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. A logo is a tool to help communicate a brand and represent a brand.
What is a brand?
A brand is every interaction with and marketing practice of a name or design that identifies and differentiates one business, product, or service from another. A brand encompasses the positioning, the messaging and communications, the visual design, the target market, the voice, the marketing and promotions, the presence, and the experience any individual has with the business, product or service online, offline, or in person. You brand is the experience people have when they come in contact with you or your business.
Think of it this way. A logo all by itself is just a graphic element with a name. A brand is the communications strategy that helps you communicate your passion and expertise.
When combined, a well-planned logo and a brand strategy help you effectively and efficiently reach your audience, communicate your message, your value, and benefits, and visually attract more attention.
Do you have a logo, or do you have a brand?