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Think of any famous brand for just a second. What’s the first thing that popped into your head? We’d bet 100 to 1 that you just thought of that brand’s logo. Most people would. When someone says the word, “Nike”, your mind’s eye immediately sees its famous check mark swoosh. For “McDonald’s” you’d probably think golden arches and then start craving a Big Mac.

While logos are an important part of branding, they are not your brand. Simply put, a logo is a symbol or other small design that a business (or person) adopts to be identifiable and distinguishable. Logos include elements like typography, lines, symbols, shapes, colours and styling to create an emblem that aids and promotes public recognition. A brand, however, is the sum experience of every touchpoint a customer has with your company. It is ALL things associated with your business. Let’s take a look at some of what that means.

Your Brand is The Way It Speaks: 

In marketing, we call this “copy”. These are the words that help to create the kind of personality you want your brand to reflect, as well as how you promote your products and services via messaging. Language includes tone, cadence, rhythm, the kinds of words you use, and how you use them. You can be quirky, serious, direct, playful, use wordplay, industry jargon, be sesquipedalian (use big words), satirical or academic. Whether written or spoken, your language forms part of your identity and overall brand.

Your Brand Is Its Imagery:

People make snap judgments. It takes only 1/10th of a second to form a first impression, thus the visuals used become part of your brand. Imagery is your appearance that communicates what your brand represents, who it’s for, what it does and conjures specific feelings about your brand. In addition to your logo, it includes colours, font styles, packaging design, photography and the people/things reflected in those photos.

Your Brand Is Its Products/Services:

Most “About Us” pages on websites that promote a product or service will usually read a little something like this: We are a soft drink beverage company… We are an architectural design group… or like our very own website reads. “we are a young branding, web development and digital marketing studio with big dreams.” Your offering lets audiences know the industry you operate in and what it does for them. That’s your brand.

Your Brand Is It’s Quality and Price:

Who hasn’t used the phrases: “That’s an expensive brand” or “That’s a cheap quality brand” when referring to a company’s products? The cost and quality of your offering determine how your brand is positioned within the marketplace, and how it is categorised from a consumer value point of view. It also helps to determine its customer group. Louis Vuitton for instance is known for its opulence, quality and higher price points, which is part of what has defined the brand.

Your Brand Is Its Values:

You are what you stand for. Like people, businesses are defined by their beliefs, philosophies and principles. Values serve as the cornerstones of “who you are”.

Your Brand Is Its Perceptions: 

This is arguably the most important characteristic of all, as perception is determined by all touchpoints of your brand. It includes how you define yourself, but also how you are defined by others. For example: if your business defines itself as cool, current, young and quality-driven, and everything about it meets those definitions in the public eye, then that will be its perception. But if your brand does not meet those descriptors, and appears outdated, boring, and your products break easily, then the perception will be different. This presents a further challenge as your brand will be considered inconsistent or false. Thus perception is your brand as it determines what people consider it to be, whether true or not.

Other elements such as Colour Palette, Strategy, People, Facilities, Technology, Interactions, and Location to name a few are all part of your brand, just like your logo. But a logo itself, is not a brand.

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