It can be easy to confuse a brand with a logo when starting out as an online entrepreneur – or, more accurately, it can be easy to assume that your logo IS your brand, when this is far from the truth.
Your brand is the essence of your business, or a particular facet of your business.
Your marketing is the vehicle you use to communicate your brand to your customers, by speaking the language of the values, intentions, and passion that are at the core of the work you’re doing.
Your logo is the visualization of your brand, and is a significant, integral part of your marketing.
For nearly every business, the logo will be used in as many of the marketing platforms as possible: in business cards, stationery, invoices, email marketing, websites, Facebook pages, Twitter backgrounds, t-shirts, branded sticky notes, billboards, direct mail, and so on.
In order to have a really great logo, you have to start with a really great brand.
A logo without a brand to back it up is just a pretty picture, and a fairly unmemorable one at that.
How does your logo speak about your brand?
What does your business look like from your customer’s point of view?
Try these exercises to dig deeper into your brand and what it represents to your customers.
The What/Who/Why/Why exercise:
- What does your business offer? Get specific and granular.
- Who is it for? Who wants what you’re offering? These are your target market, the customers you should be speaking to.
- Why do they want it? What problem does it solve for them, and how does it change things for them, significantly or otherwise?
- Why do you offer it? What makes you qualified to do this work?
The feedback exercise:
- In your work with clients, how do they describe what you do for them? In their own words, what are they saying to their friends and colleagues?
- After purchasing your product or service, what feedback do you get? If they love what they got, do they say so? When they want more, do they come back to you?
These two exercises give you an idea, from your own perspective and from the perspective of your actual customers, of what the true message of your brand is.
If you don’t like what you’re hearing, or if you can’t quite get clear enough to have a big-picture way of describing your brand, it may be time to take a step back and refocus your business on what really matters.
Building a business from your core values is one of the most exhausting, frustrating, and deeply rewarding thing you ever do – and it’s worth it to give this work your all.
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