Your brand positioning, or brand essence, is the clear and evocative articulation of your purpose.
Ultimately, it’s the high level idea that sets you apart from the competition – and unites and drives all your company’s activities, actions and behaviours. But how do you express that visually?
That’s where a strong brand identity comes in.
A well-designed logo and strong, consistently applied visual identity will communicate the essence of your brand, help you stand out amongst your competitors, increase customer brand awareness and memorability – and ultimately, deliver a great return on your brand investment.
More than just a logo
Your brand identity is so much more than just your logo. A logo encapsulates the essence of an organisation in its simplest form, via the use of a mark or icon. A well-designed logo will help communicate the intent of your brand simply and distinctively, but on its own it is just the tip of the corporate identity iceberg.
Effective logos are supported by a comprehensive corporate identity, including elements such as fonts, colour palettes, secondary design devices, an image and photographic style and more. It is this toolkit that truly ensures the consistent representation of an organisation’s brand with every execution. If you have a strong corporate identity, your brand will be immediately recognisable even if you place your hand over the logo.
However, your logo is the cornerstone of your identity, and is the place to start.
Is it time for a change?
The decision about whether to refine and update your existing logo, or to begin again from scratch, should not be made in isolation.
The extent to which you change your logo is connected to whether or not you are changing your brand positioning. Any change to your logo or corporate identity should be a signal to the external market that something has changed within your organisation – and the degree of the visual change should reflect the degree of change within your organisation.
Questions to ask before embarking on a logo change:
- Does our logo reflect our current and future business strategy?
- Does our logo bring to life our brand positioning?
- Does our logo resonate with our current and future customer bases?
- Does our logo positively differentiate us from our competition?
- Does our logo look outdated?
- Is our logo clear and easy to read?
- Does our logo translate well to colour, monochrome and small applications?
- Does our logo translate well online and on mobile?
Once you have considered these questions you will have a better understanding of whether a logo change is needed, and if so, how much of a change.
The key to a standout logo
One of the key characteristics of successful logos is timelessness: will your logo still be effectively representing your brand in five, ten or even twenty years? Timeless brands have tweaked and modernised their logos over time, but the essence of their visual identity has remained the same.
As you can see, a logo design that ensures that your visual identity will remain relevant for many years to come is at the heart of a successful corporate identity. Other factors that make a strong logo include :
It accurately reflects your brand.
A successful logo is underpinned by your brand positioning: your essence, your values, and your tone of voice.
It’s simple and memorable.
Simple and memorable logos are important, especially in today’s environment where consumers are surrounded by brands all day, every day.
An effective logo needs to balance versatility and adaptability with integrity.
An effective logo will be appropriately designed to communicate your brand essence - but also conform to the personality and professionalism of your brand.
Design is an opportunity to bring your brand to life
Ensuring your corporate brand identity accurately reflects your strategic intent will help to drive cohesion within your organisation, and an understanding of your brand’s benefits and direction among your clients and prospects.
Design is an opportunity to inject aspiration and bring your brand to life with colour and imagery. By regularly using strong, consistent design to communicate your brand it will become recognisable, memorable, and most importantly, you will be able to demonstrate a strong return on your investment in your brand.
BrandMatters has developed The Guide to Financial Services Brand Identity to explain the important link between brand identity and brand positioning, and to provide senior marketers with a tool kit to help you develop a consistent visual identity for your brand. Download the Guide now.