Why Branding is More Than Your Logo

This an extract from a talk given by Amanda Jackson at Enterprise Nation’s StartUp 2018.

Here’s a scary reality: Some business never ‘make it’. And it’s not because the product they’re offering is below par. But because they’re unable to stand out in a crowded marketplace. They get by by competing on price, but they never manage to move their business on to the next level. We’ve seen this in our design practice too. Businesses come to us with great products that are failing to communicate just how good they are.

With so much choice available, both in store and online, effective branding is vital if you want to stand out.

But what is a brand?

American writer and brand expert, Marty Neumeir, describes a brand as “…a person’s gut feeling about a product, service or organisation.”

So, let’s look at the six components that make up a brand.

1) Pictures

Your logo is important to your brand. But so are all the other visual elements. Colours, images and fonts are all part of your style or brand identity and they make the biggest impact when they’re working in harmony.

2) Words

How you say something is as important as what you say. Your tone of voice, your strapline, your call to action and your copy – from the about page to social media content – are all part of your brand.

3) Values

What does your business stand for? Having a strong sense of why helps you attract the right customers who believe what you believe.

As motivational speaker and author of Start with Why, Simon Sinek, states: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”

4) Perceptions

What is the public’s view of your company? Are you a hipster start-up? Or part of the mainstream? Would you be described as dependable? Innovative? Fun? How your audience perceives you guides the brand personality you create.

5) Stories

Nobody wants to be sold to but everybody enjoys a good story. Some of the stories your brand can tell include:

  • Your own company story (how did the company start and why? What’s your USP, what makes you different? What problem are you solving for your customers?).
  • Your customer’s story (what is their challenge and how do you solve it? What is their need and how do you help?).
  • Stories about your products or services.

6) Expectations

Managing your audience’s expectations from the beginning is vital. Are you a hands-on brand that offers a personal level of customer service? Or not? Think about the brands you interact with. What do you expect the experience is going to be like every time you call, or go online or in-store? How can you create a great value-added experience for your customers?

Why does branding matter?

Spending time fine tuning every aspect of your brand pays off in the long run because:

  • Customers appreciate clarity.
  • Businesses run more smoothly when a brand is defined.
  • Blogging and social media posting become easier.
  • Talking about what you do and what you offer is more straightforward.
  • Employees share a common understanding that is felt across all parts of the business.

Building a brand when you’re a small business

Having thousands of locations doesn’t make a good brand. Having an endless marketing budget doesn’t make a good brand. Whatever the size of your business, it all comes down to creating a positive perception through clear, concise and consistent communication and giving your customer an outstanding experience every time they interact with your business. That’s what makes a good brand.

How design determines a customer’s experience

So we know that it’s not enough to just a stamp a logo on your product and call it branding. It’s about conducting an ongoing conversation over many channels. Good design is an important part of that conversation from making a web page layout clear, to making the packaging easy to open and ensuring instructions are simple to follow. These are our secret weapons for encouraging the very best brand experience and for inspiring loyalty.

What’s the lesson?

Think about every aspect of your brand from the font and colours and packaging you use, to how you answer the phone or reply to customer enquires or use social media. These elements all combine to create your organisation’s identity.

If you have a logo but are in need of a brand, get in touch with Jackdaw Design. Working with you, we’ll help shape your brand so it reflects your organisation’s unique personality.