Let’s be clear from the outset, your logo is one part of your brand identity, it is not the whole of your brand. A strong brand identity is a set of parts that should be developed in total. If someone offers to “design” your logo as a separate exercise you should be concerned. Your logo is part of an eco-system along with the surrounding colour palette, related imagery, tone of voice and key brand messages.
Brands start with the thinking or brand strategy. You need to define what type of business you want to build, how you want to be perceived and your relative position in the market (volume player, mid-range or niche.) Once you have the strategic thinking defined you have the basis of the brand voice and key messages and can start to consider the brand design.
When we start the brand design process we create a set of concept designs that range from the safe to the radical. It provides a double-check for the strategy and positioning of the business. This helped Absolute Antibody to assess their brand design to capture the essence of their business.
Colour is central to branding. Just think Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson and a colour comes to mind. But a brand colour is not just the logo colour. The Argos logo is red and white but the most distinctive element is the light blue they use along with the logo on catalogues, signage and vehicles.
Brand imagery is also a key part of the set. That might be the use of a character like the Lloyds Bank horse, a symbol like the Nike swoosh, or it might be the style of photography that you use to project your brand. It can be useful to think of your brand as a character or personality and build imagery around the brand that reinforces that personality.
Your tone of voice is the way that you project your brand and sits alongside the visual imagery. It can be fun, creative, leading edge, challenging or many others variations. But it needs to be defined so that your marketing has a single tone of voice over time.
Finally, within your brand identity set is the delivery of consistent brand messages. How will your brand stand out from competitors and position itself in the market? Who are you trying to appeal to and what perceptions do you want to create amongst your target audience?
The consistent use of a defined brand identity helps to build brand awareness and visibility. Your brand requires the same care, attention and investment as your R&D, product development and investment in equipment. It is core to every successful business.