What is a Brand?
Your brand is everything that represents your business, how you come across and how you are perceived by your customers.
Within your market are you -
A leader, an innovator, non conformist?
Or are you trusted, experienced and reliable?
It's very hard to be both
You should know your customers well, understand them and what they need. Focus your brand values on what your customers need and expect. If you don't communicate in a way that they can relate to, why would they buy from you?
Getting it wrong can be very costly, it's very difficult to change how you are perceived once you're out in the open market. Spend some time to define your brand, be comfortable with who you are and what your'e selling, know your market and selling will be much easier for you and a nicer experience for your customers.
5 question to help you define your brand
- What are the unique features or benefits of your products or services?
- Where do you fit within your market (high end, commodity, value etc).
- Who are your your ideal customer/s (profile them).
- What qualities do you want your business to be associated with?
- In a sentence, what is your company mission?
So, your brand is more of an emotion than a single tangible thing!
Your logo is just part of your brand...
What is a Logo?
Your logo identifies you, it visually represents your business at every level. If you have premises, vans, literature, a website, your logo will contribute to those all important first impressions.
Being able to communicate your brand values and clearly define your target market will only serve to help your designer (we are assuming you'll use a professional!) and possibly save you money.
If your target market is twenty something, fashion conscious men, you will need a very different approach than if your market is females aged 60+
What sort of Logos are there?
Initials - comprised of 1, 2 or 3 letters (or numbers). These are naturally simple. usually used for established brands, given the full name is not visible (or necessary).
Typographic - these have no graphic or pictorial elements. The emphasis is usually on use of colour or typeface or both.
Symbol - these represent the brand in the form of an abstract symbol or mark, sometimes they stand alone, but only for established bands. More often they support typography.
Illustrative - these have a pictorial representation, usually of something familiar.
What sort of logo should I go for?
There is no rulebook but consider these 3 points:
- Your name - for example, if it's short, then a typographic approach may suit. If it's not very distinctive then a more symbolic approach maybe more memorable.
- Your market - for example, if you are targeting children/parents then colour is perhaps important.
- Application - consider all possible places where you will need to use the logo and at what scale. Illustrative logos will have limitations at small scale, on the web.
Everything Communicates something!