Your brand—so much more than your logo
Recently, the State of Colorado was rebranded. As part of an extensive process, the brand COLORADO team spoke with residents statewide, exploring cities, industries and people, all to understand what makes Colorado, Colorado. The result? They learned that Colorado’s defining characteristic is its nature: great mountains, steep canyons, stretching valleys, roaring rivers, and mountain lakes. The rebranding of Colorado was not just about creating a logo. It was about capturing and defining Colorado.
Brands are found everywhere.
You see them in clothing, people, companies, ideas, products, services, and yes, even states. Logos are sometimes confused with brands, but a brand is made up of more than just a logo. It includes the colors, fonts, and design style, which then contribute to communications pieces like presentations, brochures, and sales collateral, as well as digital marketing tools like websites, email, apps, and social media. Before you begin to design the visual elements of your brand (like the logo), you need to understand your brand. It is your company’s product or service or “solution,” and it is what sells (or at least you want it to). So, define it. Map it out so that you know your brand inside and out—strengths, weakness, competition, marketplace, history, future, etc.
What does your brand say to the world?
This is your brand identity, and it shapes how people think and feel about your brand. Think of it as the personality of your brand. A strong brand identity will create consistency and loyalty. Employees, business partners, and consumers all recognize brands by visual design, but they remember them more often by the feeling they have toward the brand. This comes through the connection they have with the brand identity.
Your logo is important.
Logos are often the first glimpse of your brand people see. Professional logo designs are thoroughly researched and discussed. The design is effective, creative, and well executed. Your logo will become a mark that is repeated and reused, so it is important to give it full attention.
Think about these recognizable logos. What are you first thoughts about each one?
You may have had an experience with each one that gives you that feeling. Or maybe you’ve heard people talk about it or you’ve seen it used in some way. This initial feeling is very important because it is how consumers view your brand. It is the front door to your brand. Your brand identity is the inside decor of your house. It sets the mood for your whole brand.
Treat your logo with care but don’t leave the inside bare.
Remember, your logo does not fully define your brand, so you must establish your brand identity. Building your brand identity will take time, commitment, and a great deal of consistency. If you establish a strong identity from the beginning, it will only strengthen your brand.