Why creating a good brand requires more than a shiny new logo!
I have just been speaking to a business owner who asked us to design a new logo because he needed to increase sales. Our conversation inspired me to publish this post.
Logo design alone, will not increase your sales. However, good branding, aka brand management or brand development, will. A good brand is formed of many elements which must be aligned in order to grow your business. There is a right and a wrong time to design a new logo and if your sales are down, it is more than likely that something wrong inside your business, resulting in your clients enjoying a better service elsewhere. Do you want people to associate your new logo with your business if things are not right?
What is a brand?
There are many definitions of the word ‘brand’, however, all brand experts have identified that “brands are a product of the work of managers who attempt to augment their products with values and associations that are recognised by, and are meaningful to, their customers” (Chartered Institute of Marketing).
So in other words, your brand must add value and make a positive difference to people otherwise it will be lost in the noise and disruption created by strong brands. With the help of technology and social media, control of branding has now shifted to your customers, therefore it is even more vital that your brand is squeaky clean from the inside out. Branding is a long-term exercise and requires more than a new logo design – it requires the marketing expertise of a Chartered Marketer specialised in brand development.
Why a shiny new logo isn’t the ultimate cure for business growth
If your sales are down, look on the inside, not the outside! A shiny new logo, alone, doesn’t make a good brand. If you create a product or service that your customers need or want and you provide a service which exceeds customer expectations, customers will be raving about you – instead of your customers. This is when you have a good brand. A professional Chartered Marketer will help you discover what your customers want so they don’t shop elsewhere.
What are your competitors offering that you are not? Understanding why sales are down is fundamental to making a positive change. Second guessing results in haphazard communications which is a waste of your budget.
How to get customers thinking about your brand
When your brand is recognised and trusted, customers will spend less time comparing your service or product against your competitors because your brand will be the first to appear in a customer’s thoughts. This means you can charge premium prices because customers will recognise and perceive your brand to be high quality. in fact, Millennials will pay more for a brand which is trusted – they want to know where their products come from and like ethical companies. How does your brand attract Millennials?
When is the last time you asked your customers what they want? When you learn what your customers want, you can exceed their expectations – simply satisfied customers are not loyal customers. Once you have cracked this with the help of a professional marketer, then you can think about a new logo design which will reflect your brand and which your customers will associate with trust.
How to make employees brand ambassadors
Can you remember the last call you made to a service provider? Rate was your experience from 1-10 – 10 being exceptional. Were you put through to an automated phone system? Did the employee you spoke to understand your concerns? Did they display emotional intelligence?
Now imagine your customers calling your company. How do you want them to feel? On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the most confident, how confident are you that your customers are always left feeling exceptionally satisfied when they come into contact with your company via your employees?
How confident are you that your employees are 100% engaged and spreading the good news about your services and products without being prompted by you? Only when the gap between your perception and the reality of good customer service is closed do you have a good brand. Empowering your employees by introducing a coaching and learning culture is the best way to achieve this.
Is your personal brand aligned with your organisational brand?
For customers to ‘believe’ you and to buy into your brand, you need to be authentic. You can only be authentic if you believe in your brand and feel passionate about your values. If you don’t, your personal and business brand will be out of alignment which causes all sorts of problems.
Remember in 1991, when Gerald Ratner said he can sell Ratner’s jewellery at such a low price because it was ‘total crap’. The brand was worth £120 million at the time of the speech but within days the company was worthless. How would you feel buying a product where the business owner laughed behind your back? To be authentic, you must believe in your values and your customers.
A good way to learn if you live your values is to write as many examples of how you have lived each value as you can. If you are struggling, then chances are ‘that value’ is not close to your heart. If that’s the case, how can you expect your employees to buy into it? Do the same with your company mission and vision – how excited are you when you read them? Do they still motivate you to continue to offer the best service possible?
How does your brand make a positive difference?
If you wondered why I had been studying and researching for the past eight years, it is because I am passionate about branding from the inside out. My pet hate is hearing about organisations which do not lead by example or brands that do not make a positive difference to my life. If I believe in a brand promise and then that brand that lies to me, I feel ripped off and my trust in the brand evaporates. For example, if my Apple iPhone alarm failed to work in the morning, I’d not trust it again. As it happens, my iPhone has never let me down.
Write down a list of all the brands you interact with from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed that night. Next to each brand, write down how that brand has made a positive. Did it exceed, satisfy or disappoint? How likely would you buy that brand again? What difference did the logo design made to your experience? Enough said! The Brand Surgery® makes a positive difference by empowering organisations to be the best they can be through marketing strategy, leadership development and creative design.
Hopefully you can now see why commissioning a new logo design “alone” will NOT increase your sales. That is why it is important to choose a Chartered Marketer to grow your brand. Choosing a graphic designer without Chartered Marketing expertise is like trusting a plumber with no safety accreditations; it puts your business at severe risk.
It is what’s ‘inside’ your organisation that makes or breaks your brand. Vicky Vaughan is a Chartered Marketer with 25 years design and marketing expertise.
Call us on 01903 824229 for a brand health check. Vicky will audit all elements of your brand and highlight any areas for improvement.