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Interchangeable: A Branding Misconception, Part I

Branding and logos. Which came first? Or are they even different? Forget Webster’s and every other definition you’ve heard before as we, at HighRock, take you through our processes and characterize the unique qualities each company can attain. When you grasp that, a brand isn’t just the Apple icon but so much more. 

How You Define a Brand:

Many times, potential clients come to us requesting a logo. This is where we introduce that a logo is not a brand, it’s how everything comes together. Whether it’s your print pieces, marketing, company culture or customer services, all those assets add up to a brand. Many if not all these terms are well known. However, people get confused because some companies interchange brand and logo and that’s incorrect. A logo is literally just a brand attribute. 

Copy. Headlines. Signage. More attributes that create a cohesive, impenetrable brand. Branding is also indefinable. It’s something that lives beyond your brick and mortar.

Jeff Bezos of Amazon states it succinctly, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”

Sometimes your brand is taken out of your hands (and we’re not talking about merchandise). Like Bezos said, how people talk about you to their friends, family, Yelp and Facebook determine a large percentage of your business. People can have a first impression of your company without ever seeing you or utilizing your service or product.

We at HighRock often only have one chance to tell you the brand’s story, just like you do. Make sure you give your consumers an experience they won’t forget; a story they want to return to. 

How You Establish a Brand:

When we begin the kickoff conversations about branding a company we talk about the colors, emotions and end goal, but more importantly how we can capture the story. Because what we try to accomplish when we’re developing the brand is to tell a story that narrates the whole process. Everything we design, specifically the front-facing elements, need to have a beginning, middle and ongoing story that when told always has our clients understanding the direction. Done correctly, this always leads to a client’s creative breakthrough; an aha moment. Through this reaction, we get a feeling for their emotion, their attachment and move on to the next step. 

As always, this process requires financial, mental and physical investment, as well as patience and collaboration. It’s a partnership; a HighRock joint production. 

Why You Need to Establish a Brand:

Most of the time you never see a logo just sitting on a blank background. At HighRock we always present the design in context; how a client would use the mark. Combining all these attributes of a brand further proves the power of a clear message and presence in your specific industry. Utilizing the logo on a T-shirt if you work in a restaurant, on letterhead if you’re in a law firm, mugs if you need swag. The way you can implement your brand materials are always expanding. As your brand is developed, your web presence is as well. From online to outside, when we start showcasing your brand elements on slick sheets, signage or billboards, clients can see full circle what it can do. “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works,” the late Steve Jobs explains.

If you’re ready to start the process of building a brand, HighRock is just as prepared. Still have questions about how a logo fits in your branding package? Take a look at Part II to learn more.