And it’s not really your fault. We’ve been conditioned to believe that so much value of a brand (or business) is tied up in the logo. So I want to gently hold your hand and tell you why that’s wrong and what you should care about more than your logo.
Absolutely, your brand visuals are important. We can’t just ignore that and pretend that they don’t. We make so many purchase decisions based on aesthetic appeal. And when attention spans are super-short and shrinking, we have to get this right! But getting it right is so layered and nuanced — basically the whole reason why your logo just isn’t the most important part of your brand.
So, let’s get into it, shall we?
A Brand Experience
I would argue that a brand experience is the most important tool in your kit as a brand. It’s also not something static, as it shifts and evolves with you and your people over time. It’s what someone (a would-be client or customer) experiences from first touch to off-boarding and beyond. It’s the mix of messaging, communication and copywriting, marketing, website, emails and visuals.
It’s the full package that shares what you do, who you do it for, why that matters to them (and you) and everything you stand for and believe in as a business. The brand experience is also how connection and relationships happen. And how people in your orbit become clients or customers.
At the end of the day, a logo is just a logo. And it will almost never be experienced as a standalone visual representation of your brand. As you use it within your brand experience, you’ll combine it with :
- Other brand identity elements such as color, type, textures/patterns, submarks, etc.
- Photography (brand, product or stock)
These combinations will be experienced in items like your website, social media, emails, brochures, stationery, and packaging design. And together they’re working to share your authentic brand story. If there’s no story, they’re just decoration.
Brand strategy is the development of everything internal — the hard work, if you will. It’s understanding your purpose and strengths, what you specialize in, your people and why they’re interested in that result, your brand voice and how you can clearly communicate all of it through messaging.
This forms the story of your brand. Taking the time, energy and space to define and refine each part of this will ensure that your brand experience will:
- Connect with and engage the right people
- Communicate what you do and how you do it differently
- Stand out, rather than melting into the sea of sameness in your industry
Keep Them Coming Back
So yes, logos are important. Just not as important as you thought they were. The whole experience of your brand is the most important, and your logo is just one facet of that.
And while we make purchase decisions based on aesthetic appeal, it’s the ‘keep them coming back’ goal that can only be achieved by placing value (a lot of value, please) on the whole experience of your brand. ‘Keep them coming back’ is about emotional connection, nurtured and genuine relationships, giving them an experience they enjoy and providing them with a result that is so awesome, people will notice. And they’ll want to share your brand with their friends!