01: Your logo is not your brand

Design is a powerful asset that can help you communicate and differentiate your business. Branding plays an extremely important role in this, so why do some businesses fall short and limit themselves at just a logo design?

Brands exist as a means of communicating what to expect from a product or service. In most cases (apart from the highly evolved and developed brands that are the exception to this) a logo cannot communicate on its own, because at its core a logo is simply an identifier. It is only by association with a product, a service, a business that a logo can take on any real meaning. The logo, acting as this identifier for your business is just the beginning (albeit a very important beginning) that aims to set the tone for your overall business.

Good design can add value to a company and it is easier to remember a well-designed logo than one that is not; after all, a well-designed logo should be a reflection of the company it symbolizes. So how can a company create what could be considered an effective or successful logo?

The effectiveness of a good logo depends on:

a. Distinctiveness

b. Visibility

c. Usability

d. Memorability

e. Universality

f. Durability

g. Timelessness

So with an effective logo being the first touch point of your brand, what exactly encompasses your whole brand, its identity and what is the difference?

Your brand is the perceived emotional corporate image as a whole. The most tangible way to describe a brand's ‘feel’ is via aesthetics. How it looks, how it is designed to trigger human responses. These aesthetics are your brand identity and they should communicate the brand's strategy in a universal way to its target audience (executed through numerous design material from print to digital and even physical)

02: A Brand is what someone else says, not what the brand itself says.

A brand is what someone else says, not what the brand itself says. With branding it is all about how a business is perceived and their reputation. Brands exist as a means of communicating what to expect from a product or service. A designer forms the foundation of a brand, but the target audience ‘builds/makes’ this reputation and perception. When it comes to building and designing a brand, the goal of the designer is to make the business’s planned self-impression equal to how other people perceive it.

So how exactly does a business decide on the impression they want to make? When it comes to building a brand you must first set specific goals and have a strategy that looks at where your business is now and where you want it to be in the future.

- What is your brand's vision?

Your brand's vision is a quick glimpse into what your business is hoping to achieve. These shouldn't be long and to be effective they must be straight to the point yet still descriptive.

- What is your brand’s USPs (Unique Selling Propositions)?

Your Brands USPs are what is different about your business offering and why a customer should choose your products and services versus your competitors. Communicating this unique selling proposition clearly through your branding and marketing materials will help improve the effectiveness of your sales and marketing

- What are your brand values?

Your values should be defined and act as a means of further supporting your mission statement. They should be the values your customers associate with you and your brand.

- What is your brand's mission statement?

Your mission statement gives insight into how exactly your vision will be realised.

- What is your brand's personality?

Your brand's personality is a way in which your business can show its human attributes and act as a means of making your brand more relatable to people. Having a brand personality is also a way in which your business can stand out from others.

- What is your brand's tone of voice?

A brand's tone of voice is important as it is often how they connect with their target audience so the tone of voice should be appropriate for it.

These are all very important questions. Your brand strategy is the how, what, where, when and to whom you plan on communicating and delivering your brand messaging. All of these questions should start the foundation for a successful brand.

Your brand's identity is the visual solution to these questions, and is where good design can strive and help successfully communicate the business’s strategy through multiple visual means. Having an effective, unique visual identity will help differentiate your business. A key factor for a successful identity is that it should be visually consistent in it’s use and message. One way design can communicate your business’s core message and reflect your values and mission is through brand taglines and descriptors. A successful tagline can be a quick way for your audience to get an insight into your business that reinforces your brand's values.

The development of a brand's identity is where a designer is a valuable asset. Although, as designers we can't make your brand, we can form the visual foundation which represents your business. Only your target audience can make your brand successful and develop its reputation and perception. As designers our aims are to reflect your business’s values, mission and strategy through all mediums of design and communicate it through an identity that will aid significantly in this process of building a reputation with your audience.

At Dara Creative we help you identify what is different about your business and why a customer should choose your products and services versus your competitors. Below are samples of how we helped businesses develop a successful brand identity and web presence that set them apart from their competitors.

- iCONX

- Interior Design Academy of Ireland

- Consumer Champion

- FLI International

- Cartrawler

 
If you wish to get in touch with us about creating your brand identity and vision, email us at hello@daracreative.ie 
 
By: Dylan MacKay, Designer at Dara Creative