By Eva Couto
Your brand is NOT just your logo. Think of it as an iceberg: the tip above the ocean is your logo, fonts & colours; the strategy is underneath supporting those aesthetics with your business’s values, goals & mission.
So what’s your brand supposed to be & do for your business?
The purpose of having a strong brand (beyond marketing, beyond just business) is to discover your bold story, that informs how everything else from sales, customer support, product development aligns and works together. It gives you the confidence to be yourself in a way that attracts like-minded people and becomes meaningful to them.
Your brand should be working FOR you, not against you. It should enable you to focus on your zone of genius and allow you to spend time doing what you actually love!
When you create graphics or content for your brand without establishing these foundations in the first place, it becomes tempting to follow along with what others are doing for their own successful brands. Inspiration turns into copying and you find yourself lost in a sea of look-alikes where anyone and everyone sounds and looks the same.
Let me paint you this picture:
With the world opening up once again after what felt like the apocalypse, you get invited to a really nice networking event. You pick your finest outfit, dress up and hit the town. You arrive at the party with all these big industry names and you grab yourself a drink.
You turn around and someone’s rocking the EXACT same outfit. You’re now faced with the urge to stick your head in the sand and hide, in order to avoid a very embarrassing moment.
What if instead of events we were talking about the online world, and instead of outfits we were talking of logos? Don’t you feel the same type of shame and embarrassment? Suddenly those business cards that you paid so much to get done lose their shine and you’re… well, like everyone else.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO said:
“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
And quite honestly… I couldn’t agree more!
When we’re just starting out in our entrepreneurial journey, the most important thing is to validate our offerings and make them available to purchase as soon as possible. But as we go from newbies to pros, we start to outgrow the DIY approach and looking professional becomes crucial to gain trust from potential leads.
Here’s the nitty-gritty of why templates don’t work:
1. If you bought it, anyone can buy it
When a really popular logo template blows up, it gets seen and bought by thousands of business owners from all over the world and all industries. Suddenly, it doesn’t matter what you do, why you do it or who you do it for! When a template is available for purchase to both a copywriter, a photographer and a coach you’ll find all three using the same thing.
2. They’re made to work for everyone
…which means they work for no one. A logo is the ultimate representation of your brand. It should be a symbol that’s easy to identify and remember. When the same template can be used for thousands of different industries, is it really a symbol anymore?
3. You’ll blend in, instead of standing out
Lesson number one in having your own business is building trust with potential customers so that they become superfans that buy everything you put out (as they should, because it’s THAT amazing!) Using a logo template means it gets increasingly easy to spot the ones that are copies vs. originals. How do you think that builds trust & differentiates you from the competition?
4. All strategic thinking goes out the window
A logo template is supposed to be the easy way around designing your first logo. But I know your business is meant for big things! So if you made your logo with a Canva template you might not even own it! According to their terms “You can’t use Free or Pro content as part of a trademark, design mark, trade name, business name, service mark, or logo.” Where’s the business growth strategy in that?
5. Turns your logo into an expense, not an investment
You get what you pay for… When there’s no strategy behind your brand’s logo it becomes an expense: a graphic that was never made to bring you any results or ROI. That template might sound like a bargain, but maybe you’d be better off putting that money into something that’s actually going to move your business forward.
We’ve all been there. We start our businesses and after taking that leap of faith, there are a million things we need to learn how to do and DIY. And now that your business has grown that branding doesn’t fit you anymore. It’s a super easy place to end up, and certainly not a fun one.
Remember that your brand is an ever-evolving thing. It’s not meant to be caged into the first decision (or logo) you make for it. A strong brand is one that’s flexible enough to grow with you and change its goals without you needing to rebrand every time so that you become memorable for the expertise and excellence you bring to your industry.
It’s important to say that big shifts in your target audience or business goals will mean you need to rethink both your brand strategy and your brand identity. But if that’s not the case and you constantly change your brand colours, fonts and logo you’re losing that memorability factor. And being memorable means referrals which means sales!
Want to know what the solution looks like? There’s this saying that I’ll paraphrase:
“Give a (wo)man a fish and you feed them for a day; teach a (wo)man to fish and you feed them for a lifetime.”
And so, instead of giving you a template, I want to give you a formula of how to create your own brand colour palette. Interested? Click here to get it delivered straight to your inbox 📮
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