Here's a little secret. Logos are one of our favorite kinds projects at Peppermill Projects. We simply love everything about the logo process from start to finish. However, before we even start sketching, we begin with our Brand Discovery phase which enables us to learn as much as possible about your business, values, goals and target audience. Any decent designer can make a pretty logo, but it's the foundation strategy work that makes all the difference. Brand Discovery and Research is crucial to creating a logo that not only looks great, but honestly and authentically represents your brand.
Hold up! My logo isn't my brand? Nope! And we'll explain the difference...
Amazon's CEO, Jeff Bezos explains it:
While you can (and should) constantly work on communicating the brand you want to be, it is just as much made by the cumulative experiences your customers have with your products or services. Disney is a good example for discussion. Disney's brand essence can be simplified as family-friendly and the magic of childhood. When you decide to see a Disney movie, you have a good idea of what to expect and are rarely disappointed. You might also have visual cues like Mickey Mouse or the signature logo that bring up those warm, fuzzy feelings about the brand. The logo has one job—to provide the visual cues that make you think of all the other descriptors and feelings that come to mind. Those feelings actually create the brand we all know as Disney.
The logo is the essentially the shortcut to the essence of your brand. Your logo doesn't have to literally, show what you do or the products you sell, but it must express the feeling of who you are. It should be recognizable and memorable. Let's examine a couple more simple and recognizable logos: Target andNike. Bothof these companies don't use their product in their logo. The reason? Their brand is bigger than their products and is built on the experience they create for their customers. Target prides itself on quality products at affordable prices—they're "on the mark." Nike is known for performance and movement — swoosh.
Often during a Brand Discovery workshop, we ask our clients if your brand was a person (real or fictional), who would it be? Her style and clothes represent the visual brand, like product packaging, but it's what's inside that really counts (cheesy, but true!). That's where the heart of your actual brand is. What she says, thinks andvalues—what she stands for— that's your brand! What she looks like — that's the visual expression of your brand.
Understanding the difference between your logo and brand is important. Your logo doesn't need to shoulder the weight of your entire brand’s identity and it doesn’t need to be the central piece of art on your all your branded communication. While beautiful logos can help lead to success and recognition, it's the health of your brand identity that will keep you ahead of your competitors.
At Peppermill Projects, we look forward to each and every logo design project that comes our way. We just make sure we do somebrand soul searching first!