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Building your brand is so much more than a logo


Branding is everywhere. From your tipple of choice to the make of your car, each company has a brand unique to them. Many people think that building a brand is just creating a logo. But it’s so much more than that.

A brand is the personality of a company. It encompasses their purpose, ethos, values, actions and of course, their offering.

A brand’s identity can be communicated through various devices to make it memorable. A logo is just one of these. Others include a name, tagline and tone of voice.

The power of building a strong company brand

The power of a good brand cannot be underestimated. Let’s examine an example of good branding, that everyone knows.

One brand that instantly pops to mind is Apple.

The Apple brand is built on the idea of simplicity. With products that are not only stylish but also easy for the consumer to use, creating a good user experience is at the heart of what they do.

The logo

We all know the Apple logo. It is an apple with a bite taken out of it. Today the logo is just a visual mark with a minimalistic colour pallet and no text. This hasn’t always been the case.

Over the years the logo and the rest of the Apple brand has evolved. It has always reflected who they are and what they offer.

The very first Apple logo was a drawing of Isaac Newton. He is sitting under a tree before an apple falls and hits him on the head. At this time Apple was called Apple Computer Co.

In 1977 Apple decided to change not only their logo, but also their name to make it modern. This was when the Apple icon we know today first came into play with rainbow colouring. The word Apple fitted perfectly next to the bite mark.

As Apple computers evolved, so did their logo. It was decided in 1984 that they should remove the name from the logo and just have the apple mark on its own. Over the years the colour palette for this mark has also changed to what we see today: black, white and silver.

You might ask why there is a bite shape removed from the apple. The reason behind this is so that the shape isn’t mistaken for another fruit, like a cherry. The bite reinforces the fact that it is an apple.

Their logo has become well known all over the world. Today’s logo is a powerful and clever mark as it can be understood in any language.


Apple’s tagline is Think Different.

When the Apple computer first came out back in 1976, the idea was to bring a personal computer to the masses. It was large and clunky without a mouse, so the idea of it being easy for the consumer to use wasn’t there.

Over the years Apple evolved and the company thought more about the user. This is where ‘The Crazy Ones’ campaign came in and the Apple tagline was born.

The campaign’s TV ad shows a range of famous icons, from Albert Einstein to John Lennon. All the people featured are well known for their ideas and visions and have changed the world in one way or another.

The power of this ad is that not a single Apple product is shown within it. Instead, it focuses on the emotional connection with the user and the idea that Apple products are going to change the world, too.

Tone of voice

Just like every other part of the Apple brand, their tone of voice is minimalistic and concise.

Through their marketing you will notice that Apple don’t tend to use a lot of wording. Instead, they let the imagery of their products do the talking.

Within their video adverts, you tend to see the product being used in a range of different settings. Short, informative descriptions, normally no longer than six words, inform the viewer of a technical aspect of that device.

For example, they describe the latest MacBook Air as ‘supercharged by the M2 chip’ and ‘impossibly thin and light’.

These messages are repurposed within other marketing content, whether that is social media posts, printed materials or the descriptions on their marketing videos. Here is an example of those two phrases being re-used:

‘This is Apple’s most loved laptop, completely reimagined. Supercharged by the M2 chip, the impossibly thin and light MacBook Air is exceptionally fast and powerful.’

Short, concise sentences align with the main idea behind Apple: simplicity.

Building a brand takes time

Creating a good, strong brand is an important process that shouldn’t be rushed.

Your brand identity should be original and unique to your business. It must showcase your ethos and values, communicate with your target audience and, ultimately, stand out against the competition.

Sometimes brands need to develop and change. The company itself may have changed its messaging and ethos. As we have seen, the Apple brand has evolved over the years to reflect its products. But the heart of the brand has remained the same: simplicity.

Four questions to consider when building a brand

Here are some useful things to think about when creating a new brand or evolving an existing one:

1. What is the aim of the brand?

Identify what problem you are trying to resolve for your consumer. In our international brand projects with construction company Caterpillar, we’ve always started from a position of curiosity, asking: what challenges are your customers facing right now?

2. Who is my target audience?

Is there a specific sector or age bracket that you are trying to target?

3. What makes you different?

What is unique about your service or product compared to what is already on the market?

4. When is the right time to get a designer and strategist involved?

If you are looking to create a new brand or even evolve an existing one, a designer and strategist can be brought in right from the start. They can help you work out the foundations of the brand and the messaging behind it, before creating the visual identity and tone of voice.

At AB, we can provide everything you need to build a successful brand. We are passionate about working with clients who not only fit our values and ethos, but who think we are the right fit for them, too.

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