Many people confuse a logo for a brand, and although a logo is considered a "brand-mark", it does not encompass the totality of your brand. So what is your brand and how does it define your company? Let's find out.
Your Logo is a Symbol
A logo, or brand-mark, mark, logotype, or symbol, is just that. A graphic representation of your companies identity. Logos are created to attach a recognizable icon with your brand. Some are very successful, like Nike, or McDonalds, where you know the company without seeing its name. And others miss the mark totally. The logos for Bing and Verizon do not really visually represent what the company is all about. It's ok to have your company name as your logo, Google and Amazon pull it off pretty nicely, but their brand is larger than their logo.
Your Brand is You
Your brand is only represented by a logo, but a brand has everything to do with you, or better yet, your company. When a new company emerges on the scene, their logo may not say anything that connects it to their brand. Google doesn't really mean anything unless you know that it's a play on the word googol, which is a rather large number (10 to the 100th power). Google is showing with their logo and name that what the company does - search results, is really really large. In a sense, their name is a reflection of their brand. Once people start experiencing what your company is, then your logo can become brand recognition.
Your Brand is Your Plan
When your company first gets going, there are many ideas and thoughts of where you want to be. You set a goal for the reputation of your company and as you move along through the years, expanding your services or products, you work towards maintaining that goal. If you want your goal to be the best product out there, you work to better the product. If you want the best customer service, hire the best workers. As you work towards that goal, it becomes your brand.
Your Brand is Your People
Customer service, employees, delivery drivers, salesforce, SEO's, anyone you hire to be a part of your company is your brand. When you hire the best people to do work for you, your brand reflects that decision. An awesome customer service representative gives people a sense of trust that their job or issue will be taken care of. A great salesforce that knows its product and brings satisfaction to their clients, makes it easy for them to call on for reorders. These experiences are what build your brand. People will associate positive feelings with your name and logo when they see it. On the other hand, poor employee attitudes, bad customer service, and shoddy work will ruin your brand reputation.
Your Brand Can Change
Even though you have set a goal that you want the company to strive for, as you progress, you may have to change what the goal is. You may want the best product on the market, but find out that getting the best might not be achievable. In that case, adjust your goal to providing the best customer service possible. Be quick with satisfying the customer, or replacing bad products. The experience a client has with your company will set the tone of your brand.
Your Brand is Everything You Do
Many logos have grown to represent a brand because we know what the company is about. The reputation and representation of employees, spokespeople, quality of service and products of Nike appeal to consumers when they see the swoosh logo. That is what a brand is all about.
A great logo works towards your brand recognition, but service, employees and product work towards your total brand. Giving consumers that positive experience with every aspect of your business builds on this. For some companies, this may happen quickly, and for others it will take awhile.
There is no simple formula that you can apply to achieve brand awareness. Always be working towards the goal that you have set for your company, even if you have to change those goals by learning what your clients want. Then one day, consumers will associate your logo with the positive feelings they have from working with you and you will have achieved brand awareness.
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