A couple weeks back I was commuting to a client meeting and was backed up at a four-way stop across from a familiar forest-green Waste Management garbage truck. For the first time I was able to read and fully comprehend a marketing decal that’s flashed by me countless times:
“Our landfills provide 17,000 acres of wildlife habitat.”
I actually laughed out loud.
A loyal reader of the Gist Brands blog recently posed a great question on Twitter about brand naming and search engine optimization:
@gistbrands: What are your thoughts on start up businesses using SEO “specialists” to choose their brand name? Argument against/for it?
My response was pretty direct on the issue, but I thought the concept was big enough and important enough to warrant some in-depth discussion and the rationale behind my advice.
If an organization has a well-defined brand—not just a logo design and color scheme—they have a heck of a lot of fuel for social media, blogging, search engine optimization, public relations, and word-of-mouth. A logo, by itself, doesn’t go so far in these increasingly important and mission-critical channels that are all about messaging, targeting, content, and differentiation.
Know anyone who needs help in defining or refining their brand, but who can’t quite figure out where to start? The Gist Brands coaching workshop is a structured, but fun and engaging way to get unstuck and get going.
The idea is to make high-level brand strategy ideas and concepts available to smaller businesses in an abbreviated and more accessible coaching format, with business owners doing some of the legwork and process themselves to make it more affordable. Instruction and coaching happens in a supportive group environment that makes the discovery process more lively, fun, and insightful, and gives you a long term network of other business owners that are in similar situations as yourself.
What is a brand? And how is it different from a logo? It’s not a stupid question. Even designers and agencies seem to be confused about this critical distinction, so I’m not surprised when clients are confused.
Often when clients refer to “our brand” they are talking about their logo, not their brand. And a number of designers, agencies, web developers, marketing firms, and public relations firms claim they “do branding,” but more often than not they’re actually referring to logo design.