I think it’s safe to say that regardless of the type of your business, you are in business for one reason – customers. The focus of finding brand ideas therefore has to be on grabbing your customers’ attention, make them remember you and keep them coming back. In other words, focus on ideas that create visibility and that will make people stop and take notice. You are more likely to be recognized and remembered if you have a unique brand that makes you stand out from the crowd.
So how do you decide on a brand and logo for your business? Let me tell you my story to help your creative juices going.
Here is a logo that was created for a business that I started a few years ago.
The business was a vineyard with guest accommodation in a location with magnificent views. When I started discussing the importance of brand with our graphic artist we concentrated mainly on the view which, in my mind, was the one thing that made us stand out. We spent a considerable amount of time throwing ideas around and doing some sketches until we came up with some brand ideas that seemed to have potential.
As I was leaving I mentioned that the business was named after the lookout and a public park immediately above the vineyard. It was an Australian aboriginal
word that after some research we had found to have three different meanings namely; place of big views, windy place and place of croaking frogs. The first one was obvious and the second one we could attest to. The third one however was also very appropriate as there were a lot of beautiful little tree frogs in the area.
A few days later our graphic artist showed me his initial sketches for a proposed logo. I must admit I was initially taken aback when I saw a frog design instead of something to do with the views. I had completely forgotten about my throw away remark about the meaning of the business name. Fortunately, my graphics artist turned out to be a good listener and the outcome was a brand and logo that did indeed stand out. The frog design on the label of wine bottles, on the front cover of brochures, website, etc. was unusual enough to be noticed and, most importantly, the story behind it did make sense.
So what is the lesson that I learned here? Before spending time, and perhaps money, on designing logos and slogans for your business stop and focus on what makes really you stand out from the crowd. You most likely started your business based on what you believed were some profitable business ideas. That’s great but it’s highly unlikely that you’ll have no competition what so ever. The importance of brand therefore is often not the product or service as a whole but a part of it that is unique. Let’s look at some examples.
One of the best brand examples that I would quote here is Coca-Cola. We all know it, it has been around for ever, and the nicely designed name logo is unmistakable. Now stop and think; is it really the name that made Coca-Cola a household word? Or perhaps it was the drink it self? No, it was neither! The one thing that it has been known for from day one was the shape of the bottle!
And what about McDonald’s? You see the arches everywhere and where ever you go you know what’s on the menu. So what really makes them stand out? If you say it’s the food then tell me, is it the hamburgers, the McCafé, the ice cream? Of course it’s none of those and all of those. What about the arches? Is that what comes to mind first? I don’t think so. The arches are only important to let you find them once you have started looking but it’s not the thing that made you want to find them in the first place. What has made McDonald’s stand out from day one is their service.
Building a really strong brand is, I believe, one of the most important tasks that you should have as an objective for your business. To do that successfully you obviously have to be able to define exactly what your business stands for. More importantly, you need to be able to very clearly define what it is that your customers can expect from you as well as your products. This is far more demanding than simply taking some creative business ideas and throwing money at advertising it to get your name on the board. The real importance of your brand is in how you intend to communicate that you will deliver the consistent quality that your customers expect.
So go put your thinking cap on and if you have any questions about brand ideas you can either leave a comment below or make an appointment for a call with me using the booking form here on the right hand side of this page.