I’m guessing most of us at one time or another have been overwhelmed by the concept of branding. Perhaps we have had to tackle the launch of our organization or we’ve decided it’s time to create a new look and feel to kick start the next frontier of our work. Either way, branding is complex and doing it well requires a strong understanding of each part of the process and how the different parts relate to the overall picture.
Thus, I’m kicking off a new blog series today to help you and your staff answer common questions tied to launching a new branding strategy or rebranding existing work. In the coming months I will walk you through the steps of creating a positive image for your organization.
So, let’s get started: What is branding and what does it mean? After years of working as a designer, I’ve developed my own definition of branding, based on my varying industry experiences.
In my experience, the biggest misconception is that the terms ‘logo’ and ‘brand’ are interchangeable, which they are not. Simply put, a logo is not a brand and a brand is not a logo, rather these two components of branding are linked together by identity elements. Branding is made up of three parts which include: a logo, identity elements and the brand itself. I’ve broken down the pieces in the graph below.
- A logo is a graphic representation used by an organization to identify themselves.
- Identity elements are created from an organization’s logo to reinforce their visual message. For example, identity elements include, but are not limited to: business cards, letterhead, printed collateral and websites.
A brand is the origin of a promise to its key stakeholders.
- A brand doesn’t just include visual elements, but encompasses messaging and the personification of an organization’s products or services. For example, can an organization be trusted or not? A person might make a split-second buying decision based on an organization’s brand alone. Remember, branding is pushed outwardly by the organization, but the feedback from their key stakeholders ultimately helps to shape the organization in the public eye.
The main takeaway of branding is to understand that there are multiple pieces to the puzzle to get it right. And in the end, the key stakeholders experience is the foundation for every organization and there is no substitute for strong branding. Creating a strong branding strategy including your logo, your identity and your brand is imperative for an organization’s success.
Next time, we’ll dive deeper into the importance of branding and how to properly protect it. Now here’s your BrandBit for today (a.k.a fun fact!).
#BrandBit: Did you know that Coca-Cola’s red and white logo is recognized by 94 percent of the world’s population? Now that is what branding success looks like!
We hope you enjoy my blog series and if you have any suggestions or comments, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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