A great company logo, says Kevin Budelmann, is a bit like the tip of an iceberg. Budelmann, president of People Design, spoke recently with Fast Company’s Co.Design about how a great brand integrates design with business.
The logo, while highly visible, won’t work if it’s not in sync with the way the firm thinks of itself internally and presents itself in the media externally.
Most importantly, it has to correspond to real value.
“Often have we been hired to refresh, repackage, update, or otherwise refine a ‘brand,’ often referred to as ‘rebranding.’,” Budelmann wrote on his blog. “The trouble is, too often there hasn’t been enough attention paid to making the value proposition more compelling. If the graphics have gotten more compelling, but the value proposition has not, we risk false advertising, not to mention wasting a company’s investment in “branding.'”
Budelmann, along with his vice-president Yang Kim, just released a new book, Brand Identity Essentials, which distills the pair’s decades of experience. They shared a six of their favourite lessons from this work with Co.Design. In summary:
– “Story”: A narrative is a great way to create a memorable brand. It doesn’t have to be an epic, just a small touch that delivers a beginning and end.
– “Logo Flexibility”: The best brands can adapt to different campaigns and work across a wide range of products.
– “Wit”: Nothing breaks through to the consumer like branding that makes them smile.
– “Know Your Customer”: This seems like a no brainer, but more than a few of Budelmann’s clients have failed by forgetting to apply this principle across their entire brand.
– “Cultural Symbols” : Incorporating an iconic symbol into your brand strengthens association and impact.
– “An Aesthetic Niche” : Going against the grain is the best way to create a striking brand. Look for trends among your competitors and figure out a way to subvert that.
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