Recently, a fellow entrepreneur asked me for some brand strategy advice and we ended up getting into a friendly debate about the difference between a logo design and a brand. This entrepreneur has a beautiful logo, but from my perspective not much of a brand to support it. While his logo is on his business cards, brochure, website, email newsletter, and flyers, the message, the colors, the typefaces, the design, and even the voice used in the materials was completely inconsistent. If I cover up the logo on any of his marketing materials, I would have no idea who or what business the piece is for.
When I brought up this observation, he told me that his logo is his brand and asked, “My logo is on everything. Isn’t that enough?”
Unfortunately, when asked the question, “What’s the difference between a logo and a brand,” most entrepreneurs and small business owners respond with the exact same question, “Isn’t a logo and a brand the same thing?”
No. They are not the same thing.
A logo and a brand are in fact two very different things that must work together cohesively. Here is a quick explanation of what a logo is, what a brand is, and how they are different.
What is a logo?
A logo is an easily recognizable, reproducible design element, often including a name, symbol, specified colors or trademark. It is a quick, visual representation of a brand’s message and position. A well designed logo should evoke some memory or emotion from the viewer depending upon their relationship with the brand.
What is a brand?
A brand is the culmination of every interaction with, experience of, thought about, and marketing practice by a business.
- From the business owner’s perspective, a brand encompasses the positioning, the messaging and communications, the visual design, the client/customer persona, the voice, the marketing and promotions, and the presence of the company.
- From the audience’s perspective, a brand is the reputation of a business that is created by how the business makes them feel, what their experience is like with the business, and what they think of the business.
Think of it this way. A logo all by itself is merely a graphic element with a name. A brand is everything — tangible and intangible — that represents a business and gives its logo meaning. When combined, a well-designed logo and brand strategy help you effectively and efficiently reach your audience, communicate your message, your value, and benefits, visually attract more attention, and create extraordinary experiences.