Let’s face it. You’ve scrolled through enough social media and helpful articles with the well known fact – “A brand is more than just a logo”. I must have seen articles like that a hundred times by now, in fact I saw one just this morning, that prompted me to write this very article, as usual the article was more of an advert for that agency’s ‘branding’ service, which despite the title… Seemed very much to be just a logo.
..Oh right, you got a colour palette too…
And while a logo and a colour palette are a step in the right direction. It’s only a tiny part of all of the important things that make up a successful brand.
Every business has a logo, but very few have a brand. And that’s what you need if you want to stand out in 2020.
So what else does make a brand?
Well let’s use some well-known examples of brands to get an idea of what you should be discussing with your creative agency when you’re looking into getting a brand started (or rebranding). If you aren’t getting these things from them… Then you’re just paying for a logo design, despite what they call it – and they probably hiked the price up too.
You’ve probably heard of a little company called Apple, it’s one of the strongest brands in the world.
When you think about the Apple brand, I’m sure a whole bunch of words come to mind. For me they are ‘simple, clean, premium, professional’, and funnily enough ‘metal’. If you look at their website, or an advert, or even one of their products you’ll see the same core brand points echoed everywhere… Everything that they release enforces the same brand values.
Their website uses lots of white space, crisp lettering, huge contrast between headlines and paragraphs, and often has interactive items that move as you scroll – even that enforces the values of innovation and forward thinking.
Their products – let’s face it, are not cheap. They are high value, they are well designed, premium build quality, and as their old slogan goes – “it just works”. They also completely stop selling previous models as soon as they release an update, which expresses an efficiency, and perfectionism.
The images used, and tone of voice are consistent across everything that you see. And impressive feat for a huge company with over 100,000 employees…
… And it’s achieved with a strong set of brand guidelines. A strict and as specific-as-possible set of rules covering everything from how the logo should be displayed, colours that should be used, what tone of voice to use when writing, to what style of images can be used – clear isolated images displayed on pure white in Apple’s case. I’m sure that Apple’s brand guidelines are much longer than that.
And that is the level of discussion and planning that you should be expecting when you get a brand design or strategy from an agency.
Not to worry though!
It’s never too late to develop a brand for your business, blog, ecommerce venture, or whatever else you might want a brand for. Even you can be a brand. Think about influencers and speakers. What is it that keeps people coming back them time after time?
It’s consistency. A brand is about being consistent. In any way that is important to you for your company. When you establish a brand, this is what you should be thinking about – what values are important to your business, and how can you plan to be consistent with them.