Many expect their logo, usually a simple image, to do all the work. They want the logo to convey their entire corporate story, share who they are as a company, educate their clients on what they sell, as well evoke to their employees the kind of company they work for. Unfortunately, a logo alone, cannot do all that.
Your brand must accurately convey your business through the use of multiple elements, in combination with your logo. Think of your logo as the initial component of your brand. While the style, colour, font, orientation and imagery are critical to developing a successful logo, this is only the beginning. Developing key messaging to define what you have to offer to your audience is essential.
Does your logo have a tagline? Does it need a tagline? How do you create brand awareness, loyalty and stand out from the competition? These are questions that you need to answer through your overall brand strategy.
At the very basics, it starts with these three simple questions:
If you’re a tax accounting firm, you want to create feelings of trust and confidence, while exuding the ability to bring calm to a stressful situation. On the other end of the spectrum, if you own a sporting goods company you may want to evoke a sense of energy, excitement and adventure. So it’s important to understand what feeling you want your clients, investors, (and even employees) to experience when they interact with your company.
First impressions are critical and typically shape future interactions (or halt any future dealings). Whether someone is visiting your store, enlisting your services, or interested in working for you, how do you want them to remember you and your company? Are you caring, competent and offer a valuable product or service? Are you engaging, energetic and enthusiastic? The manner in which you want to be remembered must be defined and incorporated into your entire brand story.
Remember it’s not just your logo, it’s your entire brand story that must be woven into every aspect of your business. For instance, let’s say you have a law firm and worked hard to create a company that cares about its clients and brings a wealth of experience to each case. A potential client may initially check out your website to get a sense of your firm. The website must immediately emulate and support the feelings and impressions you’ve worked hard to create within your corporate brand. Let’s assume the potential client was drawn to your firm from the website. You now need to engage in a face-to-face meeting. Their brand experience must be supported in such elements as the ease of opening your office doors to being welcomed by a pleasant receptionist. Even the chairs, magazines and art displayed in your lobby must reflect and support your brand. Logo placement, stationery and electronic collateral are the obvious brand components but it is really important to understand that every single interaction that someone has with your company must support your brand and corporate culture.
By developing a strong brand you are creating an experience for your audience and a corporate culture that supports your business. So like the latte I purchase every morning, brand is more than the logo on the coffee cup, brand was built into every interaction I have with the coffeehouse. In this case, my interactions built brand loyalty and a strong, long-term relationship.