Your Logo vs. Your Brand: Key Differences Explained
In essence, a logo is a visual iconic representation of your name. It should contain elements that are consistent with your brand, but it isn’t your brand.
Your brand, rather, is the emotional connection that you want people to feel when they interact with your company and your products.
So, which comes first?
Well, obviously if the logo is a representation of your brand, your brand comes first. In fact, your brand exists whether you’ve defined it or not. Just by virtue of your people interacting with your people and your products, by simply doing business, you’re creating a brand. So if you’re smart, you’ll be intentional in defining and developing your brand.
Just like with social media, people are talking about you whether you choose to participate in the conversation or not, so its better to take control.
Keys to a Great Brand
A great brand can be many things. The important thing is to define what you represent, your brand guidelines, and to live these out through every channel. Living out your values and mission accurately is what creates a great brand.
So define your brand guidelines and make sure to provide a consistent experience in line with these guidelines to your audience across all touch points.
Learn more about what your brand is and why you should care.
Keys to a Great Logo
Your logo is one of the most obvious representation of your brand, your name being the other one.
Your logo design, then, needs to be in line with what your brand stands for and the feelings, the emotional connection, that you want to create with your audience. For example, you wouldn’t want to use a font like used in the Metallica logo for a preschool.
Great logo designs are also simple.
Don’t try to represent more than 1 or 2 concepts within your logo. Many people are tempted to cram as much as possible into their logo design, using the t in their name to represent one thing and the dot over the i to represent another, but it is better to go with a simple mark. Make sure it looks good in black and white first, before introducing colors into the mix.
Finally, make sure to design logo variations for use in different places. For example, in addition to your full horizontal logo, you should design a vertical version, an iconic version, and a square to be used on social media sites.
If you don’t intentionally define these different representations, it will be done for you, so consider these different use cases of your logo from the beginning.
How Customers Interact with Your Brand and Your Logo
You do not know where an audience member and potential customer will interact with your brand first, and you cannot control this. They may see your logo, hear your brand name from a friend, interact with your product in a store, or receive some marketing communication.
So, the way your organization looks and acts in public must be in line with what you want your brand to represent across all channels and touch points (your logo, product, service, messaging, website, customer service representatives, etc.) because you only get one chance to make a first impression.
And after the first impression is made, you have to carry your brand throughout the entire customer journey. There is nothing worse than working hard to build up your brand image only to have it ruined at the very end of your customer’s journey.
For example, we were doing work with a retail company that had an incredible product and an incredible brand, but they decided to partner with a low quality delivery company. The last interaction the customer had, then, with the brand left a sour taste in their mouths, damaging their feelings towards that retail company, and therefore damaging their brand.
So make sure that you control your brand across all customer interactions so that your brand stays in tact.