Could Your Logo Be Turning Away Customers?

While your logo isn’t the only factor in driving a successful business, it is one you cannot afford to ignore.

According to Dr. A. K. Pradeep, consumers make buying decisions much quicker than one might imagine. In fact, the subconscious mind is responsible for driving nearly all of our buying decisions. This points to the idea that the initial perception of an image such as a logo can more important than many might expect. The colors, fonts, styles, patterns, layout, etc. can all play a role in making a good first impression on the buyer’s mind.

In addition, paying attention to the details of your logo can create the right perceptions about what your business is and what you stand for. This article will provide critical considerations when it comes to your brand’s logo.

According to Forbes, luxury consumers seek out the perception of value just as much as the value of the product or service they purchase. When it comes to a logo, perception is literally everything. There are three brand strategies you can use to ensure your brand’s logo is perceived at the most optimal state.

Build an Image That People Can Get Behind

The John Deere logo is an example of an iconic brand that is more than 182 years old. However, it’s the logo of the infamous Deer was created 27 years after the inception of the company.

The iconic image of a leaping deer was an image that connected consumers to the values of the brand. The iconic deer stands by the company’s push for perfection and prosperity. The idea of perfection and prosperity is depicted in the deer and have stood the tests of time.

However, building an image that people can get behind means you must understand your customer. You must take the time to discover who they are, what they stand for, what they believe, and how they react to what they see, smell, taste, and feel.

In most applications of the John Deere logo, people can actually feel the deer jumping off of the sign. The end goal of a great logo is to spark the desired feeling deep enough to cause someone to take action without thinking. You grab your favorite drink, food, clothing, etc. purely induced by the buying, subconscious brain.

Pay Attention to the Psychology of Color and Shapes

Color and shapes mean something. There are thousands of studies on the psychology of color and shapes. What this really means is that you should pay attention too.

Looking back and John Deere of recent years, the green stands for luxury and good taste while the yellow depicts positivity and demands competence. Both these colors together and the streamlined exact shape of the John Deere logo as it stands today drives in deep to the subconscious mind the feeling of perfection from exact shapes, prosperity from the deep, dark green, and a sense of trustworthiness from the yellow suggestion of positively competent to get the job done.

What does the psychology and shape of your logo demand?

Engage Others in the Process

The last strategy is one of engaging others for feedback along the logo creation process.

Engaging employees, stakeholders, and customers is a tedious process at times but valuable to build a better connection between real people and what you want your brand to mean. Steps in the design process typically include brainstorming, conceptual sketches, rough mockups, and a final pitch of a logo solution. With each step of the process, there is more meaning unveiled through the use of colors, shapes, typography, patterns, and textures.

The brand then grows into something you will hang your livelihood on.

Getting good, honest feedback and input in what others are feeling when they see your brand helps make sure you get the best brand you can afford. One important note when thinking about engaging others, put a limit to it and timelines. Otherwise, you can end up in what is called analysis paralysis where your logo may go to die.

Keep it objective and on track.

These are 3 ways to build a logo which is strong enough to compete and beat out your competition. Having a logo that clearly communicates who you are and what you stand for at only a glance isn’t an easy task. Create an image that lies at the center of everything you do and represents you well.

Sources:
The Buying Brain: Dr. A. K. Pradeep

25+ Restaurant Branding and Logo Design Inspirations

Fast Food Restaurant Branding

Fast food restaurants are primarily focused on the speed of the service. These operations can range anywhere from small scale street food carts to massive multi-billion-dollar corporations such as McDonald’s or Taco Bell. Food isn’t ordered from the table, but rather a front counter. After ordering, diners will typically carry their own food to their table, and dispose of their own waste after eating. Drive through and take-out options may also be available. Fast food restaurants are also known as Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs).

fast food restaurant branding by Amr Ashraf

by Amr Ashraf

 

fast food restaurant branding

by Longitude°

by Rico John Jambaro

fast food restaurant branding

by Insigniada

by Arpit Dawar

by Melissa Cong-Huyen

by Ben Harman

Fast-Casual Restaurant Branding

Fast-casual restaurants are usually chain restaurants, like Qdoba or Panera Bread. In contrast to fast food restaurants, food is often prepared at the restaurant instead of offsite. Fast-casual restaurants don’t typically offer full table service, however many do provide non-disposable cutlery and plates. The prices of food tend to be higher, and also the quality of the food is better than conventional fast food restaurants, but sometimes is lower than a casual dining experience.

by Roden Dushi

fast casual restaurant branding by Longitude

by Longitude

fast casual restaurant branding by Longitude

by Longitude°

by Honedon

by Lucas Jubb

Casual Dining Restaurant Branding

A restaurant that serves moderately-priced food with a casual atmosphere is often referred to as a “casual dining restaurant.” Aside from buffet restaurants, these restaurants will typically provide table service as well. Examples of chain restaurants that would fall into this category would be TGI Fridays or Applebee’s. Casual dining restaurants will usually have a full bar and a separate bar staff as well as a full beer menu and limited selection of wines.

by Martin David

casual dining restaurant branding

by Longitude°

casual dining restaurant branding

by Longitude°

by Brad Lockhart

by Ron Gibbons

Premium Casual Restaurant Branding

Originating from Western Canada, premium casual restaurants include chains like Earl’s, JOEY, or Cactus Club Cafe. These types of restaurants are often considered as an upscale fast-casual restaurant. LIke casual dining, they will often have a dining room and lounge area with multiple screens. These types of restaurants are typically found in shopping districts or downtown areas and will attract young professionals to their urban atmosphere. Premium casual restaurants have a wide variety of menu options including pasta, pizza, seafood, burgers, steaks, and Asian foods.

by Tad Carpenter

by Nathan Riley

by SIMMER

by peter molnaar

by Steve Wolf

by Josh Warren

by Longitude°

Fine Dining Restaurant Branding

Fine dining restaurants have specific, dedicated meal courses, and provide full-service to guests. The design of these restaurants will feature high-quality materials, and will often have particular rules for dining that visitors are expected to follow – sometimes this includes a dress code.

by 𝚃𝚛𝚊𝚌𝚝𝚘𝚛𝚋𝚎𝚊𝚖

by Aaron Bloom

by Mike Ryan

by Ian Ruisard

by Aaron Johnson

What Makes a Great Logo Design?

Your Logo Isn’t Your Brand

Although the words “logo” and “brand” are often mistaken to be synonymous, your logo isn’t your brand. A logo is certainly a vital piece to building a great brand, however, your brand is really your reputation. Your reputation is created by what you do, what you say, and how you look. Often the first interaction a customer will have with your brand is your logo. Your logo creates the first impression, and you don’t get a second chance at a first impression.

Most people understand the importance of a logo for a company, there’s no debating that. However, what really makes a great logo?

Making a Great Logo

Have you ever wondered if you’re missing new business opportunities based on the quality of your logo design? You can be if your logo doesn’t resonate with your audience or if it does not capture your brand’s essence. The overall marketing significance of your logo design for your brand plays a major role in your brand’s perception in the market. If the links between your logo, brand, and potential customers are not fluid, you have a valid reason to consider redesigning the logo.

The development of a logo may depend on the type of logo you are looking for, have or want to fine – tune. Below you have some factors to consider when deciding whether it is time to design, redesign or modify the logo of your company. We will use actual examples of major brands and highlight things you might not have known about.

The Concept

The concept and underlying idea of the logo are extremely important and valuable as well. The way a logo designer incorporates a company’s name to a logo can be simply brilliant. When done right, it looks easy and the instant you look at it makes sense. Often you can simply look at a great logo and say “ It’s so simple, how did I not think of that?! ” What makes the following designs so great is their simplicity, and how the symbols clearly represent the name of the company.

 

Top Brand Logo Designs

Top Brand Logo Designs

Unique Factor

The original design of the logo is an obvious factor in the perceived value of the logo. Originality can be found in many ways, but it certainly helps your logo to stand out amongst your competitors and other companies. When thinking about some of the most iconic logos, you can see how they are all very original.

Legibility

For 99% of logo designs, legibility is so crucial. The name of the company needs to be read easily and quickly so that customers can understand who the company is and how meaningful it is to them. For the majority of companies, the selected typeface used in a logo should reinforce the personality of the brand.

Although readability is such an important component in a logo design, there are some well-known brands whose logos are difficult to read. For instance, the Mossimo logo has been around for nearly 30 years, and it is unique and still widely-recognized in the retail and clothing sector even with letters that are not completely legible.

Using Lettermarks

One of our favorite logo design variants consists of a unique set of letters or original letterforms that create the logo. For instance, Disney, H&M, and Coca-Cola are all hand-drawn letterforms which make these logos very distinctive. For such logos, special attention must be paid to keeping the individual letters consistent in some manner, such as maintaining a similar x-height, angle, baseline, or stroke weight. If variables exist in these things, the design of the logo usually starts to be less coherent.

Iconic brands that use letterforms for their logo

Simply Iconography

Many logos have a word mark, letters describing the company name and an icon. The logo icon is a symbol which can be used with the word-mark or without it. for these big name brands, the icon may be the only thing needed to recognize the brand. A recent customer who came to us to design his logo wanted a small, simple ” checkmark ” icon that can be used without a wordmark. The following examples show popular brands using iconography for their design of the logo.

Popular brand icons

Popular brand icons

Attention to Detail

Of the world’s top brands, nine out of ten logos are easy enough to be seen in small sizes. But why do we see some brands that own logos with a substantial amount of detail which often present challenges at small sizes or when reproduced in certain ways?

Attention should be paid to detail, which can be very important for luxury brands. Extreme detailing in some logos can be lost at smaller sizes, and are often difficult to reproduce in silk screening or embroidery. However, the richness of a detailed logo often strengthens its luxurious appeal when done well. See all the details in the following logos about a story and its heritage.

Luxury Logo Designs with Ornate Detail

Luxury Logo Designs with Ornate Detail


Wanting a New Logo for Your Business?

Longitude° has been helping businesses align their design, strategy, marketing, and operations since 2010. With our proven process, we can guide you towards a more profitable brand that you’re proud of. Don’t hesitate to contact us at (417) 986-2336 or email Jeremy at jeremy@longitudebranding.com.

Communication Without Connection

Great communication should create a connection, not just relay information.

con·nec·tion – a relationship in which a person, thing, or idea is linked or associated with something else.

com·mu·ni·ca·tion – the imparting or exchanging of information or news.

People don’t communicate through words alone, but primarily by emotional exchanges.  This is why branding matters and is so important to businesses.

Studies show that our brain makes judgments about what someone is saying based on their “emotional tone” or rather: body language, eye contact, facial expressions, how distracted they are, and the tone of their voice. We make these judgments before our brain even begins to interpret the meaning of the words we’re hearing or seeing.

1. Connection Makes for Better Communication

As a business owner, you need people to hire you, buy your product, or service; but if you’re only focused on convincing people to buy your stuff,  you’re doing yourself a great disservice. Great businesses focus on truly understanding their customer’s perspective, needs, and desires – doing their best to build a connection with them. If you only focus on your communication technique or savvy marketing campaigns, you can certainly fail to connect with people. Even worse, you could even communicate that you are disingenuous; causing even more harm to your reputation.

Too many businesses start trying to communicate before they ever try to connect. Here are just a few downsides of communication absent of connection:

  • People are turned off by you before they ever give you a chance.
  • Your logo or brand identity conveys a different message than you want. People view you as 2nd-class, the cheapest option, a low-quality business, or just don’t understand your business at all.
  • You invest a ton of money in a marketing agency, or on an ad campaign and don’t see any ROI.

Improve your emotional awareness towards your customer and the right words will follow, but it won’t work the other way around.

When you genuinely care about your audience, you will feel more connected to them. And when there is a good connection, good communication comes naturally. Being disconnected makes for poor communication – and no tricky marketing techniques or big budget ad campaign will change that.

2. Connection Fosters Trust

When a customer doesn’t feel connected to your business, the use of communication tricks and techniques makes them feel manipulated. The more you try to over-communicate, it will make it worse. A person will likely feel that there is a hidden agenda; they’ll believe that your goal is not in their best interest, but rather you’re attempting to get them to do what you want.

This is not a good place to be at as a business owner. But all too many business owners find themselves in this position. Your best chance at building healthy relationships with your audience is to do everything you can to connect with them in ways that don’t seem forced. Subtle ways.

Are you building a connection with your audience? Ask yourself these questions:

  • What is the first impression they have of your business?
  • How does your logo make them feel, or what does it tell them about your business?
  • Do they believe that you truly understand their needs and desires?
  • Are you engaging in a way that’s familiar and comfortable to them, or does it feel forced?

 

A great brand strategy will create a connection.

 

3. Refocusing Your Business

To begin making a better connection to people start by refocusing. Don’t focus on how to get someone to do what you want.

Rather focus on…

  • Listening to people, not just talking about how great your business is
  • Being genuinely curious to learn about people, their perspective, their troubles, their desires
  • Ensuring that you understand their motivations
  • Improving your product or service to provide people the most value and features that they really want

Remember, you must convey that you care about people and that you truly care about providing them an immense value. If you fall short of this, your connection to them will be lost – what you say to them won’t matter, they won’t care about how awesome you say your product or service is, and your message will fall on deaf ears.

Great communication should create a connection, not just relay information.

In Conclusion

Forget about convincing customers through tricky communication methods. Get connected with your audience right now. It starts with truly caring about people, and beginning to see that your brand is not just a logo or a catchy tagline – It’s your reputation. It’s how you make people feel.

Connecting with your audience will help you to communicate better. More importantly, you will show people you care – which will increase loyalty to your brand.

You will actually experience what it means to have a great product or service that helps people, rather than just talking about it.

 


Want to Make a Stronger Connection?

Find out how BrandGPS by Longitude° can help your business grow. Learn More

 

 

Balancing Creativity & Consistency With Your Brand Design

Post originally posted at Foodabletv.com

Have you ever enjoyed the wit or creativity of a television spot but then had no idea what it was for? This is probably because they valued creativity without consistency. Different is not always better. In fact, when it comes to positioning your brand in your consumers’ minds, you should be careful not to dilute your message.

Maybe you’ve grown tired of looking at elements of your brand and want to see something fresh. Some of us err on the side of wanting to change things up constantly. Others may never seek to change anything and grow out-dated and irrelevant. Is there a balance? How can we know when it’s time to do something new and creative, or when it’s best to maintain consistency?

There are two distinct areas to identify so that we can apply these principles correctly:

1. Foundational Elements

The foundational elements of your brand should stay consistent. These include items such as your logo, primary color palette, and tagline. The foundational elements should be developed to reflect the essence of the brand. Once in place, they shouldn’t change unless there is a fundamental strategic shift for the brand.

If Coca-Cola switched up their logo every few years just to stay fresh, their brand would not be recognizable all over the world. If Starbucks created an ad using blue and yellow, you wouldn’t associate it with their brand. It would be confusing and ineffective. Large brands understand the power of consistency in their foundational elements.

2. Secondary Elements

Secondary elements of your brand can include typefaces, secondary colors, and graphic styles. New items, seasonal promotions, and campaigns can provide a great opportunity to try something different, as long as it stays true to the foundational elements of the brand.

We see great brands roll out visuals that are extremely creative and fresh, yet they still remain unmistakably on-brand. You can usually identify an ad for Target without seeing the logo. That is because of their consistency. Starbucks is a great example of having new and exciting visuals during their seasonal promotions. Because they stay true to their foundational elements, you still know that it is Starbucks.

4 Tips on Being Creative but Consistent

Think about your audience. Are you wanting to change something because you are tired of seeing it, or because your audience is tired of seeing it? Remember that others are seeing it less frequently than you and you should be base decisions on their needs.

Don’t stick with something that doesn’t work. If your logo and visuals do not reflect the essence of your brand, you should consider if a rebranding effort is needed. It is better to make changes now than to consistently put out the wrong message.

Continue Reading on Foodable.

 


What Is Your Logo Telling People?

Post Written for Foodabletv.com

 

Your logo is likely the first part of your brand that people will see. It is the key element of your brand identity. It sets the tone for communicating who you are and what a customer can expect. So, what is it telling people about your restaurant?

WhatIsYourLogoSaying

Statements your logo could be making:

  • We are unique and interesting.
  • We are bland and forgettable.
  • We specialize in one area.
  • We focus on multiple areas
  • We are fancy and expensive.
  • We are fast and affordable.
  • We have a strong heritage.
  • We are struggling to find our identity.
  • We are committed to quality.
  • We have low standards.

“Design is the silent ambassador of your brand.” — Paul Rand, Designer of iconic logos, included IBM, UPS, and ABC

3 Areas Where Your Logo Speaks

1. Story

Does your brand story come through in the design? Does your logo have meaning? What is it that makes you unique? Does the logo effectively communicate that? Is it intriguing to someone passing by?

A good logo should quickly tell a customer what type of experience they can expect. If you are a fast-casual concept that values high-quality ingredients, would someone pick up on that by seeing just the logo?

The Swap Test

Want to see just how effective your logo is (or isn’t)? Here’s a simple test. Swap part of your icon — the name or the visual element — with that of a competing brand, or even a brand from another category. If the resulting icon is better, or no worse than it was, your existing icon has room for improvement. By the same token, no other company should be able to improve its icon by using part of yours.

 

“A good brand icon is like a tailored suit — it should only look good on you.” — Marty Neumeier, The Brand Gap

2. Color & Type

Selecting colors for your logo is more than a stylistic decision. Color can set the feeling or the mood for your brand’s personality. It is interesting to look at the psychology behind how colors generally make you feel. These are not concrete rules because many people factor in their own personal associations. Don’t rely completely on this concept, but it’s good to know the rules so you know how to break them. When you combine multiple colors and design elements you can begin to paint a very clear picture.

Using a lot of colors will feel playful, exciting, younger, and happier. Using fewer colors will feel more mature and sophisticated. Using only black and white will feel luxurious and expensive.

PHOTO COURTESY OF DUSTIN MYERS.

 

Continue Reading Article.

 


 

Dustin Myers is a brand strategist and designer who has owned and operated Longitude° since 2010. He has had the privilege of consulting with brands all over the world, helping their businesses grow through clear communication. He lives in Springfield, MO with his wife Lauren and their three children.

Schedule A Free Strategy Call

Rebranding VS Brand Refresh: Which One Should You Consider?

Post originally appeared on Foodable.TV

As we understand the importance of how your brand identity affects potential customers, you’re probably wondering if it’s time for an update. Let’s look at the difference in rebranding versus a brand refresh and consider if either is necessary for growing your brand.

What Is Rebranding?

Rebranding is a process of redesigning elements of the brand identity in order to realign your messaging and perception. This can include a new name, logo redesign, new colors, new messaging, and other core changes to the brand identity. Rebranding is not something that should be done often or with little care. However, when necessary, it can be a vital step in moving forward.

When Is Rebranding Needed?

Name change. A name change is a significant redirection in the life of a brand. If you are changing the name, there are probably strategic reasons for doing so. Redesigning the brand elements will be necessary in order to properly communicate the new direction and positioning.

Ownership change. Are there bad associations lingering from previous ownership or management? If so, a rebranding effort can be very effective in resetting expectations and perceptions. New ownership can bring a lot of new changes and improvements, and the public needs to know that things are different.

Repositioning. Has your restaurant changed its focus? We’ve seen the positioning of restaurants adapt and evolve through the years. If your brand design elements were intended to communicate something that no longer defines your focus, you may need to rebrand.

What Is a Brand Refresh?

A brand refresh is a process of updating the elements of the identity. This process is less drastic than rebranding. This is a visual update to better communicate your positioning and not a strategic change. A successful brand refresh will retain the elements that are working and update the areas that are not.

Continue Reading at Foodable.TV

Is Bad Visual Branding Turning Away Potential Customers?

Article Originally Published on FoodableTV

It’s a chilling thought, isn’t it? You work so hard to make sure that every area of your restaurant is thriving, but you may be turning away potential customers with poor visual branding.

Your brand identity is often the first touchpoint with potential customers. Before they taste your food, experience your service, or step foot in your environment, they will see your branding. Your exterior signage, website, and social media presence are often the first encounters with your brand. They will form an opinion from that first impression.

It is vitally important to make sure that you are representing yourself accurately, creatively, and consistently. Your visual branding must pique interest and instill trust in order to earn the opportunity to make them a loyal customer.

Here are five mistakes that can turn away potential customers:

Poor Quality

People do judge books by their covers — especially today’s visually-driven consumer. How a potential customer perceives your restaurant will be influenced by the quality of your brand visuals. Does your brand show that you put great care and effort into what you do? Does it instill trust? Or was it done in a hurry and with little thought?

Developing an effective brand identity is one of the best investments you can make. Hire a professional designer or team to develop your brand visuals. You get what you pay for. If it’s cheap, it will show.

Brands that are intentional with a strong visual design stand out and pique interest. If you give the wrong first impression with poor quality branding, you may miss out on the chance to win a loyal customer.

Wrong Message

Have you ever seen a logo that completely misrepresented the company? There is a construction company I pass on my way to work whose logo communicates the wrong message. It’s a nice looking logo, but instead of communicating “Trustworthy Construction Contractor.” it says “Expensive Brazilian Restaurant.” This is an extreme example, but we see this in subtle ways all the time.

Check out this example:
Example of how a typeface can affect your perception
Besides making you hungry for a burger, the above example shows you how your perception of quality, style, and price is affected by a simple typeface change. When you consider adding color, size, and other variations, you can really see how much visuals impact our perception.

Our brains pick up on so many subtle cues when processing images. A professional designer will know how to leverage these nuances to help tell your story accurately. Who is your target audience? What makes you unique? Make sure that your visual branding communicates who you are to the right audience.

Continue Reading On FoodableTV

How To Get The Most Value From Your Designer

As someone who’s been on both sides (designer & client), design projects can be really fun or really frustrating. One reason they can be frustrating is that aesthetics are subjective. Sometimes you can feel like you’re fighting against the other party in order to make your project look the way you want it to. Unfortunately, what looks good to two different people may be totally different.

“Design is the relationship of content and form.” – Paul Rand.

As a client, here are some tips that will help you get the most value from your designer:

1. Hire an expert you trust.

If you are going to commission a professional for your project, make sure that you like their past work. Every designer has different specialties and styles. Don’t hire a designer that you’re going to have to coerce into creating a style that you like. See if they have been able to solve similar problems for other clients. Can they explain the process and reasoning behind their decisions?

By doing some research, you can prevent situations where you’ve invested a lot of money and later realize that the designer isn’t going to be able to meet your objectives.

Some clients want to design vicariously through someone who knows how to use the tools. For these people, I recommend just learning the tools themselves or hiring a student with no experience. This will save money and frustration. When you hire a good designer, you are commissioning their expertise to solve your problems.

You don’t want your financial advisor to tell you what you want to hear. You are relying on them to use their expertise to help you. A good designer shouldn’t just strive to create something that looks good to you. They should strive to solve the problem in the best way they know how. You will get the most value from leaning on their expertise.

Attributes of a designer you can trust:

  • Has a portfolio that shows how they’ve effectively solved real-world problems.
  • Specializes in your industry or a particular style you would like.
  • Is not the cheapest. Like any professional service, you usually get the quality you pay for.
  • Works to understand the underlying goals of the project.

Okay, you’ve found a designer that you can trust. What’s next?

2. Start the project off right.

Give all of the direction up front. Don’t leave out any details. There have been times in the past when, as the designer, I didn’t get all of the necessary details. Sometimes because I didn’t ask the right questions and sometimes because the client had changed their mind midway through the project without telling me. It can be really frustrating and wasteful when your designer has spent weeks on a design concept only to find out that they were going off of inaccurate information. It won’t be possible to answer every question up front, so stay in touch throughout the process for anything that may arise.

  • Provide every piece of content they will need before getting started.
  • Share the style or direction you envision for the design. Creative solutions thrive within restraints.
  • Explain the specific business goals behind starting a design project.

3. Give the right kind of feedback.

On this point, some of the best advice I have seen came from Rob Williams from letsworkshop.com.

What to do:

  • DO feel free to go negative about things you don’t like. If you don’t tell us what you think isn’t working, we’ll show you the same thing again and again.
  • DO point out and go into as much detail as possible as to why you feel something is not working. More than anything, your reasoning is critical to solving the problem.
  • DO speak to your goals and priorities for the project.
  • DO tell us why we’re wrong about certain design and development decisions we’ve made. Part of the process is finding those holes.
  • DO limit the amount of people participating in the review cycle to as small as possible – for faster, more succinct feedback.

What not to do:

  • DON’T mock up designs or alterations to our designs or code in photoshop, word, or any other program. Doing so is counter-productive because we then must reverse engineer the whole thing to find out what you were trying to solve. This results in lost time, and budget.
  • DON’T prescribe solutions, because prescriptive feedback also needs to be unpacked, and reverse engineered to get to the real issue.

Bad → “Move the twitter button to the left”
Better → “We want more importance placed on the social media sharing tools.”

  • DON’T forget that you hired design experts and your job is to be the business expert.

 

Working with a designer on your project can and should be a fun and exciting process that leads to a great result. Following these ground rules will help your designer have the freedom needed to meet your objectives.

What lessons have you learned in working with a designer that others could benefit from?

What Is Brand Identity And Why Does It Matter?

What is brand identity?

You may hear the term “brand identity” and have a vague idea, but not a clear understanding of what that means. You’re not alone. Most people couldn’t give an explanation of what a brand identity is. It involves the logo, so why not just say logo design? There is a big difference. My goal is to help you understand the difference and how it impacts your bottom line.

When you think of Coca-Cola, do you picture their logo? Probably, but you also think of red and white, script lettering, brown, fizzy liquid, bubbles, a brown bottle, happy faces, refreshment, and joy.

We could go on and on with examples — brands such as McDonalds, Nike, Target, Starbucks and others that have invested in developing a complete brand identity and reaped the reward of recognition, association, and loyalty.

A brand identity is the combination of the visual elements including the name, logo, tagline, voice, color palette, image style, typography, textures & patterns, iconography, packaging and collateral.

All of these elements work together to form a visual system. An effective brand identity must be implemented creatively and consistently over a period of time to make an impact on people’s minds.

Mollaga-Branding-Elements-by-Longitude

Some of the elements designed for the Mollaga brand.

What makes a brand identity effective?

1. Accuracy. Does your branding communicate the right message about who you are and what you offer?

2. Creativity. Does your branding pique interest or is it just a bland, cliche and forgettable?

3. Consistency. Does your branding look the same everywhere it’s applied? Does it form a cohesive, intentional look that people can come to recognize and appreciate?

Whether or not you’ve ever thought about this or put any focus on it, your restaurant has a brand identity. It may not be truly representative of your values and it may not be consistent, but it’s there. You broadcast it to your potential customers every day. Logo, website, business cards, stationery, collateral, signage, social media posts, etc. Whatever is out there, be it accidental or intentional, is how your brand is represented to potential customers.

For more on this, read 3 Ingredients of an Effective Restaurant Brand Identity.

Can brand identity affect the bottom line?

Many times a potential customer will see your logo and branding before they set foot in your location, taste your food or talk to your staff. It is the first touchpoint in converting the general public into a loyal customer. Whether or not they give you the chance will be greatly affected by your branding.

The average person is bombarded with around 3,000 brands every day. That seems like an overwhelming number to compete with. The good news is that there is a very small percentage of restaurants that are actually designed well. When you see a restaurant with an interesting brand, it stands out.

If your competitors are doing well here, then you can’t afford not to invest here. If your competitors aren’t doing well here, then you have that much more to gain from your investment. In either case, you have an opportunity to connect with potential customers and build trust and loyalty by developing an accurate, creative and consistent brand identity.

Think of it this way

Imagine someone sets two plates of food in front of you. On the right, you have a clean bright white plate with beautifully arranged food that is full of color.  On the left, you have a dirty old plate with the same food piled together haphazardly. I’m not a psychologist, but I’ll bet 10 out of 10 people will pick the one with the better presentation. (Even though they may taste the exact same.)

The presentation is huge. If a potential customer doesn’t perceive you to be interesting and trustworthy, they won’t give you a chance.

Next Step

Take some time to evaluate your current logo and brand identity elements. Does it accurately communicate who you are? Is it creative and memorable? Is there consistency in all of your brand touchpoints?

 

See Examples of Brand Identities Developed by Longitude

 

Ready to Talk? Send a Message

Or just email us at info@longitudebranding.com