If you thought “logo,” then I want you to read the next line extra carefully.
Your brand is NOT your logo.
I LOVE this quote from Seth Godin:
“All of the time you’re spending on your logo is time you’re hiding from doing the hard part. And the hard part is often being known and being trusted or being able to create something that people can’t live without.”
Many people get so caught up in the logo design that they forget about all of the other important elements that are required in order to create a legit brand. What are these brand elements? Everything from the visual aesthetic – the fonts, colors, imagery and yes, the logo – to the subject matter and tone of voice you use in your copy and even how you communicate directly with clients and customers.
A brand goes way beyond just the visual aesthetic. A brand helps create an emotional connection with your target audience.
As Seth said, the work it requires to be known and be trusted is the real work of creating a brand.
A logo can only tell a very small portion of your brand’s story. It’s all of the other essential elements of your brand that will fill in the gaps to create an interesting space that your ideal clients and customers will be attracted to.
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Your brand is a feeling.
One definition I’ve found for branding says: “A company’s brand identity is how that business wants to be perceived by consumers.”
When developing a brand, you’re doing more than just designing something that looks pretty. You’re ultimate goal should be to create an emotional connection with a specific group of people (aka your target audience).
The problem with the definition above is that it puts all of the focus on what you’re trying to do with your brand and kinda skims over the fact that a brand is only as good as what the audience perceives about it. That’s why it’s so important to understand two things:
- who your target audience is
- how to reach your target audience on a deeper level
The point of your brand is not just to sell your own products and services.
What you’re actually selling to your potential customers is the way to get them from where they currently are to where they want to be.
If you’re a health coach, for example, you’re not just selling meal plans. You’re selling Suzie the confidence she’s going to gain when she fits into her pre-baby jeans again.
If you’re a wedding photographer, you’re not just selling beautiful photos. You’re selling Tom and Jane the ability to remember the most important day of their lives forever.
See what I’m getting at?
So when you’re developing your brand, don’t make the mistake of simply making it fit your business vision. Remember who you’re talking to and appeal to them on an emotional level by honing in on what it is they’re actually paying for.
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Your brand is a story.
A metaphor I love using to explain the concept of branding is to think of your business as a book. Your logo is just the title. Your brand is the story – the actual substance of the book. This story is what people connect with, brings them into a world that you created and makes them feel a certain way.
You brand should tell a story about what your business does and why. It should also explain who you are and why you’re an expert at what you do. But it doesn’t just stop there.
While telling your story is important and is a big factor in setting yourself apart from the competition, it’s also imperative to realize that no matter how much crafting you do, the actual perception of your brand will always fall in the eyes and hearts of your audience.
That’s why a great brand story will tie in your audience’s story as well.
When you’re crafting your brand, you’ll want to think about things from the perspective of your target audience. This doesn’t just mean how they might perceive you or your brand. It goes way deeper than that!
You want to figure out the story that your clients and customers are telling about themselves in relation to your brand.
Say for instance, you’re selling a course that helps people turn their hobby into a profitable business. Your brand story will tell them about how you got started and why you have the expertise needed to teach them to do the same. But the story your target audience is telling themselves is that they are confident, capable and motivated to become a successful entrepreneur simply by purchasing your course.
See how the story you’re telling about your brand is bigger than just you. Your brand story communicates to your target audience what it says about them to be your customer.
I hope these tips give you a better idea of what a brand is and how powerful it can be for your business when it’s done right. Don’t forget to sign up for my FREE 7-day branding course and dive deeper into the essential elements of a beautiful brand. Get started right over here>>