You’ve got an awesome business idea and have pulled together everything you think you need to get it off the ground. You think to yourself: “Excellent, now all I need is a great logo and I’m on my way to mega success!”
More often than not, a new business owner–and sometimes even seasoned ones–will fall into this trap. They will wind up pouring money into a logo thinking that’s the key to a successful, million dollar brand.
The hard truth is: a logo is NOT going to make you successful. And it surely isn’t going to make you a million dollars. In fact, it won’t even make you $5.
What Role Does Your Logo Play in Your Brand?
Your logo is just one part of your entire brand identity. If you were to think of your brand as a dumpling, your logo is just the wrapper. It’s the first thing people see and the image that is meant to encompass the entirety of the brand.
Unfortunately, the wrapper isn’t the selling point on most dumplings, is it? No. You buy a dumpling based on what is INSIDE the wrapper. The things that you can’t always see.
The same goes for your brand. While your logo might make people feel more comfortable buying from you. While it might make your business more recognizable down the line. Your logo is NOT what people are buying.
People are buying solutions and they are buying connection.
Your logo will not solve your customers problems–and consequently won’t make you a million dollars–but your brand strategy absolutely can.
What is Brand Strategy?
If your logo is the wrapper, then your brand strategy is everything else inside of that dumpling. It’s all of the elements that give purpose and flavor to a brand. Things like: buyer personas, customer journeys, core values, competitor analysis, positioning statements, and more.
Each element is there to help you better understand your customers and what they need to see and experience in order to purchase from you instead of a competitor. Without these elements you are gambling with the success of your brand and business.
Why is Brand Strategy Important?
Your customers have a specific journey that they go through as they make buying decisions. The brand strategy process is what exposes that journey to you and allows you to make branding decisions based on who your customers are and what they need to see and hear in order to buy. It is essentially your roadmap to a million dollar brand.
By understanding the strategy behind your brand, you can create elements that aid your customers’ buying decisions. Things like sharing common values, offering solutions to various problems they have before they consider buying, getting them familiar with your product/service, building trust, and so on.
Your goal is to make buying as easy as possible. Your brand is a tool to help you do so.
How Do You Start to Develop a Strategic Brand?
Developing a strategic brand takes time. First and foremost, you need to dig deep and understand your audience. Imagine that you are about to marry this audience, before doing so you want to learn as much about them as possible. Really lean into discovering who they are as people. What motivates them? What scares them? Then, think about how these characteristics play into their buying processes.
You also need to take a look at your competitors. Who is your audience already buying from? What are they doing well? What do you do that’s different? This will help you start to determine how to position yourself in the market. Are you the first of your kind or do you need to find a way to reposition your competition? Al Ries and Jack Trout discuss a number of techniques and positioning examples in their book Positioning: The Battle For The Mind. It’s definitely worth checking out if you intend to build a highly successful brand.
This process done right can take weeks and sometimes months. It can take even longer if you’re trying to do it on your own. To ensure you aren’t overlooking anything, it can be worth consulting a professional brand strategist. They are able to bring an outside perspective and view to your brand that is oftentimes difficult to see from inside the business.
If your goal is to develop a highly successful brand–one that could make you millions–forget about your logo and start working on your strategy. That is your key to success. A good logo is just the cherry on top.
If you’re looking to improve your business’ brand and brand strategy, then book a free consultation with Verdure Design Co. based in Chicago, IL.