It’s easy to fall for branding myths when there’s no one there to debunk them. Today we’ll focus on five branding myths that we’ve seen again and again!
Myth 1: Your logo is your brand
This seems to be the most popular of the branding myths, which we seem to be constantly debunking. Your logo is only a small part of your entire brand. And even still, a small part of your visual brand identity. Simply put, your brand is your company in action and if you are branding well, you are offering a positive experience. It’s the reputation people have of you. It’s the promises you make, the values you have, the way you treat your customers, and the way you treat your staff. Yes, your logo, printed materials, and website are part of the visual brand identity, but definitely not all of your brand.
“When people say, “We have all our branding done.” Then we know they do not understand what branding is.”
– Shanna Dennis
We even wrote an entire blog post about this! See it here.
Myth 2: Branding and advertising are the same thing
The definition of advertising is to describe or draw attention to (a product, service, or event) in a public medium in order to promote sales or attendance.
Branding is an act. It’s an action you take that will positively influence a person’s perception of you. When you are branding, you are actively trying to influence people’s perceptions along every step of the consumer pathway. This includes your visual brand identity, the way you train staff to speak to customers, the smells inside your business, the way you reach out to them through email, etc. There’s hundreds of touchpoints along the way!
All of this forms an identity (visual and personality) that you create for yourself and your company. Advertising is how you show your identity to the world. The two rely on each other to sell to and keep your customers. What’s the point of having a great brand strategy is no one knows you exist? You still need to advertise your brand.
Myth 3: Branding is only for consumer products
We know this is confusing because when it comes to shopping, you recognize products by which BRAND they are. But their effort to make thier product stand out, and the fact that you continue to buy that product (because of the positive experience you have had with it in the past) is all considered branding. Today, however, branding is necessary for any business, whether product or service-based. Branding is the act of getting people to like you through offering them positive experiences. In our modern world where almost anything can be ordered online, a strong brand is needed to reach customers. Your brand (or the experience you offer) is what will associate your business with quality, credibility, and trust.
Myth 4: The Brand Strategist will come up with my whole brand
Before you get nervous — no, we will not leave you on your own to do all your branding by yourself. Brand Strategists have valuable experience and knowledge that they bring to the process. Trends are constantly changing the consumer’s level of expectations. For example… there was a time, not too long ago, when most businesses did NOT have a website. Today, it’s an expectation. And very soon, if you do not have a social media presence it will be the same as not having a website n 2010. Brand strategists stay on top of consumer trends, and help guide their clients to deliver what’s expected of them, and then go above and beyond that.
People evolve, brands should too.
What we’re trying to say is that you can’t just send an email with your company name and list of services and expect to receive an amazing brand. You need to offer an experience every step of the way, and you need to deliever on consumer expectations. Creating your brand strategy is a process. Your presence and thoughts are vital to the process because you’re the one who really knows your company and your customers. Brand Strategists will make it easy and comfortable, and know how to dig for this information. You hold the key to your branding, you just need someone who can help you recognize it and pull it out of you. Once we have the personality and strategy of your branding efforts mapped out, we can create the visual experience that will help support your brand strategy. Your visual brand will offer the right visual experience that matches your brand personality.
Myth 5: Your brand is about you
Your brand is actually about your customer. Since your brand is the reputation that lives in the hearts and minds of the consumer… you have no way to control it 100%. You can only influence people through positive experiences, and the best way to make someone LOVE you… is to be just like them. People are attracted to things and other people that reflect the type of person they want to be. Putting your customers first, and knowing what it is they want, will gain you clarity on the experience you’re providing them. Thinking about your target audience and how you want them to perceive you is a great step and will get you thinking in the right direction.