There has always been confusion between brand vs logo. Many people think that both terms refer to fancy graphics. These small images bear their business name in bold colors. However, brand vs logo is very different. Having a logo is not equivalent to having a brand and vice versa.
In reality, a logo is arguably the easier and smaller part. Meanwhile, branding is the main component of the business, it is your reputation and what you want people to believe about your business. It should get your primary focus.
Brand vs Logo
What is a Logo?
Before getting into the brand vs logo debate, it is important to know the difference between these two. First, logos are easy to spot and recognize. They provide your first impression. Your customers see them first when they look at your profile. Therefore, your logo should represent your company well.
Out of all the foundational branding elements, your logo is the pillar of your company. When well designed, it boosts several aspects of the business, including sales. It is also a great start when building customer loyalty. When they see the graphics, they will instantly know it is your company.
What is a Brand?
While the logo is more on the “appearance” of the business, the brand is about identity. It is still associated with colors, graphics, and visuals, however, it is more than that.
You may have a pretty logo placed smartly on your website. People may remember it because it has unique and striking colors. However, it is not what will drive customers to you. They will not trust you just because your visuals are appealing.
Branding, as mentioned, is your identity, your reputation. It is how the audience perceives your company as a whole. It may be the non-visual side of your business but this part is integral. Your company’s brand creates a whole new level of experience for the customers. It is what differentiates you from your competitors.
Branding may be difficult to define. If you look it up on Google, you will get more than 800 million explanations for what it is. Here are some points that illustrate what branding is about:
- your business’ personality
- It is what the customers experience when they make a purchase or initiate an interaction with your business
- not just about the look, but also the feel, sounds, and actions that relate to your company
- the reputation of your business
For example, a cosmetic company may sell cruelty-free beauty products. This is how the company positions itself and brands itself. Certain customers are attracted to this brand because they perceive the company as environmentally friendly, cruelty-free, animal lovers, and safe for humans.
Brand vs Logo: Which is More Important?
Why you need a professional graphic designer? Without a doubt, logos are crucial. That’s why savvy business owners know they need to invest in professional design. After all, it is the face of their company. It may sound logical to focus on this particular component but branding is on a different level.
Knowledgeable marketers understand that branding or identity is so much more profound than a logo. Sure, your business begins with graphic design. When they visit your site, for instance, they quickly notice your logo. Then, they move on from there, completely forgetting about it until they see it again.
On the other hand, your branding stays. This is where the brand vs logo discussion ends. The brand will always be more important. It is why you should invest heavily in building your brand. While logos are essential, they should not be the core of your marketing strategy.
Logos are easy to discern. For instance, a shoe company has the swoosh shape, perhaps as a representation of motion or speed. A coffee company may have a green mermaid and a fast-food chain with its golden arches. And even without saying the names you know the companies and are picturing their logos. But you can also picture the inside of the buildings, the service you receive and have some idea of the message they are trying to portray.
Photography, in-store graphics, and website design help comprise a company’s brand.
What are the Essentials in Branding?
Creating a brand is not the same as designing a logo. While the latter requires plenty of planning, the identity should be about technique. A significant thought process should be carefully implemented to generate the brand your company wants. Here are some key steps to apply to the procedure:
The Mission: Companies should understand their core values and objectives. You already know why you started your business in the first place. Determine the problems you want to solve for your customers. You should also be able to list the things you are passionate about. Finally, clearly state what you want your business to become in the next two, five, or 10 years.
Target Customers: Next is to understand your customers. You want to define the groups of people you want your business to appeal to. “Everyone” is not an acceptable answer here. Be able to narrow down your target, which will assist in your marketing efforts.
Personality: You should define your brand’s character. If your company were a person, how would you describe its appearance and sound? Knowing the personality will let you come up with ways to come up with the right words, actions, and design.
Voice: Your business will interact with a variety of customers. Therefore, it is essential to have predefined guidelines in forming the voice of your company. Some businesses prefer an informal voice while others like a professional tone.
Creating brands does not end at the planning stage. It should be implemented and tracked. Even more important is cohesiveness. Your branding and logo should work together, along with your social media and site. All other touchpoints, such as business cards, advertisements, and storefronts, should be consistent. The same goes with designs, words, colors, and voice. It is what helps your company become memorable.
Finally, you should uphold the reputation you have built. Act the part and walk the talk. Ensure that your actions meet with the personality you have generated. Whether at an event, a product release, or announcements, you should always be consistent.
Why Do I Need It?
Now that the brand vs logo debate is out of the way, realize that branding is vital for your business. Even if you run a small business, you have to work on your company’s identity. Here are the reasons why:
Future-proof your firm.
If you want to grow your business, the best time to start is now. You need a solid foundation in building a well-thought-out identity. It is much easier than having to do a complete overhaul down the line.
Stay ahead of your competition.
A logo is not enough and should not be viewed as the company’s brand. Customers will choose a company that they resonate with and one that is cohesive and simple to understand.
Get loyal advocates.
While you do earn with one-time purchases, the real money is in the faithful customers. These loyal supporters not only bring profits but also help expand your business. They recommend you to other people and stay with you even with other companies popping up. It will be difficult to get loyal customers if you do not have a clear personality.
It signals that you are a stable company.
You do not have to be in business for decades to become an established name. A well-crafted identity will speak to the public about your commitment to delivering excellence to your clients.
Enhance your credibility.
To become an expert, building your credibility is an important step. People will only trust you if you are established. Your brand will show that you are an experienced professional who knows your industry.
Your logo may help people recognize you, but it is the brand that lets consumers remember you. It should be your goal to stand out from the crowd. A well-designed identity system will help you achieve it.
How to Kick-start Your Branding
With branding, the next step is to invest in creating the identity. It takes three steps to begin:
- determine the image you would like to convey. Whenever someone sees your business card and marketing materials or visits your website, what is the intended message?
- figure out what reflects the visions and values of your company.
- ensure that advertising materials are consistent with every aspect of the business. They should effectively reflect who you are and what your company is.
After evaluating your current brand’s status, the next few steps will help in generating a strong, reliable identity:
Know your audience.
Only the best brands that have stood the test of time understand their target clients. These companies know exactly who they are, along with their interests and how to communicate. You can target different types of an audience but your positioning will vary depending on the group. Knowing your target market lets you set up your marketing campaigns correctly. It not only helps you save time and money but also create an effective connection.
Strive to be unique.
Imagine that you are with your friends. When people look at you, they will recognize a distinctive feature. It is the same concept as brands. In a sea of companies, you should be an exceptional choice. Offer something unique, such as a guarantee that your customers’ orders will arrive in less than an hour. Perhaps give free stuff for loyal customers or a certain group. You do not need to go insanely creative. The only requirement is to have a specific thing that will separate you from the rest.
Consistency is the key.
Once you have convinced some people to do business with you, make sure they like the service or product. This way, they will refer their friends to your company and they will come back as well. The challenge here is that you do not truly know where people will interact with you. They can send an email, call or tweet you, or go to your store. Presentation, therefore, should be consistent. For instance, if you promise to deliver high-end supplies, your business card should exude the same look and feel.
It is a team effort.
A company is not just about you. Employees make up your organization. As your business grows, there will always be some sort of inconsistency. A smart strategy will make it easier to coordinate all the efforts into one. This way, you can have a guide toward achieving the vision and mission of your company.