Oftentimes when we first start working with our clients, we find that there seems to be confusion as to what is a brand and what is a logo. So, let’s unpack the differences between these two very different things.
A brand is much more than “just a logo”—it’s a customer’s gut feeling about your product or service. Everything you do or say will have an impact on your brand. Think about whenever you walk into a store: the music they play, the way they display their products, and the smell of the store are all part of their brand. They’re trying to tailor your experience to make sure it communicates their core values and beliefs.
On the other hand, a logo is simply the expression of that brand. A logo is one small part of the puzzle that helps give shape to the greater concept of what the company values are.
But now it’s on to the big question: how do you figure out your company’s brand?
In looking at your own business, ask yourself these three questions:
- What do you do? (What is your core service?)
- How do you do this? (Do you have a unique process or way you provide this service?)
- Why do you do what you do? (What is your purpose? What drives you?)
People don’t buy what you do—they buy WHY you do it. For example, if you sell ice cream, you aren’t just selling ice cream: you’re selling an experience. You are selling happiness, fun, and playfulness! So, think of the experience you’re creating for your own customers. How do you want them to feel when they eat/use your product? This will help you position yourself in a way that makes your customers understand why you’re special.
Another great way to position your company is to look at your competition and see where there might be gaps. This is your opportunity to find a unique market position that isn’t like anyone else’s.
For example, our client Nine Spoons sells soup to both large and small grocery stores. When she first looked on the market, she saw there were a lot of canned soups but fewer options for freshly prepared soups. So, she decided to create a unique wedding soup that was hearty, delicious, and made with fresh ingredients. The inspiration for her business came from her grandmother, who made this soup so it could feed a large family. That’s why her brand is all about showcasing quality and family. When she realized there weren’t as many companies in the fresh soup market, she saw this as her opportunity to create a product that people were familiar with but present it in a new way.
I would encourage you to try and find a unique position for yourself in the market. There may be a lot of other companies that do what you do, but how do you do it differently?
Once you have this brand position figured out, it’s so crucial that this message is consistent across your website, packaging, and any other materials. You need to make sure you are clearly communicating what makes you stand out from other companies in the same market. That’s because the reality is that your brand isn’t really about what YOU think—it’s how OTHER people see your company. That’s why having a clear message in a crowded market can really make all the difference.