Your logo isn’t your brand. We all know that by now. You can’t just design a kickass logo and visual identity and say; “Yeah, that’s our brand right there.” It’s just not the way it works. Even if you combine all the visual elements of your business, like your logo or website, you’ve still barely touched on your company branding.
Allow me to explain. Your logo is a part of your visual identity. While a great visual identity can play a key role in a company’s success, it’s a different thing altogether. Overall, it’s just a small piece of the branding puzzle.
So, tell me, what is branding then?
Your brand is how people perceive your business. It’s how your business presents itself to the world. Your brand is a combination of design, language, storytelling, and experiences. Together, they form a feeling. A vibe, almost. This vibe is what decides if your target audience engages with your brand or not. If they sense a good vibe, they are more likely to buy from you. A bad vibe, on the other hand, ruins your chances of any engagement, let alone a purchase.
That brings us to branding. Branding is the process of shaping the views customers have about your brand. All the actions you take to build awareness and reputation around your company and its product or services is branding. Many pieces go into the making of a brand—some of which happen organically and can’t be artificially molded. Luckily, there are things we can do to influence the views your customers have on your business — more on that in a bit.
Now, what does that mean for you as a business owner?
First of all, it means that both you and your business have a brand. Everybody has. We act with brands in a very similar way we behave with people around us. Whether you like it or not, you form opinions on others based on the experiences you’ve had with them. If someone’s been rude to you, I’m sure you’re not going to give them your money any time soon. The same goes for brands and businesses.
Second, it means that it’s no longer enough to make a beautiful logo or a darn good looking website. It would be best if you designed every single touchpoint to your brand in a way that leaves a positive impression. From the way you talk to your customers, to the way your offices look. All do their part in forming an opinion inside your customers head. This is where a visual identity comes into play: the touchable expressions of the brand. You increase the likelihood that your brand is recognized and admired by your customers by making all the elements distinct, unique and cohesive. Brand identity elements vary depending on the type of company, but some of the most typical features include name, logo, typography, tagline, colors, tone of voice, and everything design in general.
Why does branding matter?
With millions of businesses trying to get noticed both online and offline, having a strong brand has become a meaningful way to differentiate your business from your competitors.
The increase in competition, products, and services has lead to products and services having shorter lifetimes. It’s therefore vital that your brand can last through all these changes in the market.
There is no point having a great product or service if your communication fails to connect your visitor with your messaging. Branding is a crucial tool for connecting all your communication touchpoints and giving clarity to your offers. A rock-solid brand can, therefore, help you not only reach out and engage new customers, but also help form long-lasting customer loyalty, and in the long run, grow your business.