Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Building your brand: beyond the logo

About a week ago, a friend of mine came to me with a question. She'd been selling a line of hand-crafted clothing and accessories on Etsy for a year and had found pretty good success with it, but when someone asked her at a networking event "Where's your logo?" she got a bit stressed. Did she have a logo? Did she need one?

Here's an interesting secret: you don't always need a logo.

I know, I know, it's what I do and here I am saying that you don't really need it - but hear me out.

When you're building a brand, you're communicating three things:

  • Who you are (or what your business is);
  • Who you're speaking to (or who your audience is);
  • What you need to say to them (or, your marketing message)

  • Anything you use to market your business - logo, business card, website, even your appearance at events - has to be able to answer those three questions. What logos and websites can help you do is create a consistent image in the consumer's mind when you aren't in the room. They can also help you reach a wider audience, and can definitely help you achieve more success/credibility/etc. - and it can give you more confidence that yes, you ARE an actual business.

    But sometimes, especially when you're a solo entrepreneur who deals with primarily local clients, you don't actually need a logo to achieve that. Sometimes success lies in how you present yourself in person; how you deal with clients, how you showcase your product. I've seen folks go for years in business - successfully - without having a logo.

    Then, when you're ready for a logo, you can find the right person to help you bring your company to a wider audience.

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