You’ve probably heard of branding at this point. It’s in every webinar, conference and summit. All of your faves, including influencers, bloggers, music artists, and even your local convenience store have brands. The problem is, no one ever takes it back to the basics. They may as well be talking to a brick wall, because all they do is throw words around. Because of that, every five minutes, you consider a new logo or color palette. You shouldn’t touch those things until you understand what they are and how they impact your business! I break it down in my latest YouTube video about this topic. If you’re more of a visual or auditory learner, I suggest giving it a watch.
Branding can be overwhelming, confusing, and make you downright avoidant. I want to walk you all through the definition of a logo, brand identity and branding. So I want to make sure that we break things down into the itty bitty pieces that they are. You need to understand that a logo is not a brand. Like Meek Mill said, there’s levels to this sh*t.
Let’s start with the infamous logo. It is a wordmark or a symbol that represents the brand. It represents a snapshot of what your brand is about, and helps your audience recognize your business. It’s what you send event organizers when you’re about to speak at a conference, on the header of your website, or in the corner of those social media posts on your Instagram page. With logo files, you should have a full suite available: a primary, alternate and submark. You’ll have a wide array of logotypes to use that are cohesive in any space. There are a few things that I think your logo definitely needs to be. It definitely needs to be unique and original. You don’t want to go around copying anyone else’s. It also has to be memorable. Now that we’ve talked about what a logo is and how you use it in your business, let’s move on to brand identity.
The melting pot of your brand, it’s a cohesive coming together of the elements. Your brand identity includes your logo, colors, and marketing materials like your business cards and patterns, business cards and marketing materials in order to differentiate you from your competition. You probably said, “I want to look different than everyone else,” just yesterday, but if there’s no strategy involved, it’s going to be super hard to make that happen. Your brand identity encourages your audience to think, “I like how it looks. I like how it sounds. I like how it feels. Let me partake.”
You need to understand that a logo is not a brand. Like Meek Mill said, there’s levels to this sh*t.
Branding is the process of building out the experience that you want your audience to have. Your favorite brands have spent months, maybe even years going through the branding process to build the perception that you have of them. They sat down and developed their strategy, experience and journey of their client and customer. Branding is the reason you choose Target instead of Walmart, or Sephora instead of Ulta. It’s even the reason you graduated from shopping at places like Forever 21 to H&M to House of CB. These corporations have elevated your consumerism because of branding. And let me just say, branding is not just for huge business. Branding can start from a team of one to 1,000. It includes how you gather your audience, develop age ranges, a purpose and psychology behind what you’re selling.
We always hear the saying, “if you think your market is oversaturated just take a walk down the bread aisle.” And it’s so true. Find your audience and make what you have to offer irresistible. Branding doesn’t stop when you have a rebrand or when you have a logo or a website. Branding is what I like to call a living organism. It’s something that will always change depending on you, your audience, and your service suite.
Comment below and let me know what part of the process you’re in. Are you working on branding, building your logo or focusing on your full identity?
I'm Sydney Hart, a brand strategist, designer and copywriter that rebrands content creation and marketing experts so they can re-inrtoduce themselves while building credibility. I help you attract dream collaborations and clients with a new show-stopping brand and website.