Blog Posts

Branding Beyond a Logo

I’ll often hear from senior managers: “We do brand development.  We just redesigned our logo and created a whole new style guide.”   What they don’t seem to understand is that a logo is just a symbol of their brand. It’s  not “branding.”  Sure, a well-designed logo is important, and having it appear consistently across all touch-points is critical. But your brand goes much deeper than the logo.

A company’s brand is its story in which the entire company has a starring role.  As Seth Godin writes in his blog post Logo vs. Brand, “Your brand is…a set of emotions and expectations and a stand-in for how we think and feel about what you do.”  That is, when your customer or even your employees think of your brand, it’s how it makes them feel and the impressions that immediately come to mind. So your brand declaration (tagline, messaging, etc.) must be believable and inline with how the brand is perceived internally and externally.

The investment to get this right sometimes tends to be more than what companies are willing to make ­- not just financially but culturally, as senior management is hesitant to make this leap. The focus tends to be on tactical tangibles: “What stuff am I going to get for my budget?”

In many cases the idea of spending the time and resources to not only discover your brand essence, develop a brand platform and then operationalize it across all levels of your business can be a daunting proposition for many to take on.

But I can tell you that the investment is well worth it.  Because once your brand essence is understood and embraced by your internal culture and integrated into your overall business strategy, any tactical elements you develop moving forward will be leveraged longer and will result in a more favorable ROI.

Julie Lawson
- Brand Strategist