Your brand is not just your logo. And it's not your social media, either.
Everyone is talking about brand. Having a personal brand, having a consistent brand, how a strong brand presence makes a powerful and lasting impression. But if we want to get to the foundation, what is brand? And if your logo is not your brand, what exactly is it?
When you think of brand you might picture color palette, typography, and consistent visuals. Maybe your mission statement, your business cards, or website might comes to mind. While each one of those can fall under the umbrella of branding, it’s so much more than those individual elements.
Seth Godin distills the meaning of the word brand really well (he would, right?!): “A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.” So while it does include the elements we talked about, it goes beyond just the logo or colors to encompass the impression that your business builds in the minds of your customers and clients.
Brands that do this well convey an undeniable sense of who they are, what they offer, and why.
When you think of a brand that you love, what comes to mind? Picture your favorite shop or product (I often think of Anthropologie). Imagine walking into the space, experiencing the sights, sounds, and smells. If you're thinking of a product, what is it like to unwrap the packaging and hold the item in your hands? What are the textures and colors? What feelings and sensations does it evoke in you?
You cannot help but get caught up in the experience when a brand does this well. There’s an undeniable draw to being a part of the brand and what they are doing. It creates an emotional response. It’s memorable.
That’s what you want to capture in a brand.
That experience builds brand recognition and trust. While visuals are a huge component of a brand, beautiful visuals need a backbone. They need to be conveying the underlying values, purpose, and meaning of your brand. The best brands have beautiful and compelling visuals that convey the deeper intention and purpose of the brand.
And this is why so much of the branding process is spent defining who you are, what you offer, and why. Your brand visuals are a bridge, a way to connect the who, what, and why in a memorable way, sparking an emotional response in your ideal audience. The best brands do this well, attracting and connecting with the right audience.