Chapter 1: How Logo Design & Branding Coincide
Coming up with an idea for a company, blog or product is a great first step. After that idea turns into a business, it’s time to develop your brand.
Developing a brand takes time. There’s no other way around it. That said, the light at the end of the tunnel can come into reach if you put in the work. If you don’t know the brand, how can you expect to produce that perfect logo? The logo will suffer, if you can’t first pin down the brand
An Overview of Branding
One of the legendary digital marketers of our day, Seth Godin, defined branding best when he said,
“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a customer’s decision to choose one product, or service, over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t want to pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that customer.”
Catch what he said about the consumer?
You must determine your brand value for the customer.
Let’s take a look at Coca-Cola. If you look at their commercials, packaging, events and so forth, you begin to realize that they brand their products based on people’s feelings, attitudes, thoughts and relationships. Coca-Cola creates brand value by targeting its audience in a very strategic way that combines all of these elements.
Keep your customer in the forefront. It’s not just about keeping them happy — they need to feel like they are part of your brand.
William James once said, “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”
Get creative and come up with new ideas to help feed your customers steady doses of appreciation.
Life gets busy — no doubt about it. But you know what I’ve learned about people? We always make time for the most important things in our lives.
Try not to let the busyness of life supersede one of the most important parts of your company — your customers. If we’re honest with ourselves, we can make time for making our customers feel like they’re appreciated.
Here are some quick, easy ways to show your customers you care:
- Sending out a random email asking how their week has been going
- Giving your customer a ring on the telephone to see how you can better serve them
- Mailing a small gift card to some of your clients
What would you think if your electrician sent you a $5 Starbucks gift card (with no catch)?
I don’t know about you, but I would be pretty impressed. I would know he cares about me enough to make that investment. That’s the kind of consideration that fosters goodwill.
The result? Trust is built, walls come down and our perceived brand value skyrockets.
Enter your logo.
Now, when this customer sees your logo, they connect the visualization of your company to feelings of generosity, kindness, friendliness — namely, a tangible item like a $5 Starbucks gift card.
In the end, try to find those little pieces of time to connect with your customer base to show them that they are valued. Don’t let excuses get in the way. Etch it on your mind and take action. Your brand will thrive as a result.
Logos Aren’t Brands
Your logo is the most important visual representation of your brand. No pressure right?
This sounds like a no-brainer but people forget, especially when it comes to paying for a logo, that cheaper is usually not better. As we will talk about in Chapter 5, quality of design and price often go hand in hand.
Although logo design and branding tie together, you would be surprised at how many people think they are one in the same. They do relate to one another, but a logo design is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to branding.
Let’s go back to Coca-Cola. When you see a Coca-Cola can, you automatically see the logo—but if you think deeper than the logo, you begin to see the brand of Coca-Cola. It’s those happy-go-lucky commercials; it’s people sharing a bottle of Coke on their first date; it’s childhood, adventure, romance, and excitement. While the logo makes up a percentage of your brand, it’s not the whole kit and caboodle.
Designing a Logo vs. Creating a Brand
A logo is a visual representation of your company, blog or entity, but a logo can’t visually communicate everything that you represent. That’s where branding comes in. While a logo is a huge part of your branding and has a specific shape, font and color scheme, this is just one aspect of your entire branding message.
When you start branding, you need to answer a few questions. Here’s how the list of questions break down:
• What message do you want to deliver?
• Who are you delivering that message to?
• What are the demographics of your audience?
• What is their age range, gender and location?
• What media stream will you use to market your brand?
Once you answer these questions, both designer and consumer will not only be able to produce a more effective logo, but will have the main building blocks of a more developed brand strategy.
Jacob Cass is a talented, well-respected designer who runs the popular Just Creative blog. Check out his helpful, engaging post explaining branding verses logo design.
Purpose-Driven Branding, Purpose-Driven Logo
If I told you to “find purpose in your logo,” you may look at me as though I have two-heads. “Of course that’s what I want to do,” you say. Sure. But have you thought about how that works as a process?
Let’s delve just a bit deeper here.
One of the greatest human needs is centered around this idea of purpose. It’s innately built into our framework. It’s why we always hear people saying to follow what you’re passionate about instead of pursuing what will make you the most money.
Why is it so difficult to bring this type of purposeful focus into your brand? Your logo?
Sunny Bonnell, co-founder and creative director at the wildly successful branding agency Motto talks directly to this idea of purpose-driven branding:
“…an organization that exists without knowing and practicing its purpose is like a ship sailing around the world without a compass. You can’t really rely on instinct alone and so a company that knows what it believes wins hearts.”
She goes on to say…Get My eBook