A Brand is More Than a Logo
Many people confuse the meaning of a “logo” and a “brand.” They even think that by having a logo, they have a brand. That isn’t the case. A logo is an extension of the branding process, which encapsulates the company’s positioning, messaging, values and culture. A brand is the meaningful perception of a company seen through the eyes of their consumers and is completely intangible. A logo simply symbolizes all of a company’s various characteristics and beliefs.
What does it take to build a brand? At Philosophy we believe in performing a brand audit for our clients, which digs deep to determine what the company is truly made for, whom they are talking to and what their expectations are. This audit process can be difficult for some companies because it is when the hard questions are asked and may cause uncomfortable conversations between owners. But the result is worth the difficult dialogue because alignment and purpose come to the surface. It is then Philosophy’s job to shape this information into context that the company’s clients will understand. Positioning statements, mission statements, values and tagline all take form and allow the design department to create a visual representation in logo form.
After the brand is developed, three main steps are required to successfully implement and build brand equity:
- Consistency – For a brand to be successful, a company must implement the new designs and positioning to all aspects of the business. This includes aligning staff members with the new message and implementing new design through all marketing channels. Brand equity is based on experience and interaction with the brand. If the consumers are having consistent positive interactions with employees and the brand, the perception will begin to change.
- Persistence – Branding is not something that can be completed overnight. It takes patience and consistency to change perception. Releasing more materials and tapping into new channels with the new messaging will continue and reinforce communication with consumers. This persistence is what builds brand awareness, loyalty and advocacy.
- Restraint – Understanding the correct channels and markets is crucial; if a company starts straying into new target audiences, the message may become diluted. Stay true to the promise to the audience and the right forms of communication to avoid convoluted messages.
Philosophy is proud to say that many of our rebranding experiences have become successful because of proper brand process and the clients’ ability to follow the three steps of implementation.
One company worth recognizing is Laurus Transaction Advisors. This company specializes in financial due diligence and CFO advisory services. Laurus came to Philosophy a few years ago wanting to rebrand their company. After a grueling brand audit process, Philosophy was able to assist Laurus in their new positioning:
For private equity firms, Laurus Transaction Advisors is the financial due-diligence and CFO advisory firm that cost-effectively anticipates and solves issues because only Laurus offers a consistent and detail-oriented approach delivered by a responsive, experienced team, enabling clients to make better decisions throughout the investment lifecycle.
The tagline that came from the audit: Experience. Insight. Results.
Their values: Experience, strategic thinking, and cost effective.
And below is the visual representation of the new positioning. The left is the logo Laurus had when they came to Philosophy, and the right shows the new representation. The logo was developed to build on the strength of the three core values incorporated into the tagline; we designed a logo using three interlocking circles. This visually shows the connection between Laurus, its clients and the opportunities this relationship presents. The open circles and rings show focus and complexity in their problem solving.
The executives at Laurus understand the importance of branding, and they received a logo that not only captured the essence of the company, but also built a brand from the new positioning. The company has been expanding ever since, with more business than ever before. Now think of where they might be if they had only searched for a logo; do you think the company would have been as successful as it is today?