Sunday, December 15, 2013

Branding Is About More than a Logo

By Kelly McKenzie

You’ve likely heard conversations about how your "brand" has a significant impact on business success.

Kelly McKenzie
brand is the essence of a company’s own unique story. This is as true for personal branding as it is for business branding. The key, though, is reaching down and pulling out the authentic unique “you.” Otherwise, the brand is a façade and will fall into the “just another” category.

The common tendency is to think of a logo as the primary component of a brand. While a logo is vitally important to a company’s success, it needs to be supported by a sound strategy that resonates with your target audience. A strong logo visual can instantaneously communicate a brand and what it is about. Some large brands are able to do this by symbol only, without words. This is the Holy Grail that brands dream about. It seems to represent the very essence of communication at its most primitive roots. Few can pull it off. Rather, logos should support the broader brand strategy that supports an even bigger story.

A strong brand approach cohesively integrates logo and visuals, color, message positioning and response to customers. It will differentiate the product or service in the marketplace – and influence consumer-buying decisions. Consistency in the marketing and communications platform conveys that an organization is razor-focused and customer-centric. Additionally, the quality of the product or service should align with the quality of the brand positioning, thus streamlining the process from initial research to a purchasing decision by the customer base. Simply put, quality marketing and brand positioning drive buying decisions.

Many organizations don’t understand the key components of a brand; the value of a compelling marketing and communications plan, a succinct global strategy and the power of a quality offering. A fragmented marketing communications plan has negative impact on a company’s bottom line and reduces equity significantly. A disjointed approach breaks down the pillars that were originally built to serve as the foundation of a company.

In our world today, time is of the essence in every facet of our lives. Each brand is competing for time and attention to break though the message clutter and build a relationship with the target audience(s). Quick buying decisions are commonplace, which means product or service offerings must engage a buyer immediately to increase the probability of a sale. A clear, concise brand strategy is a key ingredient to convince a buyer one product is the best answer to their needs.

This may make a lot of sense but also seem overwhelming. Often, companies may recognize that they need a better branding strategy but don’t have the internal expertise, time and resources to focus on the effort. Investing time researching professional marketing communications resources that can implement this process may be more worthwhile effort.

About the Author

Guest blogger Kelly McKenzie is President of Group 2 Design.  With over 30 years’ experience in the design industry, he has helped clients of all sizes create and build strong brands.  He can be reached at 412.605.0834 or kelly@group2.comon Facebook, or on Twitter @Group2Design.


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