Brand is more than a logo. Brand is everything and everything is brand.
You are not alone, everyone equates brand with logo. But just hold on a minute… just because everyone believes something doesn’t make it true. The best way I can think to describe this is: The menu is the logo for the food. The menu is not the food, it is a picture or a description of the food. But it is not the food. Get it? Any designer will tell you, clients say design me a new brand… but that is not the first step to branding! The first step is your mission, strategy, customer service, voice, style, tribe, and then, once everything is thought out, decided, and written down, it is the visuals. Waaaaaaaah you say, I want a logo now! Right then let’s talk about why a logo is not a brand. We’ve got a LOT of work to do to get you to the logo!
Here is what a logo IS: a signature icon representing the identity of a company with letterhead, and matching business cards. Branding involves strategy, messaging, emotional appeal, AND visual identity. Is it getting clearer? Before you choose your colors and make that ‘logo’ you need to decide on your mission, who is your tribe, what is your strategy for completing that mission? And yeah, that will take more than a few minutes. Rushing to create that signature icon before you flesh out the core of your brand is actually putting the horse before the cart. You have what you need but you’re not going anywhere.
Biggest First Step
Your biggest first step is deciding you want a business, now articulate your mission, the point of it all. Why you? Why this way? Why now? After that, you’ve got to figure out who is your client/audience/tribe. These are the people you are pointedly going to be marketing to and hopefully, they will want what you’ve got! Secret tip, go narrow rather than wide. I know you think having thousands, no, millions of people to market to is better odds. However, having 100 people who actually read, listen to, and buy your stuff is more profitable. Those thousand million have lots of choices and you most certainly won’t do everything right for all of them. Better chances with a smaller pond!
Ok, now what? Go buy your domain. It may be true that websites could become the ‘buggy whips’ of yesteryear, but still, now, they are part of the credibility you need to be in business. Once you start working out what to call your luscious business now that you know your mission, vision, and tribe you will have some ideas and start the process of buying a .com. Secret tip, I suggest getting -yourname.com- if you have a common name you’ll need to play around with initials, etc. Unless you are making a product, then -widget.com- would be your ticket. Using your own name is a super easy, quick way to get an umbrella up for all your businesses. You might be going gangbusters on selling red shoes, but then you start selling blue books, both can be sold under your name. Or you can keep inventing and buying all sorts of domains and keeping track of them all… (too much trouble) for now, until you have an army of employees, make it easy. Buy -yourname.com-.
Aha! Now you are starting to understand that a logo is way way down the list when creating a brand. You are so smart! I do have more for you, Too Many Choices Tuesday is my live video every Tuesday at 10 am. Or maybe you are ready to polish up your brand check out the Brand Fix Kit.