Your brand is more than your logo
Many people, when they think about brand, go straight to their logo. However, your brand is more than a logo. A logo is simply a visual representation of your brand – one aspect of it.
Your brand infiltrates every aspect of your business, so it’s important to get it right.
However, this can be hard when you are starting out.
When you start a business there's usually a fair amount of bootstrapping involved. Starfish Marketing was no exception.
I launched the business with a clear understanding of my WHY – to make a difference for small businesses and our community. As well as being very clear about what the starfish marketing brand was (and stood for).
The value of bringing in the experts
I believe in bringing in the experts and collaborate with a number of other marketing organisations when I don’t have the specialist skillset.
However, for the first three years in business the starfish marketing logo was ‘self-designed' – and I am not a graphic designer. I repeat “I AM NOT A GRAPHIC DESIGNER”. Graphic designer is a specialist skillset – my specialty is strategy, copywriting and content creation.
No, the reason the logo was ‘self-designed' is simply because, at the time of launching Starfish Marketing , I was bootstrapping and not in a position to invest in having the visual representation of the brand professionally designed.
While the Starfish Marketing brand was strong in those first three years, and consistent in terms of communication and the emotion the starfish story, the visual aspect of the brand, our logo, was… well let's just say it was amateur (at its best).
Now for someone who delivers workshops on getting your branding right across every aspect of your business, this has not been a great position to be in.
I talk about your brand being more than a logo. And it is so much more than a logo, because you can create a strong brand non-visually. Starfish Marketing is an example of this.
Over the first three years I built consistent verbal and written branding; used some fabulous photography and images with our communications and achieved strong recognition of the business name and our WHY.
Everything was aligned except the visual brandmark, the logo. The logo just did not embody the starfish brand. And it didn’t align with all the aspects of our brand.
What our logo wasn't!
Our logo wasn’t friendly and fun. It didn’t:
- portray that our focus is always on making a difference for our clients and our local community
- say that, if you work with us, we keep it simple for you. (Why make something harder than it has to be, right?)
- show that we are a little bit quirky (but not too much) and fun
- demonstrate that we are reliable, approachable and relatable
- and it didn't say that we are great at marketing stuff
It didn’t do any of what starfish marketing is all about!
And that, my friends is not a good logo and it is not good for your brand consistency.
I could talk and write about our brand and bring its personality to life. But visually the brandmark, our logo, just wasn’t aligned!
So, we brought in the experts..
And just look at the results!!!
It was with great excitement, and joy (oh so much joy) that I finally bit that bullet and had our logo, a key aspect of our visual brand, designed by the fabulous design company, Kindred Design.
Kindred did an amazing job in turning my verbal description of starfish marketing into a beautiful, simple brandmark that tells our starfish story.
I couldn't be happier with the results. And the Starfish Marketing brand suite is complete and consistent across all aspects of my business.
And that makes me a happy little marketer.
The lesson learnt
While you may be able to build a brand without expert graphic design involvement, it will never be as strong or consistent as its potential.
So, bring in the experts as soon as you can. It may look like a considerable financial investment, but it will be oh so worth it. And it will make your brand stronger and better.
In fact, one of the first things I did when starting my other business, Mell Speaks, was to invest in getting my brand absolutely nailed from the start. Check it out and let me know what you think.
Now, if you need help building your brand let's chat. (Note: I'll bring in a graphic designer for the visual aspect.)