In this series of articles, the subject areas of logo, identity and brand are explored.
There is so much confusion regarding the varying meanings of logo, identity and brand – and how they connect. Many designers, authors and bloggers have had their say about what’s what…so I thought I’d have mine!
So… what is a brand?
Branding is the process of developing this perception about your business and customer experience.
This is where it gets tricky! A logo and identity materials are all tangible You can see them; touch them. A brand is intangible. It is unquantifiable; it is customers’ expectations and emotions, stories and memories. It is the feeling customers get when they have an experience with your organisation. And this, in some instances, can be difficult to manage.
While utilising your logo and identity to form the foundation of your brand is a wonderful start, there are many other methods used to build upon which will, inevitably, have an impact upon your brand. These other aspects may include your tone and message, your customer service, advertising and PR, corporate social responsibility, usage of social media, and so on.
Tone and Message
You may wish for your brand to be recognised as friendly and approachable, so any and all communication with your customers (prospective and existing alike) must reflect this philosophy. Included in this is also spelling, grammar and punctuation! Poor spelling can give the impression there is a lack of thought and care within your organisation.
Linked to tone and message, you must ensure the customer journey is consistent across your organisation. Whether it’s you or a member of your team dealing with a customer, it’s a great idea to make sure it’s an experience to remember – in order to build your brand. It’s also beneficial to streamline your policies and procedures around the way in which you deal with customers. For example, keeping promises. This is one of the most important (yet extremely simple) tools in dealing with customers. If, for some reason, you are unable to complete the promised task, contact your client or customer and explain. For the most part, they will be understanding. They just need to know where they stand – so keeping them updated is essential.
Advertising and PR
Whilst ‘marketing’ as a whole may fall into branding identity as a category (logo, business stationery, promotional material, social media, website and so on), advertising and PR is more abstract in terms of strategy and can help to build your brand. For example, if your organisation participates in corporate social responsibility, you may wish to promote this through local or national press. People who read this article will associate your organisation with acting responsibly in your community. A win-win for your organisation and the community!
Whilst, again, this could be considered as part of branding identity because it’s tangible, I also believe straddles branding. This is because you can actively manage how you, as an organisation, behaves on social media – and this can impact how people view your business. If you reply to enquiries, comments and messages promptly, this will give the impression that you are helpful and efficient. If you post a lot of news, work updates and client testimonials, your friends and followers may believe you are busy and that your clients are happy with your work; service or products; meaning they will probably also be happy with your organisation.
I strongly believe that everything has a knock on effect. If you treat a customer well, inevitably, they will speak with their family members and friends about their experience with you – and this could result in a sale or commission.
The idea of reputation also comes into play here. Your brand is the perception of your audience. If they have a negative experience with a sales assistant in your shop, this could negatively impact upon your reputation and, hence, brand. The customer experience was not as they expected. And perhaps, next time they wish to purchase the same product or service, they will happen upon another provider – a competitor of yours.
This is simply one example of a situation where you may lose one customer. This may happen over and again but with different aspects of your identity not falling in line with your organisation’s mission, vision and values.
What you may have deemed insignificant or of no consequence to you and your business at the beginning of this article, I hope you will feel, is now important. Hugely important!
So, in conclusion, your logo is an identifier of your organisation. Your identity is the sum of all visual elements (most of which will carry your logo). Your brand is the relationship between your organisation and your audience.
If you’d like me to design a branding identity for you, from scratch or a rebrand, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. I’d love to hear from you! Please email: