Many people who start talking to me about their brand begin by telling me all they need is a logo and perhaps a snappy tagline to go along with it. Something to stick below email signatures or freshen up a website.
What they’re hoping for is a shortcut, a way to sidestep the real work that meaningful branding requires.
What I say — and it’s rarely what they’re hoping I’ll say — is that brand is much more than a name or a logo. Brand is everything, particularly for nonprofits as they emerge from the pandemic. And everything is brand.
No one has ever bought something simply because they liked a logo.
The real work here is hard. A brand is a strategy that ties everything into a single, memorable, irrefutable whole. It is mission, vision, story, and value all rolled into one. Developing that brand identity means taking a deep, deliberate dive, a hard look into why an organization does what it does, why that’s important, and how it differentiates itself from like-minded mission-driven organizations.
Armed with a solid brand foundation, the right logo will emerge. And that’s the fun part. Not easy, mind you. But the heavy lifting is done. Now it’s time to bring the brand to life.
A great brand deserves a great logo. It’s the icing on the cake.