Many times when small business owners come to Prolific looking for help with their branding, they contact us looking for “just a logo”. Overtime, we’ve discovered that “just a logo” isn’t enough for your brand. That’s why at Prolific we offer complete brand identity packages that will set your company brand on a path for success in your market. This post will cover the differences between your brand, brand identity, and logo; and why a cohesive brand identity is the best solution for your company.
Brand vs Brand Identity vs Logo
First let’s take a look at some definitions for these terms:
Brand: Your brand is the sum of the experiences your customers (also prospective customers & employees) have with your company. Your brand can be described as how customers think about and talk about your company to others. It’s how others’ view us. – The quality of your brand can be measured by how well outside brand perception matches the internal brand identity strategy.
Brand Identity: Your brand identity is a system of assets, tools, and guidelines designed to communicate, represent, and ultimately shape how the market views your brand. Your brand identity is how we strategically position your brand in customers’ minds. It’s how we look, act, talk, our values, promises, and intentions. – The quality of your brand identity can be measured by how well your company values, personality, and promises are communicated & reinforced consistently and cohesively throughout customer experiences/touch-points.
Your logo: You logo is a single visual mark that represents your company in the market. It’s the keystone to your visual brand, and is an abbreviation of your entire brand identity. The quality of your logo can be measured by these traits: Unique & memorable, versatile & scalable, and fitting for both your brand and market.
The main 3 reasons you want to design a brand identity instead of “just a logo”
We help you create a complete brand identity, which includes a logo, but much more valuable to your company over time.
1) You will have a brand identity that has been carefully and intentionally designed specifically for your company, your market, and your goals
There are 2 ways we could go about creating a logo for our clients:
The “Easy” way:
One way is we could ask you what you want and make it for you. Easy and done! Right? – Unfortunately far from it… With this approach there is no way for us or you to know if the logo fits what your company actually needs to accurately represent the company, clearly communicate and resonate with the market, and ultimately meet your goals for your company. There is also no consideration as to the rest of the brand around the logo, there is no way to know if the logo will allow your company to create the complete brand that you need using this logo. Usually these logos either aren’t used at all, or they don’t last long. It’s like buying a mechanical part before you have designed the machine or even know what the machine is supposed to do.
The right way:
The right way to create your logo is by starting first planning and designing the brand identity system as a whole, so that that system gives us direction and confirmation on what the individual components need to be (such as your logo). This is the approach we use. We use our discovery information from you along with our research and expertise to assess, define, and clarify your brand identity, strategy, values, market, internal and external brand divergences, and company and brand goals/objectives to create a clear brand identity system and that system allows us, and you, to review your brand assets objectively to determine if the work we’ve completed meets all of the project objectives that are created to allow you to achieve your company goals.
2) You will have all of the tools you need to be consistent & cohesive when communicating & marketing your business
Does it ever feel like with every marketing or communication piece seems like you are reinventing the wheel? Have you been frustrated with a designer trying to create a marketing piece for you that doesn’t at all match what it should have been to represent your company to the market? Do you see other brands that seem to “have it all together” and wonder how they get there?
Creating consistency and cohesiveness in your communications will make it easy to hand off your guidelines to any professional designer and get the result you were looking for. By strategically creating your brand identity with your company, market, and goals in mind – we are able to create a system of tools that can be used to create any number of future pieces that are consistent with the whole of the brand identity. This is what I call Fractal Branding, by creating 1 brand identity system, all future assets will stem from the whole and look like the whole, because they were built using the same tools as the whole.
3) You, your staff, and your clients will have clarity, confidence, and enthusiasm about your brand
The best part about creating a complete brand identity system is as we go through and complete the process with you you will have a very clear understanding about who and what your company is and what that means in the market. This clarity gives you and your company the ability to move with confidence – if your team clearly understands what your brand is, why customers should choose you, and how your brand communicates; they can act and make decisions with confidence in all areas of the company. The fogginess is removed, and replaced with a clear guide and understanding about who the company is, why it exists, and why customers should care.
Lastly, we all would like our staff and clients and ourselves to be enthusiastic about our brand – but how do we get there?
If we’ve done our job right, your newfound clarity through the system, and connection through discovery will give you a refreshed enthusiasm about your brand. Furthermore, staff and customers that also connect with your brand will be just as enthusiastic about it! This will make it easy for you to identify employee candidates and potential customers that may not be the right fit for your company. This means the more you put your brand out into the world, you will weed out poor fits and strengthen your company by connecting with customers and staff that are exponentially more valuable to your company.