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Monday, October 27, 2008

A logo is NOT a brand...

...in most cases it's just a graphic image.
by David Bookout

In this short post I want to offer an opening to what I hope is a more valuable, actionable perspective regarding logos and their place in brand strategy, and brand development.

Brand, branded, and branding have recently become commonly used terms. But, to me, the way most people use these terms is a bit off relative to what is actually happening, or more to the point, not happening in regard to their own logo.

Branding originally hurt, and still does in that context, then became an expensive process ONLY for big companies and now is even a topic for nascent entrepreneurs.

Today almost everyone talks about their "brand". The real issue, particularly for small to medium business ( SMB ), is that they don't have a brand. Too many people think that because they've had a logo developed that they have a brand. Too many people think that if they put a logo on a piece of paper, or other medium, that they are branding. Too many people think that if they have a done a little positioning work, have come up with a tag line, which is usually a full on slogan, that they have effectively branded themselves. In reality these thoughts are absolutely, and completely false. In fact, this is where brand building actually begins. Where brands exist the logo itself has symbolism, the logo has distinct meaning for people, and those same people have a picture, actually more like a short movie, in their minds about how the company, the product, or the service connects to and with them in their life.

In our next post in this series we'll have some FUN with our friend Dilbert and talk about effective, and ineffective logos.

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