What is your most important branding tool?

March 1, 2021

By Ken Gasque


Your logo, if you do it right.

However, your logo is not a brand, but there is no brand without a logo.

The Starbucks logo is like a beacon—welcoming and inviting. The story is Starbucks adopted a Siren–“a seductive mystery mixed with a nautical theme.” She is at the heart of Starbucks… “she’s a muse –always there, inspiring us and pushing us ahead. And she’s a promise too, inviting all of us to find what we’re looking for, even if it’s something we haven’t even imagined yet.” These are the feelings of Starbucks management describing their logo and building their brand.

As a brand image-maker your logo is your most important tool—I experienced this recently. I was sitting at a red light when a truck pulled up beside me. I was immediately struck by the logo on the side of the truck. It did not show a picture of a beautiful landscape, but the simplicity and beauty of the graphic image conveyed an image of a beautiful landscape in my mind. I made note of the name and URL because this is the landscaping company I have been looking for. It is now up to the company salesman to loose the sale because the sale has already been made.

Does this happen often? More often than you think. But people do not call and say I just saw your logo and I need your services. You don’t know what prompted the call. More likely they call and inquire about your service without ever mentioning your logo. However, your logo has conveyed meaning and has built confidence. Your logo is part of the brand experience.

When we are ask to help develop a brand we begin with expectations. We begin with your end in mind. Because if you can see where you are going you will have a much better chance of getting there.

Tony Robbins, behavioral therapist, says that if you want to change, it’s easy. Act as though you are what you wish to become. It is the same for your brand. Look like the brand you wish to become, beginning with your logo. Perception is reality.

One of the most difficult and important parts of developing a brand is creating the image. It begins with the logo.

The Process
Step one: Discover your uniqueness. What are your opportunities and challenges? They are often the same. How you solve them may be your differentiation. Define what makes your service or product unique in a meaningful way to the consumer. Amazon delivers from a to z. But its logo is also a smile. Amazon is delivering happiness.

Step two: Define the brand strategy. What are core elements of your brand? These elements are an essential part of your brand identity.

Homestead Creamery sells fresh milk in glass bottles and Homestead focuses on freshness. It processes its milk daily. It is bottled and shipped the next day. Glass bottles have no effect on the taste. Homestead Creamery’s brand as voiced by their customers… “Tastes the way milk should taste.™”

Step three: Create the brand identity. “We buy with our eyes.”

The visual overwhelms the verbal… A picture is worth a thousand words. Do you see what I’m saying? Look, picture this. What’s in your mind’s eye? Let me draw you a picture. 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. Visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text. A logo is a symbol for the brand experience. Just like other visuals a logo communicates that experience almost immediately.


About Ken Gasque

Ken is a brand developer, marketing planner and designer. He works with small and large companies who recognize the need to differentiate their products and services to stand out in a cluttered market. His work reflects his belief that “We buy with our eyes.” He writes and lectures on his experiences developing brands (good, bad and funny).