Recently, a friend asked me for some branding advice for his start-up and we somehow got into a friendly debate about the difference between a logo design and a brand. This entrepreneur friend has a logo, but from my perspective, did not have much of a brand to support it. While his logo is everywhere, on his business cards, website, email newsletter etc, the message, colours, typefaces, and even the tone used in the social media were 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 this up, he told me that his logo is his brand and asked, “My logo is on everything. Not 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.
A logo is a quick, visual representation of a brand’s message and position. It is an easily recognisable, reproducible design element, often including a name, symbol, or specified colours. 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.
A brand is every interaction touchpoint that identifies and differentiates one business, product, or service from another. A brand is the experience people have when they come in contact with you or your business. A brand encompasses the brand positioning, the brand message, the brand values, the visual design elements, 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.
Put simply, a “brand” is what your prospect thinks of when he or she hears or sees your brand name. It is everything the public thinks it knows about your name brand offering—both factual (e.g. your packaging), and emotional (e.g. It’s romantic). Your brand name exists objectively; people can see it. It’s fixed. But your brand exists only in someone’s mind.
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.
So, do you have a logo, or do you have a brand?
DaPlan is a Singapore-based creative design agency specialising in brand building with a visual focused approach. We build awesome brands and help them get off the ground.