stick to these guiding principles, especially as the business grows, as they won’t risk losing their identity and their customers know what they are buying into. It all ultimately creates lasting brand loyalty and affinity.
Step one is to get the message right which is all about the Who, the What and the Why.
Who is your brand? Your business needs to have characteristics that are attractive to the people you want to work with – and those characteristics are often human characteristics. Is your brand trusting, fun, empathetic, innovative, solution-oriented? Is your business playful or serious?
Think of your brand as a person and work on describing that individual and what a relationship with he/she would look like. How would clients or customers describe your brand? What about your family and friends? Think of your brand as a relationship with a trusted friend or colleague – a relationship you want to continue, to nurture, and to stand the test of time.
What does your business do? Talking about what you actually do isn’t necessarily the most important thing but talking about the things that will resonate with your customer is.
Why do you do what you do? This is all about understanding your business objectives. It’s also about understanding the value that you bring to your ideal customer.
We know that start-ups and small businesses are all too often focused on getting their product or service ready for market, but ignore developing a strong brand at your peril! Customers are savvy; they want to invest emotionally in what they buy (even down to choosing their toilet roll, believe it or not!). They want to be loyal but in turn they need to be communicated to in an honest and truthful way; that’s where a strong brand will exist and thrive, even in the toughest of times.
Every branding and marketing agency will approach brand development differently. At Ignite, we work collaboratively with our clients from the outset to create a compelling brand that will give you the best possible start on your business journey. This includes a clear vision, a strong identity and unique visual collateral to help you engage and interact with your ideal customers – both online and offline. To get started on your branding journey, get in touch with us today.