While a logo is only a small simple mark, a brand includes every single touch-point your customers have with your company. It is only one element, albeit a very important element, of your organization’s brand identity and helps with recognition, differentiation, and recall.
What is a brand? And how is it different from a logo? Often when clients refer to “our brand” they are talking about their logo, not their brand. A number of designers, agencies, web developers, marketing firms, and public relations firms claim they “do branding,” but more often than not they’re actually referring to logo design.
A brand is the “sum total” of all of the experiences, impressions, and knowledge a person has about your product, service, or organization.
A brand is the basis of your position in the market and your competitive advantage. So you see all businesses have a brand of some sort. Even if you’re not sure what it stands for. It’s about the perceived emotional and functional benefits; that “gut reaction” you get about a business.
Logos are a tangible way to express some of the essence and characteristics of your brand. There’s really no way a logo can represent or illustrate everything about your brand. A logo is like a graphic signature for the business; visual shorthand if you will. It triggers the emotional feeling and experience had with the business (both positive and negative).
Both a strong brand and a compelling logo are important if you’re trying to position your company and drive its growth.
The fact of the matter is that a large majority of businesses create a logo as a fairly random visual exercise. They then try to shore it up with meaning and strategy later. This isn’t the best strategy. Most people that are considering a “rebrand,” and feel their logo is outdated or no longer fits, are motivated consciously or unconsciously by bigger issues and opportunities for their company.
The actual power to be leveraged behind a great logo is not simply in the creativity and design of the logo itself. It’s more in the clarity, definition, uniqueness, and articulation of the larger brand behind it. The logo can be thought of as the tip of the iceberg. It’s what we see at first but there is so much more involved that goes behind a business’ brand.
“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
– Jeff Bezos CEO/Founder Amazon