If you as a person are your company, a logo is more than your signature. It’s closer to the clothes you wear.
If you show up everyday in a tuxedo, that says something very different from if you show up in shorts and a ballcap. Neither are inherently bad or incorrect, but each outfit has its time and place. Cargo shorts at a black tie event make as much sense as a monkey-suit at the Whitecaps game. You need to dress for the occasion.
So what does that mean for your restaurant or business’ logo design in Vancouver?
It means that if you are running a gelateria in Yaletown your logo could be very different from if you were running one on Commercial Drive. It can get even more complex when it comes to your actual product itself—an artisanal gelato shop featuring only five flavours a day may want to create a unique, high-class, experience regardless of their location.
Suddenly it’s not as black and white as a tuxedo or cargo shorts.
It’s about the exact material, colour, and fit. And what if someone else is wearing the same thing? A bespoke suit sized and created to fit the occasion and your exact body type could exude the professionalism you need to portray without the need of a bowtie and cummerbund. It also guarantees your outfit will be original and fit like a glove. This is why your business needs a unique logo professionally designed. Your logo designer or graphic designer should be thought of as your tailor.
If that’s all true, “Why isn’t my brand my logo?”
What you’re wearing is only one part of the equation. Continuing with the outfit metaphor: the other parts may have to do with the car you showed up in, what your voice sounds like, what you are saying and the jokes you are cracking.
Why did the chicken cross the road? Because that’s what my customers want to hear and it contributes to the experience I want them to have.
Your business’ voice is extremely important and it must be unified. That voice is all encompassing. It includes your logo, your location, your menu, and even the type of customers that come in. That’s not even mentioning your social media feeds, website or general word of mouth.
The point is, your voice is a projection of your brand. It’s everything your business is shouting from the rooftop in one form or another.
And still, your voice also isn’t your business’ brand. Your brand is actually the perception had by the World.
Thinking of yourself as a brand, how do people see you and do people know what you stand for? Are you a Vegetarian? Do you like dance music? Do you always show up on time? There are so many factors that people form an opinion about you on. Every soggy french fry you’ve ever had at McDonalds contributes to their brand in your mind. Your personal relationship with McDonalds is their brand. We all have our own perception of their brand.
This is why consistency and focus are the biggest assets to your brand. Your business’ voice is actually a lot more like a choir. Your logo has a voice. Your products have a voice. You have a voice. All of the voices need to be in harmony and sync for the message to be heard.
Start from the the top and start asking yourself questions. Here are a few to get you started:
- How do you want your customers and potential customers to feel when they think of your business?
It seems basic, but often businesses are a bit haphazard because they lack a clear message. The answer to this one question can be carried throughout every facet of your business.
- Does your location contribute or diminish this feeling?
- When visiting your website, do customers have the same experience they will in store?
- What are people saying about you right now?
- How does your packaging or presentation offer the same joyful experience the product does?
- As an entry point, how does your logo attract your target market in a way that gives them this experience?
All of these questions simply represent challenges you have to solve. For instance, you probably can’t change locations very easily. In what ways might you bolster your customer experience, regardless?
As much as your brand may seem to be at the whim of public opinion, as long the message is heard and consistent, that opinion can and will be swayed.