If you’re an organization that is focused on enhancing its public image, you’ve likely heard these common buzz words: BRAND, IDENTITY and LOGO. If you’re not familiar with these terms, trying to distinguish them can make your head spin.
But it’s definitely worth becoming familiar with them. Each of these terms are unique and play a crucial role in how customers and the public view your organization. Let’s review these terms to provide you a better understanding.
We’ll start with one many people are likely familiar with: LOGO. The logo is quite simply the visual centrepiece for your organization. It’s a visual element that can be a mark, flag, symbol or signature. Whether your logo is located on the front of your building, on a business card or as the profile picture of your various social media accounts, it’s the symbol of your business that people will identify with, even though the logo itself doesn’t include any description of your company.
There are many different approaches to designing a logo. The important thing is that a logo should derive its meaning from the quality of the thing it symbolizes. Some tips for a great logo include: 1. Be unique and clever; 2. Understand your brand (more on that later); 3. Choose colours that reflect your organization; 4. Keep it clear and recognizable; and 5: Create a variety of options to choose from.
Think of Apple’s logo (a small white apple). The company sells technology, but when people see that logo they’ve come to expect quality electronics. When people are looking for shoes, they’ll often seek out the white checkmark on a black background that signifies Nike.
A company’s logo ties directly ties into its IDENTITY. An identity is based around the visual devices used within a company. To effectively craft an identity, a company needs to create a set of guidelines that lay out what elements will be used consistently such as colour palettes, fonts, layouts, etc.
When you distribute a marketing letter to a prospective customer, you should use a consistent letterhead that contains your company name, logo and contact information. If you are a retailer, having distinct employee uniforms will ensure customers can seek help if necessary.
Together, a company’s logo and identity are major parts of its BRAND. A brand is truly a company’s corporate image and while you can shape it with things like logos, letterheads or slogans, it ultimately comes down to how the public perceives you. Think of it this way. When you’re out on your weekly shopping trip, how often do you add a familiar brand to your cart? There are usually multiple ones, including no-name to choose from, so why do you choose that brand?
There are several factors that influence your decision. You’ll seek out that brand if it is of high quality and has delivered for you personally for many years. A great way to build a brand is by creating a solid product that is quality assured and backed by outstanding customer service. Some people also consider whether the company behind the brand is corporately ethical. Does the company give back to the community? In creating its product, does it show empathy for the world around it? And yes, advertising with a consistent look also helps, as it gives your brand name recognition and makes people more likely to add it to their carts.
Recently at Benchmark Public Relations, we have been working on a logo enhancement project with the Northern Healthy Communities Partnership, a network of organizations working to improve the health of people in northern Saskatchewan by influencing the conditions in which they live, learn, work and play. We are currently revamping the group’s various logos, creating new visual identity standards they can use in further marketing materials, and new templates featuring their enhanced logos. We have also done a major review of their website and provided recommendations for the redesign.