A brand is not a logo. Not only. A brand consists of so many different parts, and I am not talking about the colours, fonts, and photos you use with your logo. A brand is everything that you do! Your looks are only a part of it.
You have a brand in your logo, colours, and fonts, and are not sure what else there is to building a brand with a strong foundation.
I want to use the visual of an iceberg to explain this. Your logo? That’s the flat surface that reflects the light when a ship gets close to it and draws attention. A ship, in this case, is your audience. Everything that’s below the water? That’s still your brand even though your audience may never see it or know about it, but it’s also what keeps that tip above the water so it’s visible.
If you create only a logo, continuing with my metaphor, that’s a sheet of ice that the ship crashes through and never notices.
In addition, your brand’s logo should only come after you have your foundation. Let’s go with another visual example here… think of it like building a house, do you paint your walls before building the foundation and walls?
WHAT A BRAND CONSISTS OF
A brand consists of two main things…
A BRAND STRATEGY
The brand strategy is the foundation and all those things you already know, but your clients may never hear about. This is the iceberg below the surface, the foundation, walls, and roof of your house, and all of the research behind your logo (and other visuals).
The brand strategy consists of three main things…
Research your audience, competitors, and platforms
Discover your purpose, vision, mission, and values
Create your personality, tone, voice, and language style
A VISUAL IDENTITY
The visual identity is how everything looks and the pretty things that draw your audience in. Those logo, colours, and pretty fonts are a part of your visual identity. But that’s only a small part of your brand! A brand is what your audience perceives about your products, services, and business. Please note that I wrote perceives there and not sees. Why?
WHERE YOUR BRAND IS USED
A brand consists of everything within your business including, but not limited to…
your business strategy
invoices and contracts
social media captions
marketing strategy, plans, and campaigns
the appearance of your all of your products, services, employees, and channels
the way you sound
the way you respond to comments, DMs, questions
and so much more
There are some parts of a brand strategy that are taken from business plans and there are some parts in your marketing campaigns that come from your brand identity.
It’s all connected and a brand has a finger in every pie and knows everything that is happening within your business.
WHERE YOUR BRAND IS SEEN
Only once you have done all of this work, then you should create your logo. A logo without all that research is only a pretty picture that you like. Because honestly, without all that research, you’re creating the logo for you, not for anybody else.
And is that what you want it to do? Do you want it to draw you in or to draw your audience in? So, no, a logo doesn’t come first nor is that what a brand consists of.
Your strategy, however, can be really hard to see, especially at first glance. People are drawn to the visuals, like your logo, before they look deeper into a brand to find the strategy. Think of it this way – your visual identity draws your audience in and your strategy keeps them with you.
The most common areas where your brand is seen are…
Maybe some patterns
Probably a brand shoot
Definitely all the SM accounts
Last year I posted up a short reel on Instagram to illustrate what a logo can do for you. I got major help from Tom and Jerry, and they are adorable! Check it out here.
WHERE TO START
I previously wrote two articles that can help you out. Here are the Four questions to answer before getting a logo and, if you already have a logo and a visual identity in place, check out The brand process, in case you skipped it.
Starting with your logo and visual identity leads to creating an entire appearance for your brand based on what everybody else is doing, your own likes, and clients that you already have. And if you’ve already started your visual identity in place and maybe have a lot of followers on your social media, you may feel like your brand is complete.
But the truth of it is, that very few of us actually stay with the same visuals that we started with. Consider this – how many logos have you gone through?
Once you have your strategy in place, you will be able to have a logo that sticks and stays with your brand as you grow. You want to be memorable and consistent, it is very hard to be both when you change your logo every year (or every other month). If you agree with me, share this article so others can get a better understanding of this concept too.