Brand beyond logo


17th October, 2019

Your brand is more than just a logo – Here’s why

Branding is much more than just the name or logo given to a small business. It extends to the emotions you feel when you think of the company, writes Nina Hendy.

There’s no denying that a big part of building a successful small business comes down to logo design and branding.

Get these elements right and you’re likely to be rewarded with strong customer loyalty. Get them wrong, you can expect to lose sales to your competitors.

A measure of success in branding comes down to building customer trust. Here in Australia, ALDI tops the list in terms of customer trust, followed by Bunnings, Qantas and the ABC, research shows.

With banks falling out of favour in this latest survey, the findings of the Roy Morgan Net Trust Score Survey 2018 reveal outside influencers such as the Royal Banking Commission and other factors can effect brand value and sustainable growth.

Designing a logo

Small businesses need to go through a deep journey back to their roots when thinking about logo design, Sydney creative director Zoe Scott of The Design Order told The Pulse.

Be clear about why you’re in business. Understand your philosophy, why your business exists, who you’re helping and what problems you solve for them, Scott said.

“Your logo is a personalised stamp.

“It is your unique mark which is made up of your business name and possibly a graphical element.

“Always the same, it’s the thing that identifies your business and is one of unifying elements that make up part of your brand,” Scott explained.

“Your visuals are the thing that ignites a spark, attracts your dream client and creates that one-of-a-kind brand experience,” she said.

Brand specialist Lisa Reuben agrees.

Logo creation isn’t simply putting an image or icon together with some letters. It takes strategic planning and knowledge on global trends as well as uncovering insights of the business, and it’s industry to create something truly unique, the founder of design agency Ink Blott explained.

“A logo should incorporate the identity, positioning, voice and attitude of the organisation for which it’s being designed.

“In light of this, it’s important to choose a designer after careful consideration.

“Templated designs and online logo producing applications may not yield the custom one-off design that your business services, leaving it to chance that you may very well have a similar logo to another organisation,” said Reuben.

Building a brand

Once you’ve developed your logo, you’ll need a brand guide that dictates how your logo can be used, along with your chosen fonts, colours and imagery.

This guide can help your business become known to consumers, increase business value and generate future business. Done well, a brand can dictate how customers feel when they walk into your business, purchase from you or even hear your business name.

READ: How to fortify your brand and your business in 5 simple steps

To build a brand, spend time understanding your target market on an emotional level, according to Scott.

“Create buyer personas and get deep into the type of client you’re trying to attract.

“What drives their behaviour and what will they get out of interacting with your brand? Also, be consistent and ensure every touchpoint aligns with your brand,” she added.

A brand refresh will also ensure your business is at the forefront of your customers’ minds.

Making sure you own the copyright to your logo

Small businesses will need to ensure they have fully copyright of their logo.

Many designers stipulate copyright remains that of the creator, and additional fees may be involved to gain full copyright of the logo designed. If unsure, consider consulting with an Intellectual Property Lawyer, Reuben advised.

“In Australia, copyright falls to the person who created the logo. Business owners should ensure that any contract signed for the creation of a unique logo includes a clause or sub-agreement to ensure that the finished design belongs to you,” said Reuben.

READ: Branding your business from the bottom up

Protecting your brand

Making sure you have copyright of your logo is only one part of protecting your brand.

Registering a trade mark gives you exclusive rights to your brand in Australia, and you can legally stop others from trading with it for similar goods and services. A trade mark can also help build a memorable experience with customers, and lead to brand loyalty and repeat business.

You can trade mark your business name, slogan and your logo.

To check whether any of your brand elements have been trade marked already, you can access IP Australia’s trade mark checker here. If no one has already trade marked your brand elements, you can proceed to apply for the trade mark yourself.

Case in point

Australian small business Parcelpoint recently went through a rebranding process.

The company’s head of marketing and communications Natasha Ritz asked a number of hard questions throughout the process to identify an authentic branding proposition possible.

“Our brand is about connection, communities and giving people back control of their time. It’s not about the logo, it’s about how we make people feel,” said Ritz.

READ: How to use your brand’s tone of voice to get noticed

“Customers engage with so much more than just a nice design or logo these days.

“They connect to a brands’ purpose; the why. They want to know how the brand can fit into their life and make a positive impact.

“People feel the brands they choose are a representation of who they are as individuals, or often the difference they can make as part of something bigger,” said Ritz.