Brands have become very similar to individuals. The brands you love and respect are like good friends, and by thinking in this way will help a business to create a highly successful brand.
How is an individual like a brand?
A logo is like a persons face. It’s instantly recognizable. It doesn’t matter what your language is, where you are from or what you do, you recognize that face as being unique. You may not know what they do, or where they are from, yet you will immediately start to make an opinion of that individual, in the same way you will about a logo.
You subconsciously choose the people you approach by how they look, what they wear, and how they act. The clothing they choose, the style of their hair, and even the people they are with create an identity you may be drawn to (or away from). It’s not until you talk to the person do you learn who they are. You expect them to talk a certain way, and about a certain thing… if this doesn’t match their image, you would quietly end the conversation and move on. This is also true of a business… you can attract customers with a superb identity, but if the interaction doesn’t match the identity, or you don’t get what you expect from them, you go elsewhere – the identity you use to attract business, needs to run through the whole process. This is why your identity and logo design should match who you are as a business, and why its important not to pretend you are something you are not.
If you cover a friends face, you still recognize who they are by what they wear, by how they act, and by what they say and how they say it. I like to think of this as a brand identity. The worlds best brand identities work in the same way – if you cover the logo, you can still recognize who they are.
Now imagine a memory of your friend, and the relationship you have with them. You remember the ups and downs, but ultimately you are still friends with them. This memory of that person is their personal brand… their reputation… your perception of them. A company works in the same way – a brand is the customers memory and perception of the business and its products.
Now if your friend decided suddenly to dress and act differently? What would you think of them? Wouldn’t you find it odd that they started to say things you wouldn’t expect them to, and to act differently? The change might be so radical that you suddenly loose trust in them, and may possibly even break your friendship with them… your perception of them would have changed. Unfortunately companies do this frequently without realizing, and wonder why they fail to have long-term business and customer loyalty…
How to create a brand by thinking of your business as a group of people (which it is)?
If you gather a group of people you suddenly have a mixture of faces, races, fashions, voices, attitudes, and opinions. Their is no longer a cohesive identity.
Now if you give each of them an identical mask, the same clothing, a cohesive voice and story, and requested them to act in a certain way, you once suddenly have a group of people who you expect to act as one. This is why businesses need brand identity design – to create a cohesive individual identity.
A logo is like a mask – a face for a group of people – a consistent, recognizable identity that can be recognized globally. The clothing they wear, what they say and their story is the brand identity.
In most cases, the job of marketing and business experts around the world is to fabricate a cohesive identity for this group of people. To create an identity to attract a desired target market. In order for this to work, every individual needs to learn and understand what this is, and follow it.
Without a cohesive identity, everyone will be saying different things, acting in different ways, and telling a different story. How can you trust an believe in this company? The truth is… long term you wouldn’t. There would be no loyalty.
I believe that brands that have excelled have not been a fabricated ‘marketing’ story, but a real one as the extension of an individuals beliefs, opinions, dream and vision. ‘The brand ambassador’. Examples that come to mind is Steve Jobs, Richard Branson and Bill Gates. Each of these individuals have inspired others to join their journey, which is why so many others follow, and why the brands that have created have excelled. People believe in that individual, and follow them like a god.
Your brand is unique – be an individual
A person is unique and has their own story, so does your business. Your story, your choice of fashion, your beliefs, what you say and how you say it should be unique to you.
Only when you do this will you have a true brand that people will get to know, follow and fall in love with.
Here’s a few books I recommended to learn logo design: