“I just need something I can put on a business card.”

When clients come to me, they often ask for “just a logo”. The common thought seems to be that a logo, on its own, is what will make their business appear professional. And it does, but there’s more to it.

I spend time trying to explain that a brand is more than a logo, it needs to have a voice. A good brand should feel like a real, living and breathing person.

What do I mean?

Case in point: I shopped at this store to buy an expensive (but high quality) hoodie. Since I live in casual wear, I figured it was worth spending a bit more on a hoodie I will wear every other day. Lululemon also has premium-priced yoga and exercise clothing. They gave me this bag with my purchase in it, and I took it home, not really paying attention to the bag.

Well, this morning I was packing my things for the day and used this bag. It was sitting up on my kitchen counter. I started reading it on accident, and the warm fuzzies took over. I LIKE these Lululemon people! They’re inspiring! They are making me a better person! (Seriously, I was holding this bag in two hands, drinking in all of these words.) I now feel even better about the spendy hoodie I bought.

The other side of the bag has just their logo on it, which is where most companies stop: Place the logo on something and call it “branded.” I admit it, it’s an easy solution — but your logo on its own has little meaning to most people.

Here’s what they did right:

  1. They invested more in something they needed to have anyway: bags for customers to take home their new stuff
  2. They made this bag a marketing piece that would live beyond the day of purchase
  3. Their agency provided some great copywriting that doesn’t feel too preachy. It feels real (“Dance, sing, floss and travel.”), and makes you think (“Your outlook on life is a direct reflection of how much you like yourself.”).
  4. They know their audience and provided a reusable bag to send the message “we care about the environment” (even if the bag is made in China)

What they could have done better:

  1. Used a natural material
  2. Source a bag made in the U.S.

The bottom line?

Think about every piece your company is putting out there: What is it saying about you? What value does it add to your brand? Because after all, if you can capture the hearts of your audience, you can charge $100 for a pair of yoga pants and still have smiling customers.


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