A Logo is Not a Brand. A Brand is Not Just a Logo.
This is a very common misconception. The terms logo and brand are not interchangeable. In fact, the logo falls under the umbrella of a brand and not side-by-side. It is only a small percentage of a business’ branding.
Definitions of Logo and Brand
First, let’s define a logo and a brand:
A logo is a mark or symbol that represents a brand, it’s purely for identification. It is part of the brand identity.
A brand is emotional experience that someone has when they engage with a business. It is the meaning others attach to the business. More precisely, this is the company’s brand image.
As you can see below, the logo falls under the Brand Identity. In the entirety of your business’ brand, the logo takes up only a small percentage. Now you see why it’s incorrect to think that your logo is your brand? Branding is more than just a logo!
Example of the Apple Logo & Brand
Let’s take the Apple Inc. brand as an example. Do you know why Steve Jobs chose an apple to be the company’s logo? It was simply inspired by his fruitarian diet at the time. According to Wikipedia, he thought “the name ‘Apple’ was ‘fun, spirited and not intimidating’. Just the apple mark alone, has no meaning. It can be a logo for a farmer’s market or a health coach, who would have thought it has nothing to do with food and health? It was only through years of branding, marketing, customer experiences and customer service that the apple mark became known as the mark of imagination, design, technology and innovation.
This is a great example that a logo is just a visual mark, it has no meaning or emotions. Branding gives meaning to a logo. The experiences that you have when you see that logo, is the brand. There are many elements that come together to create your business brand. Let’s compare Brand Identity and Brand Image side-by-side below.
Brand Identity vs Brand Image Comparison Chart
Customers can have different opinions of your brand even without making a purchase. For example, your brand messaging can be promoting violence or being wasteful, leaving a bad taste in potential customers’ minds. This causes them not to want to do business with your company. This is a negative brand image that you do not want to create. On the other hand, you can also leave a great impression on someone and that person refers your business also without making a purchase. These opinions, negative or positive, can evolve over time so it is important to work hard to maintain a consistent, positive and strong brand image.
Advantages of Strong Brand Image
Every business, even non-profit organizations, strive to build a strong positive brand image to achieve certain goals. There are many advantages to having a strong brand, it can make or break your organization’s success. Here are some reasons why you want to aim for a strong and positive brand image:
Shows that you actually put time and effort into building your business and that you didn’t just slap it together
Creating consistency allows your customers to easily recognize your business
Sets you apart from your competition and not blend in
It gives confidence to your existing and future customers resulting in a higher retention rate
Builds credibility and equity bringing more referrals your way
Easier to release future products or services with a bigger impact in less time
In this blog, I’ve only touched on the basics of brand identity and brand image. But I hope this gives you a little more insight into each and how they’re different. In short, a logo can take 2 seconds to draw (though a good logo takes time and research to create), however, with your brand image, you must take the time and make the effort to build it.
If you’re serious about building a sustainable and strategic brand for your creative business, download my free Ultimate Guide & Workbook to Building a Strategic Brand for Your Business.
Too overwhelmed with all of this identity vs image talk and don’t know how to build a brand for your business? No stress! Simply reach out and I’d be more than happy to help you with a strategic plan for your business brand. Let’s chat!
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4 thoughts on “Why Branding is More Than Just a Logo”
I totally agree and really enjoyed your insight on logos and branding
Great! If there’s anything related to this top that you’d love to know more about, let me know!
This is such a useful blog, love how you explained brand image. So helpful!
So happy you found this useful, Mala!