A very common misconception for many new start up business owners is that having a logo means that your business has a brand. A brand is so much more than this. A brand is something that your customers feel emotive towards and reflects the values and the working culture of your business.
Although a brand isn’t just a logo, that is not to say that having a great logo isn’t important. When designing this (or having it designed professionally for you) you need to consider not just what the business is doing today, but what it may be doing in the future. The logo is likely to be one of the few elements of your business that is unable to change over time.
During the early days of your business, you will need to decide how your business will communicate with its customers, and the presentation of this. Creating recognisable and consistent house styles for your business’ outreach will also help to form the business’ identity.
The ‘identity’ of your business must be unique, so that when customers are making a purchasing decision, they know that they are buying from YOU. When they see your advertising, they need to recognise and associate it with your business even before they have fully acknowledged or read the content.
This identity could be relating to colours, fonts, or the general ‘personality’ used. Think about the shade of red which you instantly match with Coca-Cola or how their name is written in joined up handwriting on the cans.
It will take time for customers to begin to recognise, and associate the brand imaging with your business, so be patient and don’t let staying ‘on brand’ slip down your priorities list over time.
Spending time effort and money, to build powerful brand recognition, could potentially bring with it a much-underestimated new risk to your business.
The danger here is that ‘someone else’ – your competitors – could look to steal your brand image, and with them take your customers. Imagine how Coca-Cola would feel if Pepsi began selling its products in the same shade of red, or if low quality competitors did the same.
If your customers are choosing to buy an item based on their recognition of your logo – the least you would hope to do is get paid for it!
Ideally, before you set your brand free into the world, there are certain checks and safeguarding measures you can undertake to help protect your business. This can also be undertaken after the launch of your business, but prevention is cheaper, easier, and more preventative long-term than cure.
The BIPC Northamptonshire can show you how to check if your logo and business name are already in use by a competitor – the first step is to make sure you’re not infringing anyone else!
Next, it is important to know what you can do to protect your business and the steps you can take to claim ownership of your own branding images.
Many are surprised to hear that purchasing a domain name, putting your logo on your website, or even registering the name with Companies House does not give you legal rights or protection for using that name.
Contact us to arrange a 1-2-1 meeting to find out more.
Find out how the Business & IP Centre Northamptonshire can support your business by visiting our 'Services' page.