Many confuse their logo with their brand. Your logo provides instant badging and recognition whilst your brand is the sum total of all the elements that make up your business image.
It's your products & services, your business USP (Unique Selling Points), core values, messaging as well as the logo. Your business' brand values need to be conveyed in everything you do, through your advertising, PR, shop-front, vehicle graphics, the experience your customer or potential customer has when they buy your product, when they phone you or walk into your premises. It all adds up to give your business a distinct identity. Your brand identity.
Everything about a business needs managing and your brand is no exception, Brand Identity differs from Brand Image, however. Brand Identity is what you want the customers to think of your business. Brand image is what they actually think. The gap between the two should be kept as narrow as possible.
What's the benefit to your business of 'branding'
- It helps the public to differentiate your business from the competition.
- Develops a personality that the public can relate to.
- Delivers and reinforces your business' key messages
- Builds customer trust through consistency and professionalism.
- Helps with customer retention and promotion.
- Better perceived brands can charge premium prices.
Many businesses produce brand guidelines and distribute to whomever and wherever it's relevant. These guidelines lay down the brand 'law' so that all work produced is within those guidelines for consistency and to protect the brand. This means that you don't have to repeat yourself to each and every provider, and all the necessary information is in one place (logotypes, colours, typefaces, style, messages etc.) and in writing! The bigger brands produce a veritable book but a simpler document of a few pages is all that a smaller business may need. Just make sure that it's produced professionally. Designers and writers are only too happy to be given guidelines to work within.
Take control of your brand
Consistency in what you say and how you say it, visually, stylistically and through your messaging, will build and strengthen your brand in the minds of the market and customers and put you firmly on their mental shopping-list.