What do you think of when you think of great brands? For most of my clients it is Apple or Starbucks. For others it might be Chick-Fil-A, Coca Cola or Fed Ex. But what all these brands have in common is that they provide a reliable, consistent product or service and their reputation for how they treat their customers and employees is part of what makes them special. Saatchi & Saatchi refers to the brands people love as “Lovemarks“.
Brands that are just as recognizable but less popular might be McDonalds, Walmart, and Microsoft. What sets these companies apart from being a necessity and being something that is loved is not only quality of the product, but also how the customers and employees are treated and how they are viewed by society.
When clients come to us for a new brand we obviously focus on graphic design and recognizable colors, but what does all that have to say about the company? How much does a logo really matter if the quality of the product or service is poor? What is also a cause of concern is incongruous ideas and concepts. We’ve had some clients who requested color schemes that did not align with their product or even give style suggestions that were way off base. An example of this might be an organic food company showing you a truck stop website and saying, “We really like this website!” Or a new coffee shop showing you a furniture store logo and saying, “We want something like this.”
A brand is so much more than a logo, color scheme, product and service, it is everything that makes you or your company what you are. It is the story that you are telling and while some people have a great story, they tell it in a poor way.
So what do we suggest? Before you start down a path with a new company understand who you are as a company. Know your customer base or target audience. Understand your product and be able to communicate what service you provide in simple terms. Avoid group think and design by consensus. Trust experts. And lastly, find objective individuals to give you honest feedback instead of just listening to coworkers and friends.