5 Reasons Why Having "Just" a Logo Isn't Enough for Your Brand
Updated: Nov 3, 2022
I'm sure you've heard it said before that "your brand is not just your logo", but let's be honest here...
You're probably working with a tight budget and you just want SOMETHING to show your customers that you're a legitimate professional.
Maybe you've even gone the DIY route and created your own logo in Canva for a grand total of $0, and if you have... I salute you for your resourcefulness!! 👏
Either way, you're probably in this position where you have a SUPER basic branding setup and you're feeling a bit stuck because it doesn't seem to be doing what it's supposed to be doing with:
Building trust & rapport with your to-be customers
Helping your to-be customers understand who you are & what you're about
Helping YOU feel more put-together on the back-end
So what the heck is going on here??
I'll be doing a deep-dive on why having "just" a logo isn't doing the trick for your business, and sharing some workarounds to help you get your brand unstuck if you find yourself in this position.
1. Your logo is just ONE piece of clothing in an entire brand wardrobe
Think of your logo as a pair of glasses (or some other accessory that you wear literally ALL the time). People use it to recognize you because it's a part of your "signature look", but that's (hopefully) not the only thing that you walk out of the house wearing.
Think of your logo as the "signature" thing that you always wear, and it's a part of the OVERALL style of your brand wardrobe — which is composed of a bunch of other articles of clothing that work together to create your brand vibe.
People who go for the "quick n' dirty" version of the logo without taking the time to build out the rest of their brand's visual style often find themselves struggling with a "duct tape" brand that is composed of a rag tag collection of colours, fonts, and elements that let's be honest here...
Literally SUCK at communicating your vibe (and end up getting switched out once every few weeks) — leaving your audience feeling confused as to what they should be expecting from you.
2. Your logo doesn't communicate about who you are or what you do
Unfortunately your logo isn't a good substitute for having a clear brand message. In fact, even your logo is very much up for interpretation and will be seen differently by each person depending on the cultural / ethnic / demographic lens through which they see the world.
Relying purely on your logo to communicate your identity, personality and values (i.e. the things that often go unspoken but are actually the MOST important things for your brand) is like assuming that people will know everything about you just by looking at what you wear.
If there's one thing that the world of online dating has taught us... it's SO important for you to be clear, upfront AND creative in communicating about who you are (i.e. by working on your brand messaging)! Otherwise your clients are just gonna swipe left on you because they're not in the business of being catfished.
3. Your logo has limited application points in your customer journey
Have you ever seen that brand that just slaps their logo onto everything and calls it a day? At some point, it gets boring... and customers start tuning out because they want to be able to recognize your stuff WITHOUT you needing to "stamp" your mark all over it.
Places where it's ok to use your logo are:
Your "online" storefront — website header / social profile pics / email signature
Your "physical" storefront — print material / signage
Places where you'll want to get creative with your branding (and will feel redundant if you just slap your logo here) are:
Your social content — posts / stories / videos / graphics / text
Your website content — layout / visual elements / copy / style
(Basically anything that you put out into the world that you use to communicate with your audience)
4. Your logo is actually NOT the first thing your customers will notice
Contrary to popular belief, the first thing that customers notice about a brand is NOT their logo... it's actually what their first experience is with the brand, and how that makes them FEEL about themselves.
For personal brands, this means the first interaction your customer has with you, and for business brands, this means the first time your customer experiences your product or services.
Funny enough, the only question that runs through the back of your customer's mind when they encounter your brand for the first time is this:
Does this brand make me feel happy, loved, seen, safe, understood, hopeful, excited, inspired or empowered?
At the end of the day, the only thing customers really care about is how your brand makes them feel about themselves... because people attach meaning to experiences. Without a (good) experience, your logo is just a pretty graphic that doesn't mean anything to your customers.
5. Your logo is not the thing that connects with your audience
Brands are about building trust, rapport & loyalty with your audience — which takes a heck of a lot more than just one logo to accomplish!
In fact, businesses who focus more on building a connection with their audience FIRST will always beat out the businesses who focus purely on appearance... because a brand builds their value through the number of people who stand behind them, and you can't really build an army without some kind of "recruitment" process (i.e. strategy to get people buying into your brand).
So what do you do if you JUST have a logo and want to build things out from here?
Generally speaking if you have a logo, you'll probably already have a few of the pieces that make up the foundation of every brand. On a high level, those pillars are:
Your brand messaging (a.k.a. knowing who you are, what you do, and why you do it — and how you communicate that with your audience)
Your brand visuals (a.k.a. your logo, brand colours, brand typography, brand elements, moodboards, etc. — basically your entire visual style)
Your brand strategy (a.k.a. how do you apply your brand to every part of your customer journey to create an unforgettable experience)
If you want to explore these further and see exactly what pieces you need to lay a solid foundation for your brand (outside of your logo!), I wrote a blog post containing The Ultimate Branding Checklist that walks you through the step by step process that I use to help my clients create a kickass brand!!
If this feels like a bit much...
It's totally OK! Branding is a big-picture game that involves having many little pieces that fit together. Sometimes it can be hard to see how everything is supposed to connect when you're so close to it, and that's why I offer FREE 30-minute brand consultations for anyone who feels a bit lost and is looking for clarity about what the next steps are for building your brand!
Just book yourself a call by clicking the link above — consider this a friendly, no-strings attached conversation where you can ask your burning questions and walk away feeling a little clearer about what you need to be doing to take your brand to the next level! I'd love to hear about what you're building 💖