When discussing a logo design project with a client, a question we often hear is:
“how does a brand or brand image apply to us, we’re a small business”?
A brand is not exclusive to large corporations, nor is your company logo. These are the two most common myths associated with this topic.
If you’re in business you have a brand. A brand is the feeling or experience you associate with a service or product.
Let’s take Nike, when hearing the word Nike many of us think: quality, world-class athletes, attitude, and heritage. Many of the reasons that we associate these words with Nike may have anything to do with their business model or product, but more about public relations and their marketing mix but that’s a whole other article. Point being, when you hear the word Nike you get a feeling. You associate words and put together a description, more specifically, it’s a criteria of expectations, its memories, its a story, its everything associated with your company that leads to a decision on whether to engage with your brand (company) or the competition – that’s the brand (or branding of your company).
Your company’s desired brand vision is normally the strengths about your company which separate your company from the competition; the company’s brand (or branding) is what your consumers or customers feel about your company when they hear the company name (brand name). Therefore, you have a brand image, good, bad or otherwise – it’s up to you.
Design will not define your company’s brand single handily – it helps lay the groundwork. The way your brand’s vision is spoken through your logo, color scheme, portfolio/website, business card and truck make you appear unique and stand you out in a crowd of look-a-likes. Case in point, quality design work and a creative presentation of your desired brand’s vision, on its own, can do very little. These visual assets can provide a first impression and create a way to associate your company’s reputation with its brand. But, as an owner it’s your job to fulfill and deliver (back up the talk). For most small businesses this is done through the basics such as: great customer service, quality, integrity, relationship, etc. In conclusion, if the desired brand vision for your company is ‘hardworking’, and your company collateral such as the company logo, brochure and website reinforce that message, but then you show up to the job and drag at 3 hour home improvement into a two day episode of This Old House, then all visual assists are now associated with an unprofessional experience.
A logo will not create your brand nor will it allow the company’s desired brand’s vision to manifest; it comes down to the way you do business or the quality of your product. Well, unless you can afford strategic advertising campaigns that build your brand’s vision into reality which, in my opinion, says a whole other story about your brand.
A brand can be developed by providing great service and standing behind your business name (or brand) all without spending a red cent.