The brand - always the brand!
The brand and the logo are not the same thing, although the logo is a central component of the brand. Confused? Read on for a quick breakdown of why your brand should always come first.
The logo is a part of the bigger picture of your brand identity. It’s a graphic symbol or word mark that represents the company or organisation and functions as the first point of contact with the consumer. Think the Nike Swoosh or Apple’s bitten apple. It appears everywhere from shop fronts to letterheads as a point of identification.
We talk in a lot more detail about the all important logo in our previous blog post on Branding an SME: How to Think About Your Logo. It’s worth a read if you need a bit of help with approaching your logo design.
Now, let’s get back to answering our question. So, why does the brand come first?
The umbrella term ‘brand’ covers all of the aspects of the company’s culture, mission and perception (known as ‘brand strategy’) and visual identity (known as ‘brand identity’).
So, the logo functions within your brand identity and serves as an integral cog in the brand machine.
Brand identity is where graphic design comes in. Your brand identity consists of visual elements such as your logo, brand fonts, style and tone, brand colours, tag line and other graphical components. The essential brand guidelines tie all these together to provide instruction on how these elements must be used together to ensure consistency across all media.
Brand strategy is all about the company’s long term strategic plan - it’s the blueprint by which you determine how you will build and maintain a positive brand perception and achieve your business goals. This includes elements such as your brand promise, brand values, storytelling, and all the intangible components that drive brand awareness and brand equity.
The brand strategy informs the brand identity. Every aspect of the wider brand will be taken into account when it comes to designing the logo.
All of the information needed for designing a suitable logo for a company is found in asking questions around the brand, such as who the target audience is and how the brand should be perceived.
In this sense, it has less to do with your personal taste in colour and shape and everything to do with how your company needs to come across to the target market, as established in your brand strategy.
Put simply, when we talk about ‘branding’, we talk about the strategy and identity creation for a product or company by means of identity and distinctive design. And the logo design is a major player in this process.
And there you have it. We hope this has helped clear some confusion around these two ideas. But if you’ve still got questions, we’d love to help answer them. Don’t hesitate to drop them in a message here.
We can help you ask the right questions in order to build a sense of your brand, and then bring it to life with logo design and an overall brand identity. Why not check out our post on this exact process: Your essential guide to hiring a branding agency.
And make sure to get in contact if you’re looking to get some professional expertise. We can help you at every stage of the branding or rebranding process - from your logo design right through to your social media creative.