Why Branding Matters: Beyond the Logo

Jul 7th, 2017 Design

“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”

- Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon

Essentially, Bezos is saying that your company’s brand is similar to your personal reputation. He couldn’t be more spot-on. A brand, in its entirety, is a living, breathing, very real thing. Think about it this way: as a person you are more than your physical appearance and styling choices. How you speak, engage, think and share all contribute to your overall brand. A company operates much the same. Many business owners underestimate the importance of a holistic brand. I challenge you - a logo isn’t enough. It’s only a PART of the brand. It’s as important as choosing to remain hygienic and wear appropriate clothing, but how you treat people matters even more.

A brand is all encompassing: look, form and function. A brand asset is something that contributes to the overall brand. A logo is a brand asset. It’s a piece of the puzzle. Any one of the pieces should give you context and information, but until you put all of the pieces together, you lack true clarity. A great brand gives you clarity and sets an expectation. It’s a promise. You know that you’ll receive (blank) when you consume (blank). That’s why brand matters.

Why is my logo not good enough?

Several times a week I sit down with business owners and marketing directors and we have the infamous ‘this logo isn’t going to fly’ conversation. Too many times, I’ve had to say, “... Tell me about your logo. How does it make you feel? What does it say about you?” Too often the answer doesn’t align with their intention as a business. I don’t have this conversation to be mean, or because I enjoy picking on the work of others. I lean into this conversation because in order to succeed, sometimes a business just has to get out of its own way.

Strong logos follow these markers:

  • Have a simple; thus, more memorable shape.
  • Elicit a single idea or concept.
  • Include negative space, to protect it from getting lost.
  • Relevant font choice, including color and size.
  • Defined proper usage, including different versions for different specifications.
  • Stand the test of time.

Pictured: Branding for Aqua Blue Pool Service designed by Kicks 

Beyond technical design parameters, brand visuals should take a brand identity into account. Does each element of the visual congruent with how the business wants to be perceived in the marketplace? Does each component of the brand reflect the value that the company is trying to bring? Brand identity is something that you as a business can control. It’s the tone that you want to set. How the tone is received is your brand image. Companies, even small town mom and pop shops, have to take the reins and set the proper tone.

How do we tackle branding?

After we’ve determined that there is a need, our engagement begins with homework. We send our clients a worksheet to help them prepare so that we can have the most productive conversation. From there, we’re able to have more granular discussions and our research continues. Context is everything. Brands aren’t created in a vacuum. Dialogue is so important. We want our clients to be raving fans of the work that we do. In the same vein, our work needs to be reflective of what our clients need. It’s a two-way street, so the lines of communication must remain open and active.

Feeling insecure about your brand?

If you’re feeling inadequate- like you’re just as good as they other guys, but don’t look the part. Or, if your business is changing and your current look no longer reflects what you’re hoping to do- it’s time to audit your brand. At Kicks, we’re conscientious of business owners at the small to midsize range; therefore, we have a logo package priced at $525.00 to get your business headed in the right direction and a complete branding package priced at $2,000.00 to really create momentum. Reach out to learn more about what might be the best fit for your business!

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