Making waves in the business world can be a hard task, and sometimes it can be hard to tell if you’re even causing a few ripples around the edge of an ever-expanding pool of competition. You know your company is great, but as yet you’ve yet to establish that all important ‘brand identity’ that will set you apart and start making a big splash in your industry. Indeed, this may well be the one last piece of the jigsaw that you’re missing, and it really can make all the difference between success and failure for your business.
With the right advertising and marketing, any business can be competitive, but the real industry leaders all have one thing in common – a strong identity. Brand identity is the ‘personality’ of your company. It’s more than a logo or a set of services or products – it’s the feeling that people get when they think about you. It’s a sense of you. It’s trust. And, above all, it’s clarity of exactly who you are and what you do.
Defining Your Brand’s Identity
No business should ever even begin to think about designing a logo without first defining who they are as a company and what they stand for. This is absolutely essential, because once your logo is designed, that is the image that will be forever linked to your brand. It is what will be communicating your business message to the public, so you must make sure that you get it right, and that all begins with first understanding who you really are.
You may think that you know that already – but do you? Have you consulted your customers? Quite often it is the case that the people with whom you are doing business actually have a very different idea about your company than you do. In fact, this could be a really good place to start. Ask your Facebook fans, your Twitter followers and those that follow you blog how exactly they view your company. And whilst you’re waiting for responses, ask yourself the following:
- What is the purpose of our company?
- What is our vision?
- What is our mission?
- Who exactly are we targeting?
- What is our current position in the market?
Once you’ve got some feedback and have answered the above questions as thoroughly, as thoughtfully and as honestly as you think you can, only then is it time to start thinking about you can capture your newly defined brand identity with a powerful logo design.
Now that you fully know and appreciate exactly what it is that your brand stands for, you can start putting the building blocks together of what you want to incorporate into your logo design. Your business logo is the most important brand element that you will have to consider, so you need to make sure that you take an appropriate amount of time over it, and give yourself a few options for you and a panel to deliberate over.
There are 5 basic criteria that you should consider when designing a logo. They state that you should make sure that your logo design is:
Your logo will serve as the symbol that will be most commonly used to identify your business. So, let’s take a look at these five criteria in more detail and get to grips with why each is important.
Your logo needs to be absolutely unique. It has to stand alone in its representation of you and you alone, and should not recall the logo of any other company, be they a direct competitor or something completely abstract. Your logo is your own. You are unique and distinctive, and so your logo should be too.
It is important that your logo generates a positive feeling within your customers. It has to be something that they actually like. This means that any wordage that you use has to be decipherable, and it’s probably best to steer clear of anything too garish and of course offensive or rude.
Here is where your brand identity comes in. Everything that you have come to realise about who you are as a business needs to be communicated within that logo. What you stand for, you vision and mission, and of course it needs to be appropriate for your target market.
Your logo needs to be instantly recognisable and leave a lasting impression upon whoever it is that views it. This may be incorporated into the colours that you use or the shape of your design, but it needs to come together in a way that makes it unforgettable.
This is very important, though can be one of the trickiest elements of the design. Your logo needs to be timeless for the simple reason that you don’t want to keep having to re-invent it every few years as styles change – and you’re going to be around in 20 years time aren’t you, and your logo will be with you every step of the way.
It is the nature of branding that means that no matter what you do, you will never be able to appeal to absolutely everyone. But, it is nonetheless the calling card of your company, and you want it to appeal to as many as possible. So, by firstly creating a strong brand identity and carrying all of those elements of it through into the design of your logo, you will not only enhance your brand’s recognition, but the personality of your business will be carried around in the minds of your customers – which is exactly what needs to happen if your truly want your company to break through and be thought of as an industry leader like it deserves.