I am Jess! Ottawa brand strategist and website designer helping passionate service-based businesses grow with confidence through meaningful design. I'm the type of gal that use one too many exclamation mark in my emails and can only have one cup of coffee a day. Weird, I know. If you ever want to chat any thing biz, branding, or well - life, feel free to reach out!
Branding is a buzzword that has been thrown around for years, and to be honest, there are quite a few “definitions” as to what it is. In fact, most business owners only REALLY know a small part of what branding actually encompasses. So, I figure, why the heck not — let’s dive into it! What exactly is branding? Do you need branding or just a logo? Isn’t that the same thing as a logo?
And I’m here to let you know, dear friend, that they are not even close!
A logo is part of a brand identity, which consists of the visual elements of a brand. Branding, on the other hand, is the overall marketing strategy of your business. It encompasses the visual and non-visual foundational components of your business, such as business values, personality, messaging, positioning, goals, and more.
So, to sum it up into five words: a brand is an experience.
“Branding is the art of aligning what you want people to think about your company with what people actually do think about your company. And vice versa.” — Jay Bauer
Now, let’s break it down more into a scenario that everyone will understand.
You have probably been on a date before. You know, where you swiped right, chatted for a few days, and are now set to meet for pizza later that night. You go on a few more throughout the next couple of months. Suddenly, out of the blue one day, he said he “just wanted to be friends”.
Um, sorry, what?!
Yep… Branding is pretty much dating.
As humans, we are visual creatures and we are drawn to looks. But looks only serve a short-term purpose — no matter how much we contour our faces or how pretty a logo is. So, while you might be able to attract a few warm leads for your business, you may eventually notice that you are unable to seal the deal because they have either ghosted you or have found someone else.
Dating is tough and so is business.
Now don’t get me wrong, I was in the exact same place as you when I first started my business in my early twenties. I saw the price tag of a branding package and went straight to Etsy for my $50 logo. It came tumbling down shortly after. Not because I wasn’t capable of doing the job, but because I lacked clarity as to where I want my business to go and who I want to serve. My marketing tactics weren’t converting or working because I did not have any clearly defined strategies in place. A logo is important but it’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to branding your business.
As you can see with branding, it’s more than just surface-level first impressions. People want to feel emotionally connected to your business before buying from you. Branding gives you the opportunity to showcase your value ON TOP of your offerings. Chances are if you are starting a service-based business, you are in the market to help people. Your business isn’t all about you, it’s also about your customers, and they need to feel cared for and understood.
So, what does that mean for you and your business? Do you need branding or just a logo?
The honest truth? It’s up to you. Branding is not for anyone. I would not push that down everybody’s throats just because it’s something that I stand behind and believe in. I truly think it depends on where you are in your business and where you want to go.
Branding is for you if…
You are looking to solve a problem for your audience and are looking for a professional designer to help you get in front of them
You want to find your place within your industry and stand out in a way that aligns with who you are
You want your business to grow and flourish for the long term and work with clients that just “get” you
You want to deliver a one-of-a-kind experience for your clients at every single touchpoint of your business (online & offline)
Branding might not be for you if…
You don’t really have a clear idea of where you want your business to go or have a plan in place… yet
You don’t see the value of *real* branding and are doing just fine with what you have (it happens!)
You don’t know who your ideal client is and are just experimenting right now with your business
You aren’t ready to invest yet
I hope this helps to explain the difference between branding and just a logo! If you are interested in learning more, let’s chat & see how we can work together to elevate & uplevel your business so you can work less & make more!