I was at a conference at a church not too long ago and the speaker asked a question. “Can anybody tell me what a brand is?” At this point a young person raised his hand and answered. “It’s a logo.” For the sake of time, the speaker agreed with him and continued to give his talk about the brand of God. As I sat there I recollected the misconceptions of what a brand is by many people.
Let me start by saying that a brand is not a logo, only part of it. The reason people normally get mixed up between the two is that a logo is often the first thing you think of when you think of a brand.
What is a brand?
A brand is made up of the qualities and characteristics of something or someone, such as; design, sound, environment, communication, ethics and much more. Each aspect combines to create an experience that generates loyalty with a target audience.
“A Brand is not a product or a promise or a feeling. It’s the sum of all the experiences you have with a company.” Amir Kassaei
Think of somebody you know. I’m serious, actually stop reading this now and think of somebody in your life. It doesn’t matter who it is. Done? Okay, now what springs to mind when you think of that person? When you do this you will recall past experiences with them. You will remember what they look like and aspects of their character that makes them different from everyone else around them. They might be funny, stylish, smart, hard working, and many other things. This is the brand of that person.
Now let’s apply this to your business. If you’re at home or in an office, get a pen and paper and draw a circle with your business name in the centre. Now ask yourself, “If my business were a living person, what words would be used to describe them?” Take all these words and attach them to your business name as a brainstorm. About 10 of these will do.
Now that you’ve defined the qualities of your business, how are they demonstrated to your target audience? Think about colours, people, language, images etc. Choose your top aspects from your brainstorm, and you’ve started to plan what could be an effective brand.
In order to have a memorable brand, a logo is not enough; it’s just the start. Think about your favourite brand and why you trust them. Is it because the logo is well designed? No! It’s because of the combined experience that you have with them. How can you do the same with your business?