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Logos Aren’t Brands: Branding from Scratch

By Corrie Oberdin   •   22 May, 2014



Logos Aren’t Brands: Branding from Scratch

In Logo Design by Corrie Oberdin     Comment Bubble  Leave a Comment      Like

A logo isn't a brand
Quick – think about what you’d need to start a new company. What’s the first thing that comes to mind, after funding and product or service ideas?

When new companies come to us for branding help, frequently the next item on the list is a name and a logo. However, names, logos and brand colors are all phase two of developing a brand. The first phase of brand development involves understanding what your brand is, and the landscape and issues that surround it. So we recommend that before they focus on the visual elements of branding, the organizations that work with us focus on brand platform development.

What does that mean? It means asking hard questions of your emerging brand. Questions like:

  • What are you branding? Are you branding a company, a product, a service (or series of services) or are you branding an individual?
  • Who are you branding to? What does your target market look like?
  • What problem are you addressing? Why is your brand relevant, important, or useful?
  • Who are your competitors and what makes you different or better?

Essentially, before any visual development happens, we need to look at the story you want to tell, focusing on the problems you solve, and the benefits you are giving your customers.

One of our favorite “promises before visuals” story is Tom’s Shoes. The name is bland and the shoes aren’t high fashion, but the company branded themselves using their “One for One” model, in which every shoe sold would see another pair given to a child in need. Their story is more about what they are doing in communities across the world, and the promise to their customers, rather than their name & logo. Customers know them by what they do, and their name & logo are the face of the company, but don’t tell the whole story.

If you are looking to build a brand, we can help you answer some of those questions above. Feeling your brand needs to be re-tooled? Stay tuned, as we have some posts for you coming up in the next few weeks.


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