Three concepts that often get mixed up. The way I see it is that branding is everything, brand identity is what you see, and the logo is the image of the name of a business.
Branding is everything
Branding is an emotional concept. It’s a connection with your customers and your business. I often say that we should be running brands and not companies, but in essence, they should be nearly synonyms. Most people think that branding is the logo, the colours or an advertisement.
They are not entirely wrong. They have an incomplete definition. All the above is the most visible part of the branding, but branding is like an onion, it has more layers and the further inside you go the least visual is your branding. The next layer of branding would include communications, your core message and your brand storytelling.
Digging further into the next, we see personality. What is your brand language, the way you speak to your customers? You only can know how to do that by understanding your positioning in the market, who is your customer, your competitors and your USP.
Your brand starts with your reason why you are in business beyond making money.
This is a very loose definition of brand strategy. But it gives you the idea of why branding is everything because we need to build brands as if we were making a person.
One of my favourite examples is Starbucks. I am not the target market, so it’s not a bias vision. In fact, I wouldn’t say I like their coffees. But when you think of Starbucks, it’s the most consistent coffee brands in the world. If I blindfold you and put you inside one of their shops, I bet you wouldn’t know whether you are in Barcelona or China. The smell, the furniture and including the baristas calling your name is part of their brand.
Brand identity is mostly a visual system that helps your brand to look consistent. It is composed of different bits and bobs, logo, fonts, colours and graphic element.
Your website has to follow the brand identity, so it looks coherent with your business card. Imagine you give your business card in a networking event. Your card looks slick, with a round logo with your name in blue. At the back of the card, also blue has your website imprinted. That person goes to your website, and the site has a red squared logo with your initials. What do you think will happen? The person will get confused.
A logo is like the atom of a brand. It’s the top of the iceberg, what most people things are the brand. I see it as a face. A face doesn’t make the person, but it’s the part of the body that we all can tell apart from other people’s (Unless they are twins or a good doppelgänger).
Hopefully, this post helps people to understand some of the most common misconceptions in branding. If you thought it was useful, it would be much appreciated if you’d share it on. Click here to tweet it!