Brand identityHopefully, you’ve had a chance to brush up on your understanding of brand and how it defines and affects your company through every element of your business.  In Part 2, we will dip our toes into “identity” and “logo,” which are commonly mistaken for “brand.”

What is your identity?

While brand is portrayed by the feeling one gets when they see or hear about your company or products, identity plays a part in influencing feelings through visual tools, including your kitchen and bath company’s logo, website, brochures, business cards, letterheads, packaging and more.

The visual tools you choose to use in identifying your company usually follow graphic rules and guidelines in font and format choices, as well as color palette.  Think about Best Buy…even their employees sport shirts that don their logo and company colors.  They are not wearing suits because they most likely felt that khakis and a casual blue polo would give more of a sense of approach-ability, allowing you to feel comfortable chatting with employees about your electronics; and they’re not wearing jeans and a t-shirt because, well, that’s just not as professional – plus they’d probably be harder to spot.

Think of your identity as your company’s outer appearance in a sense.  If you’re going for a bright, happy persona, you wouldn’t be caught walking around in a black heavy metal rock band t-shirt with a dog collar necklace and purple hair, would you?  That would likely send off the wrong image for your intended identity – you’re so misunderstood.  Everything from font style to employee hygiene (make sure they shower and look professional) can play into your identity, so think each element through carefully.

What is your logo?

Logo should be the easiest to grasp out of the three ingredients, as it is the most concrete.  Your company logo is the actual graphic mark or emblem used to represent your kitchen and bath dealership.  It almost acts as a signature for the company; and when done properly, it will reflect your brand and identity and promote public recognition.

While it is the easiest to understand, it’s still sometimes difficult to put it together in a way that will be memorable, meaningful, versatile and timeless.  Careful planning must go into your company logo.  The goal is to create a logo that you won’t need to change every couple years (aside from maybe some minor touch-ups).  The more you change a logo, the less it is able to do its job.

Think about it…would you recognize someone if every time you saw them, they had just undergone major facial transplant surgeries as well as a haircut and color?  Heck, it was tough to recognize Jennifer Grey (“Baby” on Dirty Dancing and sister in Ferris Bueller) post nose-job.  Although she still looks pretty, let’s face it…her nose was arguably her most recognizable defining feature; so without it, she became less recognizable and her career in acting dwindled.  Perhaps it’s safe to say that a nose job “put Baby in the corner.”  Take that and apply it to your logo design.

Working together

So, while all three elements are not one in the same, they all work together in your overall business strategy.  Your logo is part of your identity, and your identity helps develop your brand.  It’s easy to see why they can get mixed up at times, but it is important to analyze each piece to ensure you’re doing everything you can to develop a branding strategy that will instill a sense of quality and trust in your prospects.