Branding Doesn’t Start with a Logo
23 Sep 2014

Branding Doesn’t Start with a Logo

When I talk to entrepreneurs about branding I am continually baffled. Their process typically starts with a visit to a graphic artist to create a logo and some business card. They create a logo that represents the personality of the business owner. From there, logos, packaging and everything else stems from the logo. I guess it seems logical to most, but to me it is backward.

The logo should come as a result of a carefully crafted market strategy based on an understanding of the customer.

Creating customer focused branding starts with a series of questions.

•   Who will be buying my product?

•   What kinds of things appeal to that audience?

•   How can I use my brand to appeal to the customers I want?

Maybe this would make more sense if we clarified what “brand” means. In it’s simplest terms it is the look, feel and voice of a company. It is what people can expect when they interact with you.

My favorite example of brand is Disney. That Disney logo is easy to spot. It’s simple, recognizable and literally emanates magic. That is important, because the Disney brand is really all about magic. It’s not about a theme park or movies or even princesses. Disney has built an empire on the premise that they will create magical experiences for your children turning them into princesses or pirates or whatever they want to be. They understand that the logo is one small piece of the brand they have created, but it tells a story to their audience that the audience wants to hear.

Think about your brand. Who are your target customers? How old are they? Are they male or female? How much money do they make? What things are important to them? What context are they buying in? What do they spend money on? What kinds of things appeal to them?

Now that you have narrowed that down, you can start to think about your brand. What colors make sense? What fonts? What images? Is it modern, classic, resort, techno, environmentally conscious?

Now think about how your customers receive information. Do they watch videos? Do they read newspapers and magazines? Is music important? Do they use social media? Do they need an interactive experience?

How will they purchase? Web? Retail? Direct from you?

What is impacted by the brand? Is there a website? Signs? Packaging? A location? An experience?

Now that you have answers to all those questions, you can start thinking about what the brand should be.

If I can help, give me a call.

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