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Interchangeable: A Branding Misconception, Part II

The first thing people notice when they use a brand-name product is the symbol. “Brand name” has become synonymous with logo. If we removed the logo would we recognize the brand? Probably not. A logo, however, is such a staple attribute to a brand. Before the product is produced and the logo is stitched on, how did the logo even evolve? HighRock has a process that’s nearly foolproof. 

The Formula to a Logo:

How you ask? At the beginning one of the marketing executives here at HighRock talks to the client and downloads what they are thinking, after which comes the kickoff meeting. First, we ask you to do some homework. If you currently have a logo, we go over its significance. We also ask you to bring in items that you’ve seen, or to tell us what your competitors are doing; what logos you like or brands you think are doing well. Then we sit and strategize. Our brainstorming process’ goal is to be able to say: Okay this is what you like, so therefore, these are things HighRock suggests. Once we know where your head is at, that’s when we can create a full mood board. 

“Socrates said, ‘Know thyself.’ I say, ‘Know thy users.’ And guess what? They don’t think like you do.” –Joshua Brewer

A mood board is almost like an interior designer coming to your house. Let’s pull some fabrics in, some colors for the walls and some swatches. We do the same thing when jumping into a new brand or a rebrand. We chose the color palette and present some similar logos we think will relate. Of course, it’s not going to be a replication, but HighRock tries to give an indication so you can prepare yourself for something new and adventurous. It really gives you a feeling of whether we’re going for something soft and emotional or stringent and very sharp. This provides us with the influence to say later, you agreed with a lot of these items on the mood board when we present the final product. We can remind you this is why we did what we did based on what you liked and disliked from the mood board. And that process gets us 99% of the time an approved version with minor changes.

One Logo, Many Heads in the Game:

It’s a partnership. We need your opinion. It’s usually a bad sign when you say I don’t care; just make a logo. Because ultimately, you’ll also say, I’ll know it when I see it or something similar. HighRock’s experience with that type of client never pans out very well. That is why our process is imperative to the partnership. The mood board is required many times because we aren’t just working with singular leaders, but usually a marketing board, or a marketing team that is putting their heads together. Everyone has separate ideas, but to get all those ideas focused and in a cohesive direction we need to basically have a mood board to ensure they can envision it and finally see it. This gets everyone’s heads nodding yes and shaking no on the same items. 

Why a Logo Needs a Story:

“A logo doesn’t need to say what a company doesn’t. Restaurant logos don’t need to show food, dentist logos don’t need to show teeth, furniture store logos don’t need to show furniture. Just because it’s relevant doesn’t mean you can’t do better. The Mercedes logo isn’t a car. The Virgin Atlantic logo isn’t an airplane…” –David A.

HighRock is always pushing creative boundaries, which is why we believe in the art of storytelling, of developing a history and future of the logos we create. That they are more than just something you have printed on your business card.

We’ve had requests, hey can you send the presentation of the brand so it can be reviewed before it’s done. HighRock always says no because there are stories that go along with each logo. And unless we can tell you that story and present it to you, you’re going to assume things that aren’t correct. You respond more when we thoroughly get to explain it; we see clients respond, I didn’t even think about it like that.  Just like Hospice of Washington County, the bird looking back signifies reminiscing and understanding. There was a whole life of celebration. It’s wasn’t about just going to a funeral or being sad, but a life you will remember. However, it took HighRock’s storytelling process of the logo development to explain the meaning. Afterward, their response was, that’s cool. I didn’t think about that.

Most marketing companies have no idea how to express their vision, moreover many think a brand and logo are interchangeable. 

At HighRock you can trust that you are not our first logo. This might be the first time you’ve ever gone through this but as a client you can trust us that this works. 

Ready to find your logo direction and meet your brand goals. Contact HighRock to schedule a kickoff meeting! Want to understand the difference between a logo and brand? Part I is a click away.