Some people just aren’t as good at math as others. For example, last week I was convinced 6×7=32. (It doesn’t.) A few weeks ago I thought that 9+7=13. (Also doesn’t.) Now, while I’d like to blame this on not taking a math class for several years, I know it’s unacceptable. My father would be so disappointed in me.

But there’s one equation that people believe that I just can’t let them get away with…

Brand = Logo

When, in fact…

Brand ≠ Logo

Everyone and everything has their own brand. Some people call this personality; some people call this individuality; some people call this swag. But one thing is for sure, a company’s brand does not boil down to a logo.

A brand is an identity. It’s what people think of when they hear you or your company’s name. It encompasses a person’s entire experience with that brand.

As people, we have a certain role that we fit in different situations; we act a certain way that is very “us”. In my group of friends, I’m the weird and crazy one who can’t remember squat. With most people I don’t know, I come across as shy and standoffish. With my bosses at PPM, I’m the one who’s going to come ask you some outrageous question at least once a week. (Can we move the company to Colorado? Can I wear roller blades to work? Can we have an office kitten?) But no matter where you are, you are you, and you are portraying your brand.

For companies, brand does have to do with logo, but also so much more. It’s also how a person feels when they are in your business or interacting with an employee. It’s how a person perceives your company based on your advertising, your product, or what someone else told them about you. With brand, it is important to focus on a customer and his/her experience as whole. If your logo looks amazing but your customer service stinks, do you think that customer will be back? I’m going to say no. And that person will tell their friend, and their friend will tell another friend, and it will just keep going until an entire group of people has a poor perception of your company.

Watching our business grow at PPM and seeing the business of our clients grow, I’m learning that you can’t really compartmentalize when it comes to a company brand. Each part I mentioned before is important to your company as a whole, and if one part is lacking, the whole thing gets brought down.

We have to be conscious of this in the business world. If we want to succeed, we have to portray a positive brand to the world. It can be overwhelming to think about, but is also so worth it. As Paul mentioned in our last post, business etiquette is a dying art for companies when it should really be flourishing, especially with use of social media. Social media makes it amazingly simple to thank your customers and focus on them.

And that is what we want to see. We want companies to be happy with what they are producing, consumers to be happy with the product, companies to benefit from happy customers, and, basically, create a cycle between these.

So think about what it is that you want to show to the world, what story you want to portray, what identity you want to create, what swag you want to carry then strive toward these things.

And please remember our little math equation: Brand ≠ Logo.

– Lauren Schafer, Social Media Strategist