What is the difference between a logo and a brand?
Often the words ‘logo’ and ‘brand’ are used to describe the same thing. To answer this I think it’s a good idea to establish what they are and how they differ.
What is a logo?
A logo is an easily recognisable graphic symbol that identifies a company or product. It’s a way to distinguish one brand from another and is usually made up of typography, graphics and symbols. It doesn’t have to tell the world about everything you do, it’s an identifier and trigger to recall the brand.
What is a brand?
A brand is the perception of a company. It’s the idea or image people hold in their mind when thinking about specific products and services of a company. A companies brand is influenced by its values, marketing, products, tone-of-voice, customer service, how people talk about them on Twitter, it’s reputation. This includes the logo, stationery, website and everything people encounter when interacting with the company.
That covers logo and brand, but there’s another section which ties both together – branding or brand identity.
What is branding?
Branding (brand identity) is the set of tools to shape a brand. It serves to help influence the perceptions people have of the company, it’s impossible to control what people think of a brand, but you can do your best to create a great impression.
If you think of your business as you might a person. The face is your logo, it’s a small part of the person but is one of the first parts you will see. What makes the person who they are: their name, fashion sense, personality, humour, accent, morals, beliefs, background – all of this is branding (brand identity) including the face. The way you remember this person, how they make you feel and how you describe them to your friends – this is their brand.
When a company has established their brand, consistency in how they interact with their audience across all marketing materials, products, etc. is extremely important. As you might imagine, this can be a challenge when dealing with several creative agencies as outside styles can creep in. To ensure consistency and stay on brand – brand guidelines are a must have.