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A Brand doesn't finish with the logotype, according to our creative Borja.

I hate the word ‘logo.’ Or rather, I dislike the way people refer to the term ‘logo’ as if it is something simple. And I hate it when a friend asks me to deliver a ‘quick logo’ for their business, thinking I can rustle one up in half an hour.

Designers and creatives are sadly familiar with this situation. But my larger concern is how we are simplifying the real meaning of what a logo represents. A logo is just one little piece of something bigger. A small part of the whole picture of what a Brand really means. And this should be the subject we tackle. We must talk about Branding with a capital B. Branding involves many aspects of a company, not just a business card or a nice symbol to have printed on your t-shirts. Branding is everything you do as a company.

“A Brand is the promise of an experience… make it reality later on,” was how Saffron CEO Jacob Benbunan defined it. And that makes a lot of sense, because a Brand is actually a set of perceptions that build up the whole Brand idea in our minds.

A Brand is a synergy created through all customer touch points, appealing to all our senses. It is every experience the company delivers: the smell of the stores, the feel of the door handle, the background music and, of course, the visual expression, which is an important part of it, but not the most fundamental. What is fundamental is getting this total experience over to the audience and creating something worth remembering. Branding doesn’t finish once the logotype is created, it is just the start of the journey. 

What is needed is a clear vision of where this journey is heading: a consistent strategy that will connect all touch points, guaranteeing the same experience being delivered every time.

For instance, Costa Coffee is a positive example of an effectively developed Brand. If you look at its logotype, you won’t find an amazing design. But the Costa Coffee Brand is not just the logo. It is the experience between customers and spaces, between coffee lovers and the barista team who make you want to return.

Another similar example is Starbucks. The company came up with the great idea to name every cup of coffee by writing the client’s name on it. This way they connect immediately with their audience, making each customer feel special and unique. Just like Costa, Starbucks is all about the customer experience: the smell of the coffee and great customer service, the cosy atmosphere and decor. These companies have succeeded in building a great philosophy around our daily coffee experience which starts from the minute you enter the store till you leave.

I don't want to confuse anyone. While the product quality and customer experience is important, when building up a successful Brand communication and visual identity needs to have equal importance. Everything is important. You cannot have one without the other.

And once the difference between logos and Branding has been clarified, we can crack on with a solid strategy for your company and for your Brand, because those two aspects are unavoidably united. If you want to create a unique and solid Brand, you should stop and think, analyse your situation, allocate resources, and try to find a great team to help you with this amazing challenge.

And whether that is us or not, just remember a Brand doesn't finish with the logotype. This is just the start of your new and exciting Brand journey. But make sure you have talented designers, creative thinkers, and Branding professionals onboard to help you every step of the way.