Brand v logo
I’ve recently read a superb book by branding guru Sapna Pieroux called Let’s Get Visible where she makes the distinction between brand and branding and talks about how your brand does not just consist of a logo. It’s a trap many small businesses fall into. They create a logo, choose some colours and away they go. Yet your logo is secondary to your brand.
I was once lucky enough to work on a rebrand for a large banking group. The process was scientific and research-led, managed by an eye-wateringly talented team of branding & marketing experts. I found it a humbling, cathartic and, at some points, terrifying journey.
Since then, I’ve worked on numerous rebrands and branding projects. Small businesses tend to have some fabulous brand stories. They go on instinct rather than science – and that’s not a bad thing
It’s a mistake to create a slick and polished brand that doesn’t reflect your own personality. You are setting yourself up to disappoint potential clients.
Richard Branson said, “Too many companies want their brands to reflect some idealised, perfected image of themselves. Therefore, their brands acquire no texture, no character, and no public trust.”
This is particularly true of a small business. People like to buy from people they know and trust. And that trust is important.
My self-indulgent logo
When I worked on my ten:15 marketing logo, it was important that I established my ‘brand’ by cementing the values I wanted to represent me. I believe that when you are a sole trader or micro-business, your logo becomes an extension of yourself and your brand. When we are passionate and proud of that, it comes across in how we promote ourselves. I allowed myself a hefty serving of self-indulgence by basing my logo on my favourite album cover by The Cure (Boys Don’t Cry if you’re interested). And if you are a proper Cure fan, you’ll understand why my business is called what it is.
It’s not too late to add the missing ingredients to your brand and branding
I’m really interested in logo stories and how people created their logo. I know a very successful entrepreneur whose branding was influenced by her favourite pencil case (really). And a friend and mentor who smashed his tech rebrand by going against the industry norm and embedding his own personality and passions into his new brand – he’s now bossing his sector.
I’ve recently had a huge earthquake of a brand-shake myself. I’ve worked with a team of experts to help me nail my own brand and branding. I’ll write about that soon as it was an enlightening journey and I know it will help other small businesses who are imprisoned in a brand-rut by hasty decisions made at the start.
I love my logo, so I didn’t change it, but I worked with Lucie Grey at Paper Aeroplane Creative on my brand guidelines. After talking through my brand values, she added new colours and shapes that give my branding texture and depth.
It’s never too late to go back to the beginning and rethink some of your earlier decisions. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, so use that hindsight. At the very least, it will renew your confidence in your small business and remind you of those brand values that you can feed into your marketing messages. Alternatively, it’s an opportunity to have a refresh and reset where you are going.