There is often much confusion when the discussion of branding and logos arises. Quite often when talking about branding, organisations, designers, marketers and even agencies are actually referring to a logo. So what is the difference?
There are many definitions of branding but essentially a brand is the feeling derived from the sum total of an organisation’s touch points – products, services, experiences and promotions – in the mind of the consumer. When executed consistently and to a high standard, the sum of the messages sent by these touch points is often far greater than when presented in isolation. If you are doing business you have a brand, whether it has been defined or not.
A logo on the other hand, is a symbol that identifies and differentiates an organisation – they are a tangible way to express the essence of an organisation. A logo is an important component of branding but there is no way a logo on its own can represent the totality of an organisation.
Both a strong brand and logo are important when attempting to establish and own a position within the marketplace but ultimately it’s the feelings towards an organisation (the brand) that have the greatest affect on success or failure. A logo should be a derivative of the branding process that explores an orgainsiation’s personality, culture, consumer reflection, physique of its offering and its customers’ self image and their relationship with the organisation.
Quite often, organisations go about creating a logo before the brand has been considered and attempt to marry the two with meaning and a strategy later in the piece. More often than not, this produces a weak, uninspiring brand that doesn’t quite ‘fit’.
A company’s brand and logo should ultimately go hand-in-hand. Great logos come from a deep understanding of the definition and uniqueness of the brand it represents. A logo is just the pastry of a delicious brand pie containing many other important, carefully considered ingredients.