Publicly Relating

A brand is more than just your logo

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Almost inevitably, when I speak to current and potential customers about Branding, they answer, “But I already have a logo.” Of course they do.

Everyone has a logo these days, from the pizza maker on the corner to the little old lady who runs a small seamstress business from her apartment. A logo, especially a good one, is just part of a brand. What else goes into a brand? Just about everything involves how the world sees you and your business.A brand is comprised of interdependent parts. First, there’s a company’s name. I can’t emphasize the importance of a good name. That goes for individuals as well as corporations. Your name is your reputation, and your reputation can make or break you. Choose and nurture it carefully.

Your business name should represent what you actually do. If your company makes home pizza baking kits, choose a name that evokes home goodness in your customers’ minds. Go to the heart of the matter. While you might be fond of sled dogs, you certainly would not name your business Husky Pizza Company. Who would buy it? Too fattening! Find something that really sends your message. Mama Mia’s Pizza Kits? Dough Bro Homegrown? Let your imagination loose and do some brainstorming. Then discuss your ideas with a branding pro.

A big part of branding is not only how you want people to think of your business, but getting them to think of you at all. How will you stand out in a sea of competition? At the risk of sounding cliché, think outside the box. Give people something to remember you. When I lived in Miami, I used to see fishermen set up by the docks downtown, offering a day’s fresh catch. One fisherman stood out from the others. He gave away a small, plastic bag with a very special herbal mixture to cook fish to perfection. These little bags probably cost him a quarter, but they made him the most successful fish peddler on the dock. Eventually he even made a label for his herbs and his daughter sold them to local markets. The method is tried and true. It’s called giving something extra, or going the extra mile. People remember that.

coke1950Now insert your logo here. Ideally your logo reflects the name or the type of business. Think of Coca Cola. I’d bet you can close your eyes and see their logo, one of the most recognized corporate icons in all of human history. Even without the bottle, everyone recognizes Coke.

bestbuyAnother great example is Best Buy. It’s a great name. Everyone wants to get the best buy when they shop for applianc
es, stereos, computers, mobile phones, etc. It’s also a great logo. It’s a price tag with the company name on it. Simple, yet powerful.

We’ve explored business name, standing out in a crowded market, and seen some great logos. Is that all there is to Branding? Not by a long shot. Watch this space for more of the “skinny” on branding.

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