In our Small Business Management course we talk a great deal about marketing and teach you how to put together a Marketing Plan plus successfully market your business. We’ve also talked about the different ways you can market your business — including the use of business cards — on this very blog. Today, we’re talking about branding and logos and why you need them.
The Big Brand Names
Some of the biggest names in business are immediately identifiable just by their branding or logo: McDonalds’ golden arches, Apple’s apple, Nike’s tick and so on.
Sure, they’re companies that have been around for decades; they’re also companies that have funnelled millions of dollars into the marketing of their brand, so you might be wondering how they relate to you.
It’s simple. In the digital age, having a corporate brand is essential if you’re going to make an impact. We could wax lyrical about all the reasons why consistent branding is important, but these stats pretty much say it all:
12 percent of the world’s population uses Twitter and according to Facebook’s latest stats, they have some 1.15 billion registered users. That’s a lot of people, and not every potential customer will happen to possess the detective skills of Nancy Drew.
If someone can’t easily Google your business and then quickly identify your Twitter and Facebook accounts based on your corporate branding, your corporate branding just failed the digital test. You’re essentially invisible online.
Brands and Logos: What’s the Diff?
At this point you should be sold. If you’re not read: 1.15 billion Facebook users. You need some good corporate branding, but now you’ve gotta decide between a brand and a logo. Is there a difference? Yes! There is!
Coca Cola’s famous insignia: that’s a logo. It exists because The Coca Cola Company has many different brands: Sprite, Goulburn Valley, Pump Water, etc, but it just happens that Coca Cola is their most widely recognised. The Apple emblazoned on every MacBook, iPhone, iPad and iPad, however: that’s a brand; it denotes Apple Inc., regardless of the product. (And that very apple would later see Steve Jobs at war with The Beatles’ company, Apple Corps over trademark infringements for more than 30 years.)
While logo and brand are often conflated, the two are somewhat different. A brand will grow with your business, so it’s easy to update if you expand, whereas a logo is pretty static. Think about your business and what suits it best; then think about your business ten years from now.
Now that you’re onboard with a logo or corporate branding, you just need to work on the design, which we’ll talk about in our next post.