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It's not just a logo

May 09 2013 09:40 *Chris Human
entrepreneurs

(Picture: Shutterstock)

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THE question CFOs most frequently ask is: “So you’re designing a new company logo and it’s going to cost what?!”

The reality is if you’re doing brand development in the right way for your company and your industry, the bill can be relatively small but deliver large returns.

The answer lies in Looney Tunes and, specifically, the Road Runner cartoons.

Every single purchase poor Wile E Coyote made to nab the annoying bird was from the Acme Corporation, which was a generic name for nameless and faceless commerce (although it was a popular business name in America in the 1920s).

If in the modern business world you apply the Acme principle, there’s bad news and worse news.

The bad news is that your company is unlikely to grow, and the worse news is that your competitors will probably take over your market share in the not too distant future.

The importance of developing a distinct company brand is about as important as developing commercial websites, because it is how consumer behaviour has changed.

Ten years ago only large retail businesses felt the need for websites. Nowadays if a consumer is looking for a company that mixes concrete, chances are that the initial search for suitable suppliers will be done on the internet.

No company can get away with not being present on the internet, and with so many companies already there something has to make yours special. That “something” is a distinctive and desirable brand.

So just what is 'brand development'?

The most basic understanding of brand would be the name, symbol, term, sign and design which identify your company’s services and products.

It’s that – and a lot more.

Your brand is about your identity as a business; branding is about defining the broader look and feel of who you are and what you want to say to potential clients through your image and their first impression of you.

One of the most obvious elements of this is your business’ product or service, but so is the customer experience around that product or service.

What does this all mean?

In basic terms, do you have the right logo (petunias for an engineering company would be an example of a very bad choice)? Is the description of what you do accurate and positive, and does your website contain all the information necessary for potential clients to want to make contact?

Is it easy to read and is it SEO-optimised? Is the signage on your business right, are your email signatures uniform and information rich and is your stationery standardised?

Do uniformed staff do your brand justice through their appearance and behaviour, and do your premises actively reflect who you are as a top, trustworthy company and leader in your field?

All of that comes to slightly more than designing a logo, doesn’t it?

The fact is that if you know where you want your company to be five years down the line and work with a strategically-driven brand development company, you’ll keep costs down and pace your brand development with your exponential growth.

Ultimately, branding is far more than the basic graphic design of a logo. Every decision you make for and about your business needs to be guided by how it will affect your brand.

Your brand is everything you represent and your passion. Ultimately a strong brand becomes your rose that is NOT just another name – it defines who you are, because you have defined what it is in the public space.

 - Fin24

*Chris Human is co-founder & Brand Strategist at Engage Brandcraft.
 

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