Starting your business is hard. Growing your business is harder. In this article, you’ll learn about the most common branding misunderstanding.
Branding your business may seem easy in comparison to just simply starting a business, but over and over I see entrepreneurs make the same major branding misunderstanding mistake.
This ‘branding misunderstanding’ often leads them to iGina and I not only fix the branding problem, but I often revamp their whole brand into something remarkable.
What is the branding misunderstanding that almost all business owners make?
Your Brand is NOT your logo
The first thing most entrepreneurs do when developing their brand is making a logo.
Don’t get me wrong, a logo is, of course, an integral part of your brand to help your business become recognized and recognizable. After all:
- All of the iconic brands have iconic logos, right?
- It might seem logical that the first thing you would do for your brand is to make a logo.
- It seems like almost every day on social media I see entrepreneurs who are just starting their new business… asking their network to help them choose a logo design.
But I also see something else…the majority of our clients come to us because they realized that their logo doesn’t actually reflect their business or their intended dream brand.
Let’s make one thing absolutely, positively clear: A logo is NOT a brand. A brand is a strategy.
I live and breathe a simple, magical, powerful brand creation motto:
Begin With Strategy
A brand may seem to be a fuzzy thing that is hard to define, and you probably feel that you know what a brand is when you see it. Humans are in fact, visual creatures and that’s why logos are so powerful.
But, a brand is actually much deeper than that.
It’s not all about what you see, a brand is how it makes you feel.
A brand must evoke a feeling, every aspect of your company must exude the brand. Every touch point – especially every customer touch point – must convey your brand. If that’s the case, it cannot be left to chance (remember that no brand at all is still a brand! see this and this and this), and therefore a clear and strong brand strategy is needed.
You must first create the foundation. Ask and answer these questions:
- What is your company really about?
- What problem do you really solve?
- Who really are your clients?
This is what makes your brand unique and sets you apart from your competitors and ultimately, resonates with your target customers.
Nike, one of the most iconic brands in terms of business, tagline, and logo, has a really strong purpose:
I’d been unable to sell encyclopedias, and I’d despised it to boot. I’d been slightly better at selling mutual funds, but I’d felt dead inside. So why was selling shoes so different? Because, I realized, it wasn’t selling. I believed in running. I believed that if people got out and ran a few miles every day, the world would be a better place, and I believed these shoes were better to run in. People, sensing my belief, wanted some of that belief for themselves.
The famous Nike logo is said to symbolize the wing of the famous Greek Goddess of Victory, Nike. Learn more about the logo here.
It’s very clear that the logo was built upon and inspired by the strong purpose of the company – not the other way around.
Your company can do the same thing – the strategy first, design second.
End With Design
The design is very, very important to your brand.
Once you have a strong brand foundation and you know what your brand strategy is, then it’s time for design. This is where it can be creative or crowd-sourced – but most importantly it must align with your brand strategy.
For example, if your brand is all about simplicity and creating zen and peace for your clients, you may not want to have bright, bold colors and a complicated logo.
Ideally, your logo reflects your brand and brand strategy, and just like your brand itself, must mean something to you and your customers.
Go ahead, design your logo and get your friends, family, and future customers to comment and help you choose! But before you do this, take the necessary time to define and reflect on your brand strategy.
Now what? How To Get Started
Check our helpful brand strategy articles and get a better idea of what branding is and you can download our DIY Build My Brand toolkit to start mapping yours directly into a strategic framework.
If you have a logo already, see if it really reflects your current brand strategy.
Remember that many companies routinely update their logo as the company strategy changes and matures over time.
Design always evolves, read the Google logo evolution here.
Entrepreneurs move quick and get things done, that’s why I love them! But, maybe it’s time to take a few seconds to think if the logo truly reflects who your company is. Yes? Yay! No?
Contact me, and my brand-obsessed team at iGina and we will help guide your logo back to your brand.
The Way Forward
Guiding entrepreneurs on their journey to a remarkable brand is the mission of the Brand Alchemy Library.
For many of us, running or launching our business while facing a global pandemic has opened up a whole new range of challenges: from pivoting businesses models, evolving customer groups, saving money, and time efficiency - just to name a few. I want to support and help, especially at this time. I wanted to give back. My passion project was born from the desire to help even more people around the world in a affordable way!
The Brand Alchemy Library is a supportive community and resource vault designed to help your business thrive.
Inside, my #1 priority is to help entrepreneurs break free of the cycle of spending hours and hours googling how to's and templates. The resources I provide in the library are 100% vetted and the exact frameworks, templates, exercises, and worksheets that I use with my clients to:
- build brands
- setup businesses
- run day-to-day projects
- action marketing and brand strategies
But, I'll tell you now, if truly becoming a remarkable brand is your goal, you NEED to join the Library Membership. Just saying.
Until next time,
Who am I?
I'm Gina Dunn, Brand Strategist and CEO of iGina - and my mission is to help entrepreneurs to define and build brands. Let's bring your brand to life!
Did you know that brand-led businesses outperform their competition by 83%? Get started by mapping out your very own brand strategy yourself with our Brand Canvas - get it here.