logo power

Logo Power

One day while slowly inching my way driving through the usual London traffic I decided to play the logo game. How many logos could I count on billboards, bus sides and buildings? When I got to a hundred my brain shouted “no more!” By the time I reached my destination I couldn’t remember any of them – not even the ones that were trying to target me. They were all just designs with no messages or reminders of brands that wanted to be my friend. But how could I have a relationship with them when they weren’t even trying to have a dialogue with me?

Here lies the downfall of logoland. A name, a logo and a strapline are not a brand identity. They are just reminders of a personality that you have chosen to relate to because of the messages and information that they continually and consistently give you to improve your life. This doesn’t just apply to corporations; it’s also true of any third sector brand. No brand can be saved if it’s struggling by redesigning the logo. Moving the deck chairs around on the Titanic wouldn’t have stopped it from sinking but steering a different course might have done. Enter the hero of the story… strategy.

Brand development isn’t just a cosmetic logo overhaul, it’s a process that requires a lot of hard work and decision making – starting with a SWOT analysis. So, put designing a new logo further down the ‘to do list’ and ask yourself the following:

What are the brand’s strengths?

Where does your brand excel in its relevant space?

What are the brand’s weaknesses?

How clear is your mission and the strategic approach? Is it a better service or involvement you offer or an audience you are able to target?

What are the brand’s opportunities?

What’s changing in your landscape that you can capitalise on?

What ground can you claim that other brands can’t or are not doing?

What are the brand’s threats?

What could cause problems for your organization? What advantages do other organizations have over your brand?

Once you’ve answered those key questions you can start to create the brand personality based on who is the perfect supporter you want to connect with. Look at your real supporters, what do they think about you, why do they love you and what values do you bring to their lives. Remember it’s difficult to read your label when you’re sitting inside the jar so get out and find out.

It’s now time to make the most exciting and challenging decisions for your brand. Based on the analysis and research, what sort of relationship are you going to have with your audience and how are you going to disrupt their lives to achieve your ambitions? Time to unearth the insight. The most compelling truth about what your audience believes that will make them want to have a relationship with your brand. This is what you base your communication on. It’s your brand personality that has to be continually developed to continue a dialogue with your supporters.

Reality is that brand development is never “done.”  Great brands review their brand constantly and everything they do is informed by the brand they want to maintain. Your brand is your organization’s personality, and it’s always in development.

On the basis that opinions are best backed up with an example, here’s one: Comic Relief, an organization that I had the privilege of working on a few years ago. This is a brand that has a unique relationship with its audience. Red Nose Day happens every two years (no it’s not every year) and every time they re-emerge with the collection tin we all want to get involved and take part because of the feeling of partnership that we have with them and the way that they talk to us.

Now where was I? Oh yes the logo.

Don’t believe that merely refreshing or changing it will take your brand forward. Sure, a change in logo can signify a positive change, but it can’t itself change a brand. And will never be transformational unless there is actual positive change in your organisation. What it can do is reflect and remind your audience of the messages of the brand personality that you have sweated over to hone to perfection.

By Andy Wakefield – Creative Lead Raise Partners

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