It is very easy to fall into the trap of thinking that branding is all about your logo. The reality is that there is far more to a brand than just the lead image that encapsulates it. In this article we will take a look at different aspects of your branding and how they are pulled together to form a coherent identity.
The Logo Is Important!
There is no doubt that the logo is a pivotal part of your company image. It pulls everything together and is the most memorable part of the brand in most cases. It is a brief visual representation of your business that will stick in the mind, and potentially cause potential customers to choose you over another company.
A Brand Is Emotional
The actual brand of a company is tied into the emotional response that people get when they interact with your company through any medium. The brand is the story that your company tells to existing and potential customers. The brand is therefore simply reinforced by the logo. There is far more to it than just the logo.
Your Mission Statement
Your mission statement is a core part of your brand too. It is the story that you are telling the world about your company; it is where you are and where you want to go. The mission statement should inform other areas of your business and dictate the way the company, and people within the company, talk, act and feel.
The Style Guide
An organization should also have a style guide which summarizes the fonts, language and core philosophy of messages that will be put out there. Again this is a core part of the brand as it needs to convey the right story. It helps pull together all corporate communications and keeps people on track.
Social media is becoming increasingly important in the business world.According to some studies 90% of US businesses are utilizing social media these days. Not all of them know that their voice in social media is a part of their branding. What you say, and how you say it in social media produces an emotional response in those that read your messages.
For some companies social media is the most important part of their brand.
The Colors You Choose
Your logo will include your brand colors. The colors will however be used throughout your business stationery, your website, your adverts online and off-line, your brochures and so much more.
The colors that you do choose need to be appropriate to your target audience and be capable of evoking a positive emotional response towards your company. There is a lot of information about color psychology available on the web. In most cases the colors will come a long way before the logo is even conceptualized.
Your Printed Materials
Over recent years businesses have gone through austerity measures. They have attempted to cut back on their advertising spend, print materials and so forth. The reality is that your printed materials are as much a part of your brand as your logo is. If you choose cheap low GSM paper you will be saying something about your brand. If your business cards are flimsy, printed on card that won’t last, again you are damaging your brand image. If you want to see what good quality printing looks like then click here. The print company you choose really can have a massive impact on the brand story that you communicate.
Your Products Are Your Brand
If you think about the company IKEA, you think flat packed, low-priced, Scandinavian furniture. If you had furniture from IKEA and it fell apart, then your perception of the brand is probably one of furniture that falls apart.
Your brand is intrinsically linked to your products and services. The quality of what you deliver will resonate through the brand image that reverberates throughout your sector, through social media and ultimately around the world (if you reach that far).
Just as your products are your brand so are your people. How they interact with each other and with the public will create an impression. That impression is all part of your brand story.
What Is Your Story?
If you are unsure as to what brand story you are telling the best way to find out is to ask your customers and prospects. Getting your brand story right involves aligning everything with the story that you want to tell; a story that compels your customers to interact with you in order to find the solutions that they require in their lives, or in their businesses.
Take the time to do a brand audit so that you understand what you are communicating through all aspects and channels of your business. Get your brand right and it will facilitate your success. Get it wrong and it will lead to your demise.