We need a brand... that's just a name and a logo, right?
Learn the Differences of a Brand Identity and a Branding Strategy and why you your marketing success relies on both concepts.
When it comes to branding, there is a lot of confusion about the difference between a visual brand identity and a branding strategy. Companies and entrepreneurs spend a great amount of their time coming up with names of their brands or companies, but then they drop the ball on actually branding their name (and just wait, there's a whole other blog about naming coming soon, too!). A lot of business owners think that creating a pretty logo and putting it on their website is all they need to do in order to create a successful brand. However, this could not be further from the truth! In order to create a successful brand, you need to develop a comprehensive branding strategy. This article will explain the basic differences between these two concepts and will help you to understand why having a strong branding strategy is so important for your business.
"We just need a cool logo, and we’re good to go”
In business, we often hear the terms “brand” and “logo” used interchangeably. But are they really the same thing? A logo is merely a symbol that represents your company – it’s not your brand. Your brand is what sets you apart from your competition and defines how your customers perceive you. It’s much more than just a logo.
Think of your brand as the personality of your business. It's representative of the culture of your company - how you sell, service, and support your product or service both externally, and equally as important, internally. Your brand is reflected in touch point in your customer's journey - from the way you answer the phone, to the user experience of your website, to your content strategy, product education, your packaging, delivery, and post sale follow-up. Your brand is what makes people remember you – it’s the positive perception and emotional connection that they make with your company, the trust they invest in you , and ultimately, the long-term loyalty they pledge to you. People that establish these relationships with you become brand ambassadors of your brand, offering you exponential value and revenue.
So if a logo is just a symbol, why is it so important? Because it’s one of the most visible elements of your brand. It’s what people will see first when they come across your company, so it needs to be eye-catching and memorable. A well-designed logo will help people to identify your company quickly and easily, and it can also convey some information about your brand identity.
But don’t make the mistake of thinking that a logo is enough to create a strong brand identity. You need to back up your brand identity with a solid brand strategy.
In today's business climate, having a solid brand has never been more important - but what goes into making a great one? Many people think that logos are synonymous with brands, but there's actually quite a bit more depth to effective branding than simply having recognizable imagery.
You love your logo! Now What?
Brand positioning! Smart marketers know while their brand visuals represents their identity, a successful brand is will go nowhere without concise brand positioning that communicates what your brand stands for, what it's promising and what is true about your brand. Your brand's position is what your brand promises or what your brand delivers to your target audience.
A branding strategy, on the other hand, is XXX that includes your buyer persona, backed by research. Any company that wants to develop a successful brand strategy needs to start by understanding its customers. What are their needs and preferences? What motivates them to make a purchase? Buyer persona interviews and surveys can help to answer these questions. The next step is to take a close look at the
Building a Brand Strategy: The Logistics of Engaging Customers and Earning Loyalty
Building a brand strategy includes thoughtful development of content and customer perceptions. Research shows that customers are unlikely to remain loyal unless they feel recognized, engaged and connected with brands that they trust. That's why building a successful brand strategy includes gathering data to inform content creation and narrative building – two key elements in earning customer loyalty.
In addition to your visuals and your positioning, consider these to complete Brand Strategy:
Brand voice - This is the tone of your communications and should remain consistent across all communication platforms. Are you friendly and informal? Bold and assertive? Sarcastic and whimsical? Professional and to the point?
Brand values - How do you align with your target audience? What do you stand for? Sustainability, honesty, inclusion? How do you differ from your competition?
Brand targeting - Not all of your target audience are buyers and decision-makers. Some are influencers, some may be family members buying for loved ones. Some may be CFOs that purchasing agents answer to. Some may be physicians that work in a hospital that purchases capital equipment. Understanding who all of your external stakeholders are gives you the power to craft value propositions that are specific to their interests, goals, and roles.
Brand identity and brand strategy are just two important aspects of an overall marketing strategy that should not be overlooked. While developing a strong brand identity is essential, it’s also important to have a well-thought-out brand strategy in place to support it. Before you begin the process of branding your business, make sure you consider all the pieces that need to come together for a successful deployment. We can help you with that! Our team has years of experience creating effective brand strategies and identities for businesses just like yours. Let us know how we can help you get started today.
About Brand Device, LLC:
Brand Device merges intelligent, strategic branding solutions with powerful, imaginative and interactive creative driven by a team of leading marketing veterans with a rich history in promoting medtech, physician groups, food and beverage, retail in both B2B, B2B and DTP markets.