Why Your Logo Is Only the Tip of the Branding Iceberg
“The two most important days in your life are the day you’re born, and the day you find out why.”
Many people in business today believe that if they have a website and a logo, they have a brand. While those important elements are the outward expression of your brand, your brand itself is built on something deeper. The foundation of your business is why you do what you do (your purpose) and what guides you (your values).
Making money or building revenue is not a purpose, it’s an outcome of a business that’s run successfully. Connect with customers, do your thing well, and make money. Customers don’t come to you to give you money but for you to solve a need for them. So what’s the purpose of your business? Even if you can’t think of it right now or express it in words, it exists deep inside of you. And like Mark Twain said above, it’s critical to the life of your business.
Think about any example of a successful business – it’s driven by a leader focused on a purpose. Henry Ford’s purpose was to create affordable transportation for a growing nation. Steve Jobs was driven to break down barriers that made technology hard to use. Jillian Hellman’s purpose when she started RealtyMogul was to make commercial real estate accessible to everyday investors. That’s what drives her company.
Your business doesn’t have to set out to change the world or have millions in revenue to have a purpose. But you need to understand your purpose to unlock the full potential of your business. Because when you bring your purpose and values together, you can define what makes you unique, find your true north and communicate it with prospects who you can turn into lifelong customers. A logo can’t do that on its own.
So how do you define your purpose and ensure it’s the focus of everything you do? It starts with one important question:
When you were starting your business or thinking about starting one, what did you want to change about your industry?
The answer to that question is probably the foundation of your purpose. At first, you might name a bunch of things that you want to change, but think about it some more, and you’ll start to narrow your focus to the problem you feel most passionately about, how your business’ capabilities can make a difference and what you can reliably deliver to customers.
We began by talking about logos and ended on something deeper. Don’t take that the wrong way – we think logos are incredibly important to generate awareness and create a positive image for your business. You always want to make sure that that image is built on the substance that differentiates you from competitors. And that’s the start of making true connections with customers.