I have often witnessed clients who come forward for 'branding' their product or organisation. For most people among them, we share details of what the exercise entails, the purpose, benefits, scope of the exercise and commercials associated. The most prompt response is "I just want a logo".
Admit it, for first timers and newbies, that is what it is.
For the people and organisations uninitiated to this world, branding is "just" a logo.
While its frustrating for people who know otherwise, I'd still say it's a good start.
If someone hasn't come home for a meal, let us invite them in for a welcome drink. It might not satiate their hunger, but it will still reflect on our hospitality. Afterall, he has taken the effort to come home to visit us.
Likewise for branding; many cannot comprehend what branding is or what it can do, but as consultants it is necessary to serve our offerings in small courses, starting with tasters, appetisers, main course and finally the dessert for those who have completed the meal. It's time for us to empathise with the people uninitiated to the world of branding and plan a journey that explore this new world.
I often wonder if this ever happens to other professionals?
Would we ever go to a doctor and ask for "just" an injection and not any specific treatment?
Would we ever go to a chef and ask for "just" some cut vegetables and not cook a dish?
Would we ever go to a tailor and ask for "just" a stitch in the fabric and not the complete garment?
Branding is a personality.
While the logo does the job of the clothes you wear, it cannot help you with your thinking, behaviour, conversation and character, all of which determines your personality. But its good to start by wearing good clothes, but remember even the doorman is as well dressed as the celebrity he just opened the doors for.
Branding is science, psych and art.
A logo design exercise employs more service of the art than any other. It can 'look' good, but cannot 'do, think, talk, connect, engage' to enable any form of change for the organisation, product or service.
Branding is a commitment.
Once a complete brand is created, life revolves around it and the story of the brand. Much like having a child; your fostering, their education, what you say/do around them, all of it affects how they grow and turn out to be.
If someone is not ready for all of it - the conviction, the commitment, the challenges - they are not ready for branding their organisation, product or service.
Branding is much more than a logo.
Its about reflecting the soul, defining the vision, building the character and telling a unique story. It is about tying various parts of an ecosystem including the thought, words and action & the people, products and service.
But for new guests in this world... a logo design is a good start.
It may not do much good, but it will hardly do any harm.