Let’s get this out of the way.
Your logo is NOT your Brand.
There, I said it. So now we can move on.
Your logo is NOT your Brand because it’s just one small piece of the bigger puzzle when it comes to how you share your value and deliver your promise to your ideal customer.
True, your logo may be seen as the “front door” to your business and services, but it only serves as an introduction to the larger picture – which is YOU and your Brand.
That being said, there’s so much competition in the marketplace today – so your logo is an opportunity to allow your Brand to stand out, get noticed, create awareness and encourage customers and clients to take a closer look at your offerings.
Therefore, developing a strong, effective and visually appealing logo is a vital part to building a successful Brand – and it provides the first impression of you and your business.
A logo creates a connection with your customer, and it conveys the experience someone is going to get with you and your Brand. It’s an opportunity you should invest in mentally, physically – and financially.
Besides, don’t you want your Brand’s front door to be welcoming and inviting to potential clients and customers?
Otherwise, they’ll pass you by for a competitor – and that’s definitely not good for your business.
Logo + Brand Identity – Questions to Ask
When I work with a client during my Logo + Brand Identity development process, I first need to discover and define what makes you and your business different.
Why do customers choose you? Why should customers choose you?
How is your business perceived? How do you want your business to be perceived?
Who are your competitors? How are you different from your competitors?
Whatever your answers are to these questions… that unique factor, emotion and personality should shine through in the look & feel of your Brand.
So let’s dive into a sampling of the questions I ask a client when my team and I develop a new logo and Brand Identity.
1) What does your Brand stand for?
Consider the goals for your Brand, the mission, the vision. This is a biggie. If you need help here, I suggest you start with the 360 Reach Personal Branding Survey. It will help provide the answers and clarity you need to move forward.
2) What values should your logo and Brand communicate?
Think about the core principals of your Brand and the values you want to embrace. Then consider the emotional connection you want to make with your customers and clients. Where do these overlap? Those are the values of your Brand and they are your guideposts moving forward. Do your values consist of freedom, adventure and service? Perhaps beauty, harmony and growth? Or even health, strength and courage?
3) Is there a story behind your Brand?
Telling a (simple) story within the Brand’s logo can be very powerful. For example, did you know the BMW logo is a tribute to the company’s history in aviation? The logo actually represents a propeller in motion with the blue part representing the sky. This is due to the company’s role of building aircraft engines for the German military during World War II. Now that’s a powerful story.
And do you know the meaning of the three ellipses in the Toyota logo? They represent three hearts – including the heart of the customer, the heart of the product, and the heart of progress in the field of technology. Powerful stuff.
So think about it. What powerful story, emotion or experience can your logo and Brand convey?
4) Who’s the Target Audience for your Brand?
What’s the demographic of your target audience? Age, income, gender, occupation, marital status, geographical location? What’s the psychographic of your target audience? Values, beliefs, lifestyle, hobbies, interests? With these answers in mind, now drill down further and develop your ideal customer avatar so that you’re able to craft a message that resonates with them on every level. Being able to do this successfully will be a very profitable exercise for you and your business.
5) What icons, symbols or tools represent your Brand?
This is not to say those specific icons will be used in the actual logo, however it provides great context as to the tools you use in your daily work. Many times it’s the answers to this question that will then spark additional insight and graphical inspiration.
6) What color is your Brand?
Color controls how your business is perceived and it can also control how your customers and clients interact with your Brand. After all, a strong Brand with the wrong colors is no longer a strong Brand – it’s a broken promise.
Color creates a connection. Color enhances a feeling. Color inspires an emotion.
Don’t you want to be able to shape these responses when someone views your logo, interacts with your marketing materials and engages directly with your Brand?
So make sure the color(s) you choose are aligned with your Brand.
Want to find out what color best communicates your Brand attributes? Check out my blog post on What Color is Your Brand? – and find out your color today!
7) Who are your main competitors?
It’s always helpful to know who your competitors are and how they’re positioning and marketing their services. What niche are they serving? What problem are they solving? This provides us powerful information on how to position your Brand and highlight how you’re different – very different – from your competitors. Which leads us directly into the next question.
8) How are you different from your competitors?
Once we understand who your competitors are, then we take that information and look for the white space – you know, the area that no one is currently serving (or few are serving), and the area where you have an opportunity to dominate and help stand out from the competition.
Oh yeah, that white space.
Are you starting to see the opportunity now?
9) What is the desired perception you want people to have and feel when they see your logo and experience your Brand?
Think about this question real hard before you answer. It’s that important and shouldn’t be approached lightly. After all, Branding is based on perceived perception, so you want to make sure you’re controlling how your Brand is perceived at every opportunity.
Do you want your customers and clients to perceive your business as young, edgy and revolutionary, or perhaps professional, conservative and established? New, old, big, small? Perception is everything. Spend time and dig deep here.
10) What’s your Brand’s Personality?
Similar to the desired perception question above, you should also be able to effectively describe your business Brand using a variety of adjectives.
For example, is your Brand… Feminine or Masculine? Young or Mature? Personable or Corporate? Luxury or Economical? Modern or Classic? Playful or Serious?
Having a clear understanding of your Brand’s personality will help guide your choices of color, typography, textures and messaging – and it will greatly help the overall Logo + Brand Identity development process go much more smoothly.
So, do you know your Brand’s personality?
If not, I always suggest my clients start with the 360 Reach Personal Branding Survey.
Contact me today and let’s get started!