When we speak about logo design and branding we often confuse one with the other. There are fundamental differences between just having a logo designed and working to develop a brand that works for you. The most successful business’ spend time developing a complete brand identity right from the get go. Having a firm understanding of the what, the why and the how of your business will make sure that your brand stays true to your initial vision.
Branding is a wide concept which has two main arms. It is made up of brand identity (visual) which includes logo design, and your ‘brand’ (emotional) which, as Jeff Bezos of Amazon says, is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.
First, lets talk about your brand identity. It is a mix of the following which makes up the visual identity of your company.
a) Your logo is the identity of your company in a visual — pictorial — form. It identifies the company via the use of a mark, flag, symbol or signature. It is the recognizable ‘avatar’ of your company. It identifies it, but, does not explain your it. So IKEA for example is a well known logo, brand identity that is identifiable to most people. It doesn’t speak to the service, history or reputation of the company. ‘Brand’ does that.
b) Stationery and Marketing Material — from your letterhead, email signature, business card to your flyers brochures and other print material. Web Design and Social Media offerings like Instagram and Facebook. Products and Packaging, which is what you offer and how it is packaged.
c) Office Space and Signage — Interior & exterior design as well as the design of uniform items that are worn by employees
They all need to portray a cohesive picture of your company that ties into the brand as it was designed.
Developing your brand identity is the process of discovering how you want your company to present itself. Mood boards and inspiration boards are an important tool to guide you through this. Writing a vision statement detailing how you’d like the company to present itself works well too.
Discovering your niche client and potential area of operation all speaks into how you will present your brand identity. Anything that clarifies, in your mind, what you want the visual image of your company to be. Keeping those visual prompts front and center when developing anything from a social media campaign to the packaging for your new product will keep you brand identity from becoming confusing.
Brand. The perceived, emotional, corporate image as a whole. You could describe brand as the personality of the business. It is how you are perceived by your potential client base. When we work on your branding, we go into your vision and mission statements. That mission statement is the foundation of how you want you business to be perceived. It is a good idea to keep a check on how you are perceived by inviting reviews of your business. I guess with the world being as it is with people able to name and shame with a few words on the internet, ‘brand’ is number one and nothing beats good reviews and word of mouth clients.
In conclusion, logo and brand identity are the fundamentals that make your business visually recognisable. Brand is the emotional part that makes it a success. Brand isn’t designed, it is how your company is perceived, but, the visual attributes of your brand identity play into this. Without a successful identity, you cannot have a brand.