Brand vs. Logo: What’s the difference?

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When you hear the words brand and logo, do two different definitions come to mind? Well, that’s what should be happening.

In today’s economy, with more and more competition emerging every day, it’s important we know the difference between these two things.

While 77% of B2B marketers said branding is critical to growth, many companies don’t recognize that a brand and a logo cannot be used interchangeably. Rather, they work together to highlight each other.

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Let’s get into how to differentiate between brand vs logo to find success with your customers.

What is a logo?

At first glance, a logo is a visual element that tells us a message.

It lets us know what it represents and what company it stands for. It also should bring about varying emotions and feelings.

A logo could be a symbol, trademark, words, emblem, figure, mark or much more.

Logos are the visual elements used to associate with a particular company.

What is a brand?

On the other hand, a brand is the feeling associated with a company when seeing the logo.

The brand forms the relationship between the company and the customer. Brands are built upon consistency with every interaction.

You may have heard varying definitions of what the word brand actually means. The point we are trying to get across is that a brand is your communication strategy.

A brand could consist of:

  • Your voice
  • Position in the market
  • Promotions and marketing
  • Fonts
  • Color scheme
  • A brand style guide

A brand vs logo

Ultimately, a company can’t just build a great logo and think a great brand will follow. Building a successful brand takes lots of hard work.

The mistake many companies will make when going through “re-branding” efforts is that they think a simple change of the logo will fix everything.

However, this should be the other way around. It’s all about your audience’s feelings associated with your company, which is your brand.

Essentially, branding is where you start and a logo is where you finish.

A good logo won’t lead to lots of money and repeat purchases. Customer experiences first need to be made. Once the customer associates happy feelings with a visual cue (aka: your logo) good things will happen. And, by that, we mean more ROI.

What’s more important?

While we don’t want to single out one over the other, what people think about your business is much more important than the graphic element used to represent it.

You can test this about by thinking of some of your favorite companies. Let’s say, Nike, Pepsi, Ford, and Doritos are some of your favorites.

I’m sure you have a least favorite logo out of these, but do your feelings of the company change because of this? Probably not.

That’s because these are your favorite companies and they got there because of the positive experiences they provided you with.

We don’t want you to think that you can have a horrible logo and still be successful.

But, we want to make it clear that a brand must first be built. Then, the logo design comes afterward.

When it comes to brand vs logo, the brand takes home the prize.

At Beefy, we work with you to identify your target audience and develop your brand guidelines and narratives to create a logo that best fits.

How the process works

If you’re still not totally getting all of this and or stumped because you always thought logo and branding were the same things, let’s take you through the mind of a consumer.

Step 1: A consumer sees your logo.

Step 2: The consumer relates this visual element with past experiences they have had with the company. They may think of the products they’ve used in the past, the commercials they’ve seen, what kind of people use the product, or celebrity endorsements.

Step 3: These thoughts then develop into emotions where the consumer thinks “I really love this company, I can’t wait to try another product of theirs!” Or, “this company sucks, I had the worst experience with them.”

(Hopefully, it’s the first comment).

Step 4: These emotions then turn into action. They may visit your online store and purchase the latest product on the market.

You see how the past experiences and feelings associated with the business developed out of seeing the logo?

The logo there by itself would have meant nothing if it weren’t for the knowledge to associate it with.

Where identity comes into play

You may have heard people talk about the logo, brand, and identity together when it comes to the whole package. While we’ve covered brand vs logo, identity is something that works with both of these.

Your company’s identity branches off from the logo and encompasses visual components like the color palette and fonts along with marketing materials like signage and business brochures.

All of these visual factors work together to create a brand identity. This is where consistency comes into play.

The more consistent your identity is, the more concrete of an image you create in your audience’s mind.

Identity fits right in between logo and brand. It complements your business’s logo and it keeps your audience’s feelings and experiences steady.

How these to come together to find success

Logo and brand work hand-in-hand to grab your audience’s attention. One couldn’t survive without the other.

Without a visual identity, your audience wouldn’t be able to tell you apart and without a story behind your visual element, your logo would mean next to nothing.

A company will find success when they understand the difference between a brand vs logo and use them effectively.

The design process takes much more than just creating a logo. It starts with growing your brand by evoking feelings within your customers.

Think to yourself, does your company have a logo or a brand? Or, maybe you’re lucky and have both?

With a well-defined and established brand and a carefully crafted logo, your business will be well on it’s way to attracting new customers.

The Beef

Is your company in need of a brand refresh or re-branding effort? Contact us at Beefy Marketing where we help you tell your story through strong visuals and powerful messaging.

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Andrew Brockenbush

CEO of Beefy Marketing & Host of the Business Growth Hacks Podcast

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