Just Because You Have a Logo…..Doesn’t Mean You Have a Brand

Branding-croppedAmongst our many soap boxes here at CME, the one marked ‘branding’ is probably the one we stand on most and shout from the loudest. Why?  Because time and time again companies tell us that they have a ‘brand’ (and have often paid handsomely for it!), when in actual fact they have a logo and perhaps a pantone reference so that all their marketing collateral matches. But…..a logo and a set of brochures DO NOT make a brand! While a visual identity is an important part of any company’s brand, the brand itself is something far less visual.  It is not the sum of the marketing collateral in your hand but is all about perceptions: you only have a brand when the people you want to influence and sell to understand what you do, where you’re going and what values lie at the heart of your business.  Certainly your logo is how they recognise all of that, but, in reality, it is the signpost; not the destination.

Take the humble apple, for example.  October saw the UK celebrate National Apple Day, and what could be more English than the traditional apple Orchard?  Except that the nation’s favourite apples are actually an Australian import, now grown here but originating on the other side of the world. Pink Lady apples, are more expensive than many traditional home grown varieties too but, because their brand leverages their crunch, their colour, their size and their ‘premium’ appeal, none of that has prevented their sales from rising.

Apples may not feature much in your business plan!….. but they’re a good example of what effective branding can do because they are a commodity. So many companies think that branding is irrelevant to them because they sell a commodity product that has few differences from their competitors’ products and is bought by customers who make their decision on price. But if you challenge that thinking and accept that a brand can take a commodity product out of the ordinary and give customers an additional reason to buy you will soon start to see the value of a brand.

So how do you get one? A good place to start would be with a CME branding workshop.  We will work with you to define your brand values, develop the key messages to express them and initiate a visual style that matches your approach. And, during November, our half day workshops cost just £450+VAT, including a final report summarising all the outcomes from the day and our recommendations for the next steps.  Contact sarah.reay@constructionmarketingexperts.co.uk to find out more.