Because you haven’t heard this definition enough if you’re an avid reader of our blog, a brand is a person’s gut feeling that they get when they think of your business. Many people have a hard time grasping the fact that a logo is not a brand, but rather an element of what makes a brand a brand. In fact, there are many elements that make a brand what it is, not just the logo. Brand elements matter, especially when you are in the business of making money and wanting your business talked about.
In a previous post, we talked about why people don’t talk about boring businesses, and if a story is your brand’s foundation, then what are more of the elements that go along with it?
Let’s think about some of your favorite businesses that you frequent. What makes it one of your favorite places? Is it the way it makes you feel when you walk in the door? Is it the customer service? Is it the fast, always dependable shipping when you order a product online? Is it the product packaging and the little details that are included when you interact with it? All of these elements are what make a brand.
When branding or rebranding your company, there are certain elements that you shouldn’t forget about. Many people just stop at the name of the company and the logo when defining a brand, but there is so much more. Let’s take a look at what some of these elements are that you need to be thinking about.
1. The Company Name
Of course the name is number one. The name is everything and is often one of THE most complex processes when forming a business. The name needs to be easy to remember, easy to spell and pronounce, easy to understand and diverse. What you don’t want is a name that will pigeonhole you into a certain product or service offering. Be sure the brand name can grow with your business.
2. The Logo
Yes, the logo. The very thing that most people confuse as the brand. Like the name, the logo needs to be easy to understand, memorable and simple. There was a good rule of thumb that I learned while in design school, “If you can’t shrink your logo down to the size of a nickel and still have it be legible, then it’s not a good logo.” Think about that.
3. Your Tagline
The simple, short, sweet and to the point story of who you are and what you do. A well thought out tagline should be no more than 7 words.
4. The Product and Service
The sole reason you are in business in the first place. Be descriptive with what your products and services have to offer. You also need to be sure that at this point, you have identified your key buyer persona. Everything from here on out that you do with your brand will be aimed at that buyer. Tell stories that your buyer will resonate and connect with.
5. The People
Your people are the heart of your company, and each need to be trained to properly tell your company story in the exact same way. A tip: put together an onboarding document so that each employee is trained in the exact same way. Be sure to include your company story, why you exist, what clients you work well with, your mission, vision, etc… so that when asked “What do you do?”, all of your people will respond in the exact same way.
6. Colors and Typography
This should really be defined as part of the logo process. However, this is often neglected and forgotten about. In the very beginning, you need to define your color palette, typography choices, photo usage, etc… so that everything produced in print or web are done consistently. Many companies lose focus here and put out products that are a very poor representation of their company. A tip: As part of your logo process, ask your designer to create a brand standards guide.
7. Your Process
This is probably THE most forgotten about brand element, but ironically, your most sellable point! How does your company do it? There is so much embedded into a process that most people don’t realize the value that having a written down process can bring. It keeps you from overselling and overpromising, it sets expectations, it gives constraints, and keeps the potential customer/client in the loop as to how things work and how your company does things.
When developing your brand or rebranding, remember to include these very important brand elements as part of the process. These little touches will help amplify your company’s brand in ways that inspire people to take action and buy!