Sometimes when I talk to clients about “Branding” their eyes open big with uncertainty and they say… isn’t that my logo? Well yes, but your logo is only PART of your brand. It is only a very small piece to the large business puzzle you are putting together.
By definition a logo is a graphic representation or symbol uniquely designed for identifying an organization. To break that down, basically a logo is solely for identifying. And a brand by definition is the strategy of the visual representation of a business through fonts, colors, graphics, illustrations, and patterns. So it is how we visually recognize a business through all of those elements.
I have clients ask me all the time if I will design just a logo for them, and while I used to say yes because I felt you had to start somewhere (especially if you are just starting your business) I now explain to them that they are overlooking the true potential of what a cohesive brand, a foundational piece of marketing communication, can accomplish.
“A brand isn’t just the name on the box. It isn’t the thing in the box, either. A brand is the sum total of all the emotions, thoughts, images, history, possibilities, and gossip that exist in the marketplace about a certain company.”― Luke Sullivan, Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This: The Classic Guide to Creating Great
Let’s look at 5 ways a strong brand can truly build a business.
1. The First impression
First impressions are everything for a business. Your brand says who you are and what you’re about without you saying a single word.Your brand says who you are and what you’re about without you saying a single word. Click To Tweet
According to Business Insider, you only have a 7 second window to make a great first impression. This is even more critical for potential clients who find you online and you don’t have a chance to explain your business. That statistic says 94% of website users first impressions are design related. So a well designed brand will resonate and make a great impact for your first impression.
2. The Emotional Response
Your brand is what brings your business to life. It shows it character and gives your ideal clients something they can positively relate to. Something they can bond with and build a strong and lasting attachment to.Your brand is what brings your business to life. Click To Tweet
How do you want a first-time customer to feel when they view your website or see your product? People buy from people. Especially the people or products they are drawn to. Your brand shows the quality of goods and services your business provides. If your clients find pleasure in your products or services they tend to become loyal to your brand because they want to re-experience those pleasures.
Your branding is much more than a well designed logo, it is an experience for your ideal client. Consistency in your branding gives customers a mental image that makes them remember and recognize your business, thus helping create an emotional bond and customer loyalty for a more profitable business.
It’s important also to remember that it does take time to build a strong brand, but through strategic consistency, that brand recognition will come.
It takes an average of 5-7 brand impressions before someone will remember your brand.
Over time a cohesive brand will start to be easily recognized even when the logo isn’t present. Think about a Starbucks. Envision the style of their paper cups with the cardboard sleeve, the language they use to describe their products (Tall, non fat Latte With skinny Mocha sauce Drizzle), the green aprons the baristas wear, gold card status. All of that screams Starbucks and I didn’t even describe their logo.It takes an average of 5-7 brand impressions before someone will remember your brand. Click To Tweet
If you haven’t been using the same visuals (fonts, colors, patterns, throughout with your logo, what happens when the logo isn’t there? Will you even be remembered? Consistency goes hand in hand with success! Make sure they remember you for more than your logo.
4. Establish Credibility
When your branding is cohesive throughout, you establish the credibility that you are well put together and professional. A well designed brand will make your business look like it has been operating for years, even if you are just starting out.
It also positions you as an expert in your industry, just by looking at a well put together brand. Your clients will be able to tell if you are a striving business or an ameturer all by how well your branding strategy is represented.
5. Distinguish Yourself
Your uniqueness and talent are one of a kind and your branding should reflect that. Stand out in that crowd with the power of Branding your business. With consistency at play you will have the upper hand in increasingly competitive markets. It’s hardly likely that you are the only business owner in your industry… so what makes your business stand out?
“When you brand yourself properly, the competition becomes irrelevant.” Dan Schawbel
There are so many reasons why you should establish a complete brand for your business, but I hope that these 5 will get your mind on the right path for your branding. Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional designer, be sure to think through a complete branding strategy and consistently apply it to all aspects of your your business.
Ashlee is a graphic designer and brand identity strategist who lives just outside of Charleston, SC. She works diligently to position businesses to stand out in their industry through distinct and cohesive creative design.
When she is not designing, you can find her husband Brad and her chasing after their two little guys, Everett (5) and Pierson (1.5), and their dogs Mossy (11) and Blue (2 months). She enjoys traveling to new places, craft projects, and boating on the lake with family and friends.