There is not a single excuse left in this Big, Badass World of Marketing to justify a bad job of branding. There is no shortage of podcasts, blog posts, marketing experts who put their own branding in your face so they can tell you what you’re doing wrong with yours.
Branding is no longer about simple recognition. Even the most recognizable logo (ever!) didn’t rest on its own simple swoosh. It worked very hard for a long time at being consistent so that it could represent both a company name and its timeless tagline. Now it’s up to you to “Just Do It”. It doesn’t matter if your manufactured sports apparel is never, ever going to hang in the locker of a Major League Baseball pitching phenom – don’t discount your branding’s importance.
To clarify – your branding does not stop at your logo. (Which yes, you need professionally designed, not rendered by a student who won the job whose bidding started at $10.)
Your logo is the smallest ingredient that supports the whole enchilada. Lot of pressure on a little png file, so don’t skimp here.
So if we’re straight on the logo – then let it breathe, let it shine.
Wear it, engrave it, imprint it.
Insert it in your email signature, on your proposal letterhead.
Wrap your vehicle in it.
Let your logo live!!!
Celebrate its colors.
Embrace its power.
Acknowledge it as the standard to which you hold yourself.
It’s your beacon, your Batgirl Signal.
Why Remaining True to Your Branding Is Challenging
If you haven’t the stomach to read another article by some marketing expert pontificating about what’s right and what you are doing wrong, try watching one. Set your DVR to CNBC and record The Profit.
Some of us here are big Marcus Lemonis fans. Yes, it is a reality show and of course the most dysfunctional business owners are highlighted – makes for better TV – but the core enterprise-building principles he imparts are indisputably spot on.
A recent episode showcased Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour Restaurants. One thing they were doing wrong from the giddy-up was they made an office administrator responsible for merchandising the signature candy shop. The shop that welcomed customers to the restaurant. The same customers who entered the establishment from beneath an awning with a logo featuring a turn-of-the-century woman. An establishment called a “parlour” for old time’s sake. Once inside, instead of perpetuating that branding, there was an array of “modern” candies poorly displayed. Not a single thing was charming or quaint. It wasn’t honest. The admin was purchasing what she liked, not anything to do with the brand, in tone or style. Not her fault.
A complete case of the wrong person in the wrong seat on the bus. A common error when businesses are trying to save money. They have people who do not have the expertise put in charge of something that’s not their strong suit. But this was WAY off. WAY off from a branding and experiential perspective.
Branding That Goes Beyond a Logo
Your logo and what it represents needs to define the feeling had by prospective clients when they meet your products or services.
Try taking a step back – or take seventeen steps back, and give yourself some perspective. Have you begun to move away from your company’s essence? If you have, is it because you are ready to shake up your service offerings/business model; or have you simply strayed?
Never forget who you are, and you will never get lost. If you think you may have forgotten who you are, take a good, long look at that logo and try to remember what it used to mean.