Why branding isn’t just a logo
Client: Can you design me a brochure?
Designer: No worries, have you got your branding sorted?
Client: Yes, I’ve got a logo.
Designer: * Head in hands sobbing *
As a Creative Agency, the above is something we hear from clients over and over again, so we thought it’s time to define what branding actually is; what it should do and what it should consist of. Equally, we thought we’d outline what branding most definitely isn’t.
Branding is an identity.
Your brand is something you should be proud of, it’s something that sets you apart from others and it’s what defines you. A good brand can communicate who you are, what you do and ‘your reason to be’. Just like your own identity, a brand has a personality; it has characteristics and most importantly, it has a purpose, to communicate to your clients why they need you above your competition.
Branding is strategic.
A bad brand is designed without reason; it’s style for styles sake. Believe it or not, branding is created from research, it’s data led and is comprised of a strategy and narrative. Delving into a business to understand the who’s, what’s, where’s, whys and how’s is the key to creating an engaging brand that concisely communicates a company. Branding isn’t just aesthetics, it’s turning art into a science.
Branding is consistency.
Branding is built on awareness, the way to gain this awareness is by being consistent. Ensuring you have a set of brand guidelines that cover you for every eventuality is key. Your brand is the face of the business and is accessible 24/7 across varying platforms, therefore it needs to look the same every time it’s interacted with. Think of big brands you interact with, Vogue wouldn’t start switching up their Didot typeface to a Helvetica because they couldn’t find Didot in their font library, would they? What we’re trying to say is, familiarity instils trust so keep it consistent.
Branding is not just a logo.
It’s a (surprisingly) common misconception that a brand is simply a logo. Let’s set this straight, it is not. A brand should consist of research, it should understand a business and it should have an objective all of which is then beautifully illustrated through colour, typefaces, graphics, tone, creativity and most importantly, intelligence. A logo is merely the full stop at the end of a conversation.
Branding is not just reactive.
Branding isn’t an afterthought, it should be your starting point. Hastily putting your ‘brand’ on a pull-up banner or pen for an event that’s been sprung on you is not branding. Branding shouldn’t be reactive. Everything should be well thought out, from the imagery you choose to feature on that pull-up to the sizing of your logo on that pen. Having your brand in place enables you to be reactive without compromising your standards or message and in the long run, saves you money!
Branding is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.
If you shop at Amazon or have purchased Apple products, whether you watch Sky or subscribe to Netflix, you’ve experienced what big investment in branding can produce. It’s no accident these companies lead their markets. Their communication is clear and consistent, and they treat their brand as the heartbeat of the company.
This should be true of all businesses, it’s even more important for those fighting for footholds in saturated markets. Having a brand which embodies your business is something to shout about. Internally, a brand unites, creates company culture, and provides a purpose. Externally, your brand communicates what it is you do and what you do differently. It’s the first impression and, let’s face it, first impressions count.
Alex, our Creative Director, succinctly (we’re shocked too) defines branding as:
“… your visual and communication fingerprint”.
If you’re thinking of a rebrand or perhaps just a brand refresh, get in touch with us to see how we can help. You can get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0115 88 00 181.