Marketing Strategy 101: Do you have a brand or a logo?

Marketing Strategy 101: Do you have a brand or a logo?9 logo design tips that will turn that “symbol” into a brand

You can do a quick search on Google and find a website that will allow you to put text and a clip art image together to form a logo—quick and cheap, and not so bad looking. Sadly, you may also find that another company did the same thing and you both have the same identifying mark.

A logo is simply a “mark” that serves as a visual and textual identifier for your company. Many companies have ugly or lackluster logos – possibility built by a similar online cheap or free logo generator, or even designed by their “talented” friend or family member – yet still thrive in the business world. Others spend thousands to have something beautiful designed, only to find it didn’t make their business any more successful.

So what’s the difference? What makes a brand better? What makes it “more than a logo”?

A brand is…

  1. Your company name or mark, presented in a CLEAR and IDENTIFIABLE way (yes, your logo is part of your brand).
  2. UNIQUE in your vertical marketplace, standing out from your competitors.
  3. Contains VISUAL NUANCES (the name, tagline, colors, and images) that will resonate with your customers and target market.
  4. Something that DEFINES and REPRESENTS who you are and what you stand for.
  5. CONSISTENTLY (yes, CONSISTENTLY) in the face of your customers and prospects. That means design, color, size, and proportion.
  6. An AUTHENTIC representation of your organization’s TONE, VOICE, and PERSONALITY.
  7. EVERYWHERE your customers are. That means on your business cards, Facebook page, signage…even the printed packaging tape you use to seal up your shipping boxes!
  8. WEARABLE. Your customers/followers/fans should be able to wear it proudly.
  9. Finally, your brand is MEMORABLE!

Think about it: People WANT to wear t-shirts that say NIKE or Coca-Cola. The design of those logos is not what makes it wearable; it’s what the logo stands for, an identity the wearer wants to be identified with.

Is a logo part of the brand? Absolutely. And some companies have a brand and never realize it. Having a clear idea of what your company does and who it is speaking to is the start of building your brand (and, yes, your business plan). Creating a mark that represents that is the next step; then ensuring it’s consistent use is key.

You can – and should – have a logo. If you are looking for that logo to do its job for you, then you need to make sure if covers these 9 parameters.

Bottom line is this: if you think all you need is a logo, you are missing a key business marketing opportunity. Your “logo” must represent who you are, what you do, and who you serve. It must then be presented in a consistent manner to your audience. And it must clearly represent what your company does so that your customers are proud to be associated with it. In others words, your logo must be your BRAND.

Caryl Felicetta – the “Thinker” behind the marketing blog Think Plan C – has spent more years than she likes to share as a left- and right-brained marketer for products and services of large and small companies. A change of life in the past few years (on more levels than one) took her from part owner of a marketing company back to the client creative side. From branding to concept development, on through to the execution of websites and print, it almost seems impossible for one brain to handle. A love of writing has been added to the already full creative plate. She's also very lucky to have a good man and 3 crazy Labs at home who tolerate her constant motion. It's a whole new world and she's loving every minute of it! Leave a comment…she loves to engage in dialogue.

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