Up until today, a lot of people still are unaware of the difference between a logo and a brand. Typically, a logo would be mistakenly called a brand or vice versa. Though this might not be a big deal to most people, this misconception can lead to a chain reaction of mistakes in the branding world or if you’re new and going through a branding journey. Both of them are important to a company but there are significant differences between a logo and a brand. Before we get into why those two are different, allow me to explain the definitions of each aspect.
Definition Of A Logo
Ultimately, a logo is what makes your brand recognisable. It is a memorable visual representation that reflects your brand and its message. In other words, it’s your brand’s visual identity. There are many types of logos, thus, a brand can be as creative as it can while creating one. By using symbols and/or typography, your logo can help boost your brand’s visibility. Plus, a memorable logo can even make marketing your brand much easier while still being impactful. An impactful logo can do so much for your brand in terms of marketing and connecting with your consumer base.
For instance, take a simple logo like Nike’s “swoosh”. The iconic “swoosh” logo can be recognised by almost anyone anywhere in the world. On top of that, they slap their logo on anything they are able to; their shoes, billboards and all their other sportswear. This way, their brand can be recognised and even attract new customers at the same time. In addition to that, they stay true to their core by providing great and long-lasting sportswear.
Typically, the process of designing a logo goes as follows:
- Establish a brand identity
- Choose colours that reflect your brand the best
- Pick a font (if any)
- Sketch or draft a few designs
- Look over the drafts and amend the final design
After polishing the final design of your logo, be sure to slap it onto everything. This means every one of your company’s products, services, business cards, e-mail signatures, and if you can, billboards. However, this is not where you start or stop when you’ve just started the branding journey of your company. You’ve got to plan up the entirety of a brand strategy first.
Definition Of A Brand
Branding is the process in which you determine an image or idea, typically a positive one, of your company that you want to portray to your target audience. A brand is a much wider umbrella term that covers the entirety of a branding strategy. This means that branding is the ultimate foundation of your company. All globally successful companies have intricate branding strategies that made them successful and strong. As a result of a good branding strategy, a company would stand strong for longer than usual companies with no branding at all. This is because branding determines the direction of a business. In addition to that, it also allows a brand to have a consistent purpose and tone of voice. It can ensure consistent growth too.
Discovering your brand identity can be determined by the whole branding process. You should get to know both your consumer base as well as your own company, of course. This will lead you to discover the relationship between your company and your consumer base.
Finding the relationship between a brand and its consumer base is important in attracting the targeted audience. By this, we mean that a brand has to understand its audience to get them hooked or intrigued. An example of a brand that truly understands its consumer base is Mountain Dew. Its consumer base mainly consists of sports fans or gamers and its brand reflects those interests. This allows their consumer base to relate or connect to the products and stay loyal to them. Mountain Dew has one of the most loyal consumer bases due to its brand and promise.
An additional example of a great brand promise and successful branding is Airbnb’s brand. Their brand promises its consumer base that they can “wake up at home anywhere in the world”. Their brand message reflects exactly what they strive to do which is to provide a living space that feels like home wherever you go. Airbnb is used globally and ensures that its consumers have a place to live and belong wherever they go.
What Makes A Good Logo
For us, what makes a logo great is the message behind it. Most brands would utilise their brand messaging to combine symbols or create a logo that reflects the brand messaging. It might even have a hidden meaning. A logo that reflects the brand messaging reflects the brand’s core at the same time. As mentioned earlier, Nike’s logo is one of the most recognisable logos in the world. On top of that, the “swoosh” isn’t just a mere logo. “Nike” is, in fact, the name of a goddess in Greek mythology. She is the “Winged Goddess of Victory” and the “swoosh” or wing-like logo symbolises speed, movement, power and motivation. Besides that, the “swoosh”-looking logo is like a checkmark that implies you’ve done what needed to be done. Hence their tagline, “Just do it.”
Other than Nike, another memorable logo with a great message behind it is Amazon’s logo. Their logo is their brand name with a smile-like arrow that stretches from the letter A to the letter Z in the name. The message that the brand wants to show its audience is that Amazon has all your needs from A to Z. Plus, the smile-like arrow gives a friendly look to the logo, possibly meaning that their audience will be happy when using their platform.
As mentioned earlier for its great brand message, Airbnb’s logo is a creative blend of what they stand for. A combination of symbols for people, places, love and Airbnb creates their iconic logo that is recognized globally.
These logos create a positive reflection and emotion for its targeted consumers and that’s what makes it special and memorable.
Difference Between A Logo And Brand
After everything we’ve said, a logo and brand are entirely different aspects of a whole branding journey. Simply put, a logo is a brand’s visual identity while a brand covers every single thing needed to build a company’s brand which includes its message, promise, theme as well as its logo. For instance, you can check out our blog on whether a brand or a logo comes first where we mention the branding iceberg. To give you a mental picture, imagine an iceberg where the tip that is visible is the logo and the rest of the iceberg that is underwater is what holds it up, which is the whole branding journey.
Thus, a logo and a brand are not interchangeable. It’s least likely to have a logo without a brand because they are interdependent. A brand has a stronger foundation with a logo present so that its brand can stand out and become memorable.
To recap, a logo is a brand’s visual representation while a brand or branding journey is the company’s whole foundation to build a strong and long-lasting brand. The two are not substitutive but they are both dependent on each other to build a strong brand for any company or business.
If you’re looking for assistance on both your branding strategy and logo design, you can visit our website, CR8 Consultancy for a consultation with our branding experts.
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