There is a common misconception that brand and logo are one and the same – this could not be more wrong. Although the logo is a visual reference, and one of the single most important elements when creating a compelling brand, the logo alone does not accomplish or communicate everything a well-developed brand does.
A helpful exercise for understanding the mechanics of branding is to imagine brands as people and what they would be like if you were to meet them. For example, imagine how different brands would behave at a barbecue: Nike would be the life of the party, energetic and getting others to join in games. MEC would be in the yard, captivating a group with their latest backcountry adventure. Thinking of a brand this way, you will likely begin to assign physical traits in your mind.
This blog will discuss branding in terms of personal anatomy. We’ve done this to help you understand what a refined brand includes and key factors you need to consider when building a brand foundation for your organization.
The Anatomy of a Healthy Brand
Your business or organization is like a person.
It is an individual with a unique personality, thoughts, and values. It’s your brand’s responsibility to communicate these “inner workings” to your audience, the same way you use your facial expressions, body language, and words to communicate who you are to the people around you.
Your logo is the face of your brand.
The logo is the entry point to your brand. It is the first thing people see, and associate with your company.. Just as you may have a first impression of someone new based on their appearance and choose whether or not to get to know them more, people will judge your brand based on that first experience and decide whether or not they want to learn more, and ultimately start the buying journey.
A well-designed logo will summarize everything your company is about in a single graphic. It can communicate a whole gamut of personality and emotions the same way a single facial expression can.
If your logo is the face, your body is the rest of your visual brand assets. A brand contains supporting graphic elements that work together with your logo to visually communicate your organization's traits It's the colour, perhaps a sense of movement and shape of the supporting graphics that bring more depth to the visual identity . These supporting elements project your company’s personality in the same way people express themselves through body language, mannerisms, and gestures.
The personality is exactly what it sounds like – it's the tone and voice your brand uses to communicate directly with your audience. It's your voice. Is it loud, or soft-spoken, authoritative or irreverent? Whatever it is, it needs to be consistent in order to properly work alongside the supporting graphics. Together the voice/tone compliments the graphic elements and builds an effective brand feeling.
When you use these two components consistently alongside your logo, you will build recognition, familiarity, and ultimately loyalty with your clients.
And finally, the people within your organization are like the brain and heart of your organization. They are the unseen but essential components that make your company run. Your logo and branding are only the visible representation of what everyone involved stands for and need to reflect it.
What About Rebrands?
As organizations mature and grow, rebrands are becoming more and more common. Organizations may feel that their brand is dated or no longer represents how they have evolved. The same rules listed above apply when doing a rebrand, but it's more like a makeover than a whole new person. A company rebrand needs to keep the recognizable components of the logo while updating the look. You don't want to lose any existing clients by changing completely, but you want to appeal to a larger audience.
Every company has different needs and goals that should be reviewed individually to determine the best approach to make the brand truly unique to their company. Remember, your brand is just as important to your success as the value you provide with your product or service.