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Branding Goes Beyond a Logo

A brand is an ecosys­tem. It’s the sum of many parts – both tan­gi­ble and intan­gi­ble – work­ing togeth­er to cre­ate a clear, cohe­sive expe­ri­ence for your audi­ence. It’s impor­tant to estab­lish the expe­ri­ence you want to con­vey and work back­wards to ensure that what you’re show­ing and what you’re say­ing aligns.

Whether you’re estab­lish­ing a new brand or you’re at a piv­otal point for reassess­ing your exist­ing brand, here are some ques­tions and points to con­sid­er along the way.

VALUES – Who are you as a company/organization/team? What is your mis­sion and why do you exist?

Your val­ues pro­vide a crit­i­cal foun­da­tion for your brand because they help you make deci­sions as your brand matures. Poten­tial new stake­hold­ers, whether that’s part­ners, clients, vol­un­teers, donors and even employ­ees, should be aware of your val­ue set and align with it. Your val­ues serve as a guide for your brand’s entire strat­e­gy and culture.

GOALS – What are you aim­ing to solve and/or accomplish?

Estab­lish­ing spe­cif­ic and action­able goals helps every­one with­in your brand under­stand what is expect­ed of both the brand as a whole and indi­vid­u­als with­in it. Plus, it’s the basis for col­lec­tive moti­va­tion. Make sure every­one under­stands the goals, how they can con­tribute and check in on progress often. 

MESSAGING – What are you say­ing to con­vey who you are, what you do and how you do it?

The words you’re say­ing to con­vey your brand are cru­cial. This starts with your name and trick­les down to your tagline, web­site copy, adver­tis­ing slo­gans, sales pitch­es and more. Most, if not all, brands need exter­nal buy-in that hinges on inspi­ra­tion for dona­tions, sales, atten­dance, etc. The suc­cess of peo­ple tak­ing appro­pri­ate action depends on the strength of your messaging.

TONE + VOICE – How are you say­ing your messages?

As impor­tant as the words you’re say­ing is how you’re say­ing them. Your brand’s tone and voice should quick­ly con­vey your per­son­al­i­ty and con­nect with the tar­get audience(s). The tone you’re using is the dif­fer­ence between your brand com­ing across as opti­mistic vs. pes­simistic, approach­able vs. pre­ten­tious, inclu­sive vs. exclusive.

VISUAL IDENTITY – Does your brand have visu­al assets beyond your logo? What is your col­or palette? Imagery? Icons? Patterns? 

While your brand is so much more than just your logo, your visu­al iden­ti­ty is absolute­ly a core brand ele­ment. And equal­ly impor­tant to all your visu­al assets work­ing cohe­sive­ly togeth­er is that they align with the above-men­tioned val­ues, goals, mes­sag­ing and tone of voice. If your logo incor­po­rates a child­ish type­face but your tone of voice is schol­ar­ly, there is a strong chance you could be deter­ring folks from engag­ing with your brand.

 

Tak­ing all these ele­ments into account when cre­at­ing and assess­ing your brand makes a huge impact on how suc­cess­ful your brand becomes and how you set your­self apart in the mar­ket­place. Bell­mont Part­ners is pas­sion­ate about help­ing brands ensure both the visu­al and writ­ten sides of your brand are strong and in align­ment. Feel free to reach out if you’re look­ing for help with this!

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