By: Katie Melnick
Often times 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?” We thought we’d 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, the smell of the store; this is all part of their brand. They want to tailor your experience to make sure it communicates their core values and beliefs. 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.
The reality is your brand isn’t really about you, it’s what OTHER people know you to be. It’s so crucial this message is consistent across your website, packaging and other materials, to make sure you are clearly communicating what makes you unique from other companies in your same market.
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 are selling an experience! You are selling happiness, fun, and playfulness! Think of the experience you are generating for your customers. How do you want them to feel when they eat/use your product? This really positions you in a way that helps clarify with your customers why you are special.
Another great way to position your company is to look at your competition in your market and see where there might be gaps. This is your opportunity to find a unique market position that isn’t like anyone else. 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 and not as many options for fresh, prepared soups. She wanted to provide a unique quality recipe for wedding soup that was hearty and delicious and was made with fresh ingredients. The inspiration for her business came from her grandmother who made this soup so it could feed a large family. Her brand is all about showcasing quality and family. When she saw there weren’t as many companies in the fresh soup market, she saw this as her opportunity to create a product people were familiar with and presenting 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? Having that clear message in the market can make all the difference!
We are a collaborative branding studio, directed by Jasen & Katie Melnick. We are a husband and wife team with a passion for branding, packaging design, typography, travel and anything beer related! We believe the best brand connections occur beyond the logo. We specialize in developing strong, confident visual elements for passionate businesses. Check them out here!