At a recent conference, one of the speakers iterated “Your brand is not your logo!” Many people reacted with surprise. As we start this series, it’s important to appreciate the validity of this statement. Your brand and your logo are separate items. They go to together but they are no more the same than two individuals in a committed relationship.
Your brand is the identity of your organization. It does not communicate what you think your organization is. Rather it is the perception that members and stakeholders have of your organization. In other words, your brand has to be in a relationship with them. There should be an emotional connection for them.
How to make your organizaton’s brand identity stand out
This is the tricky part of branding. You must get inside someone else’s brain in order to comprehend how people relate to you. Understanding this concept is the key to differentiating your business from the millions of bytes of information coming at you daily.
So, what’ll make you stand out from the mob on the dance floor? Consider these criteria:
- make it easy for them to remember you.
- make it easy for them to promote you (even a nonprofit is in the promotion business)
- make it easy for them to see your value.
Cognition studies show that people remember shapes first, then color and then content (or your name). In that order. When horizontal blue bars come up on the TV screen, do you think IBM long before the name appears? When people go to your web site, do they know who you are before they read any of your content?
Is your brand meeting the above criteria? If not, your identity may be disjointed or your message diluted. The goal is to build loyalty. Your brand should communicate unity, clarity and trust. The place to start is by developing a consistent memory/experience for your audience to recall.