The other day I was having a chat with a cool lady who’s the marketing director of a business opening a location in my town. In the course of our conversation, she said,
“You know, our visual branding is great. I love our logo and our colors. But I think our message could be stronger.” (The business is in a competitive sector with deep brand loyalty – they’re going to need a strong message to attract customers).
Her statement really stood out to me. Right now there’s a client in my ideal customer program who said precisely the same thing during our first interview.
Logo: Awesome…Message: Meh
It’s easy to understand why this could be the case in your business, too. You have a great idea. You create a business plan. You bootstrap it or get outside funding.
Then your thought process goes something like this: “I need a logo. I need a logo before I have the website built. I need a logo so I can order business cards. Once I have my logo, my website, and my business cards, I’m going to be able to attract customers.”
But, with all the fuss about your logo, you missed a critical element (maybe even the most important element in your marketing): your message (or as I like to call it, your brand promise).
Logos Don’t Sell Anything
Have you purchased anything just because you liked the company logo? I doubt it. A logo does tell you something about the brand, I get it. But as much as you may love Nike shoes, I don’t think you buy them because you love the swoosh.
Without a persuasive, compelling marketing message to support it, a logo is simply an interesting piece of artwork. Nothing more.
“Many business owners incorrectly assume that once they see a perfect logo, they can build their brand around that logo… This always fails.” (from an article in Forbes)
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Your brand promise exists to make an instant connection with your ideal customer. It stands in for you when you can’t be there in person. It says,
“We get you. We know what you want. And we promise to deliver it.”
Without a brand promise, a brand is, well…meh.
Today most companies invest most of their marketing dollars in digital. So you may think the adage, “People buy from people, not from companies” is no longer valid. But it is.
Even Online, People Buy From People – Not From Companies
Even online, primarily online, you only have a split-second to make the kind of human connection with your ideal customers that can get them from point A to point B(uyer).
In a perfect world, every new business owner would spend oodles of time crafting a brand promise before they even consider their logo, color story, website, and business cards.
Your Logo Supports Your Brand Promise (Not The Other Way Around)
I’ve had many clients who have had the same logo for years, if not decades. Although their business changed over the years, they don’t want to change their logo because people recognize it. But when we update their messaging, we often find that their old logo works just fine. (Relief!)
Are you adding new services? Pivoting to a different demographic? Dealing with a competitor that’s kicking your butt? Consider investing the time to craft a compelling, persuasive, emotionally-stirring brand promise. I promise, you will thank me.
And, if you’re starting a new business, please take my advice and work on your brand promise before you even think about a logo!