As digital marketers, we like to think we understand the importance of an effective brand that communicates an organisation’s values efficiently, in a way that is engaging and aesthetically pleasing as well as informative.
It is therefore essential for all organisations undertaking the mission to improve and market their brand to understand whether or not they have a brand or a logo and which they are looking to change. Our senior designer Matt Gadd outlines the differences between the two:
Lovin’ the Logo
A logo in its simplest form consists of either a symbol, text or a combination of both with specific colours and typefaces typically dictated by an overarching brand aesthetic. Its purpose is to be a memorable visual element that makes it easy to associate with a company or organisation. The most effective logos evoke an emotional connection with the products or services they offer, creating a much stronger connection between the organisation and its audience.
This emotional connection can only be achieved through building the brand behind the logo. For example, consider what comes to mind when you see this logo:
It’s doubtful you’d think ‘that’s a yellow M-shape logo’. Instead, you would be instantly reminded of the salty fries, the McDonalds ‘Lovin it’ whistle jingle, how quickly you can get a meal, how easy the self-service machines are in store or how you can always get a Big Mac at the end of a night out. These experiences, memories and emotions are all part of the McDonalds brand and have been all meticulously thought out and executed, so you’ll buy into the idea of buying their food as much as the food itself.
The Collective Brand
Brand is used to encompass every predefined touchpoint a company has with its customers. This includes the usual visual points like the logo, packaging, website design, photography, uniforms etc., but also more in depth aspects of the business, such as tone of voice in messaging, customer experience, the type of music for a TV advert, or even the fragrance of a retail space. Your brand is the entire experience your audience has with your organisation.
Consider, for example, our own brand. While you would most immediately associate Spindogs with our signature red and the Spindogs ears, our brand extends far beyond the logo and marketing materials – you know us as the friendly, approachable voice on Twitter, the warm welcome at HQ, the client parties that change the way you think about networking, and hopefully much more.
Any good brand is constantly in some state of flux – you should always aim to reshape your core elements to adjust to the changes in your business and how it grows over time. Your brand should be treated as something adaptable and supple, and like staff, buildings or equipment it should be treated like all the other assets of your organisation. You should constantly strive to review and question it at any stage of its lifespan, to make sure it’s relevant, and it does the job. And, at the end of the day, the most important question to ask yourself about your brand is ‘Can it be improved?’
What are the signature features of your brand? Get in touch with us for more in-depth advice on how to improve your brand image. We can help every step of the way – from brand positioning, value setting and tone of voice to designing your logo or building your online marketing presence.