More than the sum of the parts

I read a post at LogoDesignLove that got me to thinking about logos and branding, as well as marketing and advertising in general. This particular post was about how the logo of a 150 year old French furniture manufacturer has evolved over the years. What’s interesting to me is that the logo history only goes back to the 1930’s. Isn’t a logo essential to managing a business’s brand? What did they do for the previous 70 or 80 years?

It’s possible they had a mark that was used before that time but it was not provided to the blog’s author. But assuming the history is correct, how did they build their business without our modern brand management? I can tell you how. They did it by maintaining a great reputation.

In all the marketing-speak that is tossed at small businesses, what sometimes gets lost is that all your marketing and advertising efforts are moot if you don’t offer a great product or service. It starts there; that’s the foundation. Built on top of that foundation is the experience your customers have when they deal with you. When you offer a great product or service along with a pleasurable experience for your customer, you have a great brand.

“Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.”

–Proverbs 22:29

A brand is far more than a logo or the name of a company or product. A brand is the reputation that precedes your company prior to a customer doing any business with you. A great ad for a bad product, or great marketing for a business that doesn’t respect its customers, is like putting whipped cream on an onion. You might fool people once with your shiny logo and slick ads, but you’ll still leave a bad taste in their mouth.

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