The common theme we see during our discussions with various business owners is that most of them think their business is also a ‘brand’, just because it has a logo or a social media page or a nice-looking business card. While having these elements is good, it doesn’t mean that you have established a brand.

A business doesn’t necessarily mean a brand.

Here’s why.

Welcome to Branding Infinity and today, we will share our take on why a brand is not just about beautiful design.

So, your business has a logo, or a nice name, or a nice website. Is it a brand? Not really. While all these elements, like a logo or a website, are necessary to create a brand, more important is the cohesion between these elements. Ideally, great brands have a good logo and a nice website and great customer touch-points (stores, contact centers, etc.) and they all go hand in hand.

Having one without the other could massively make your brand under perform.

But, that’s not it. As much as these physical brand elements matter, great brands are built on the psychological value that they can generate.

Look at this simple logo below:

mcdonalds-logo-high-resolution

It’s highly unlikely that you look at this and think anything except McDonald’s. Your mind immediately thinks of French Fries or their burgers. Your mind immediately thinks of their quick service. You think of their ‘Happy Meals’ or you think of the McDonald’s restaurant you last visited.

The best part is – you don’t have to make any efforts to think of any of this. It just hits you in an instant. And all of this is triggered by this rather simple yellow ‘M’ logo.

This is what a great brand is all about.

How did McDonald’s manage to achieve this level of psychological connection with the world?

Through consistent, persistent, and unimaginably great service. Memorable brands, like McDonald’s, are built by doing the ‘core activities’ of your business at the highest level and doing them year after year until it becomes synonymous with your brand.

Certain elements are common to McDonald’s, no matter which part of the world you are in. The colors they associate themselves with, the uniforms their employees wear, the packaging, their restaurants, the quality and appearance of their food and their service.

Every element remains consistent. Everything, together, make the brand that is McDonald’s.

You, as the chief strategy-maker(s) of the business, need to identify the core activities of your business. What do you want your customers to associate your brand with? Service? Quality? Luxury? Value for money? Whatever it might be, it should be clear to you and to each employee who works for the business. And once it is, every person involved in the business works consistently to enable this desired association of your brand with the people.

And once you do it, and you do it well, over a period of time, your business will most definitely achieve that connection with the people, and who knows, one day, your logo is used as an example, of a great brand, just like McDonalds’ today. The keyword is ‘consistency’.

Building a great brand is not the hard part. The hard part is not giving up when it gets tough.