In all the years that I have been in marketing one thing has become abundantly clear to me and that is many small businesses do not understand branding. Many small businesses are under the very false impression that branding is their logo and many seem to think that this is the most important part of marketing and public relations. FALSE. Branding is so much more than a logo; don’t get me wrong your logo is important but it’s just a small aspect of branding. Before I go on to explain what branding is and should be let me first say that many small businesses put way too much emphasis on their logo alone; they think that this is some magic icon that is going to make their business all that they want it to be; it’s not and it’s not going to. Continue reading
I was lying in bed this weekend reading a business article on my blackberry about logo’s and after I was done reading the article I was perusing through the various comments that had been left and I found it astonishing the number of people that think a logo and branding are one and the same. So this week I am going to concentrate on discussing branding. Let me start this topic by saying that a brand and a logo are not the same thing; a logo is simply a picture, a piece of artwork, it is the face of the brand itself, whereas a brand is the company’s image, the essence of the product or service or even the company itself.
Many small businesses are under the false impression that their brand image is their logo, but that is not true, brand image is how you appear to the public and how you appear to your customers. The interaction that you have with your customers is what creates your brand image. Dell and HP have very simple logo’s, just simple words, it is just a logo, the brand behind the logo is what the company has striven to create, and it is the image that their customers have helped them create. A logo by itself has no meaning, it is the work that is put into creating an image that makes the logo stand for something, but again, the logo is just the face of the brand. Your brand is your image and your image should communicate to your target market the difference between you and your competition, the image that the public sees and how they perceive that image.
Every company has a brand image whether they know it or not, and that image can be good or bad, but regardless it’s there and it’s not determined by the logo in any way. The logo simply is the connector of your business to your image. Motel 6 started out renting rooms at $6 per night, thus their name, but without the image behind the logo Motel 6, would you know what it means? And what does that image mean today? Rooms are no longer $6, but they are inexpensive and Motel 6 has built an image of being a non expensive home away from home; they will “leave the light on” for you. The logo doesn’t tell you any of these things, but the image that the brand has created is what stands behind that logo; it is the doorway to the image if you will.
Every company small and large alike needs to constantly be working on their company image, they need to be striving to create a positive image in the market place. Tomorrow’s article will discuss the importance of the image and how to create a brand that is a positive influence on your business.