Unless you work in the creative or marketing industry chances are you won’t know the difference, the fact is – why would you want to know? Well, if you are the one that is either in charge of your business, marketing a business or particularly if you are setting up a new business – you have to know.
Here‘s a brief explanation as to what each is, with further explanations to follow:
- A Logo: Is a businesses mark/icon that Identifies it in the simplest form
- An Identity: All visual aspects that form together to create the brand.
- The Brand: The companies corporate Image as it should be perceived by all.
Let’s break this down further and look at each part in its own right, starting with the most commonly confused…
What is the actual point of a Logo? It is to show the world who you are. It demonstrates who a company is by means of a graphic, a mark, an icon, a flag, an emblem, symbol or signature…**A Logo is not a brand in its own right**. A logo is not a USP, nor is it intended to be a pictorial version of the business itself. A true logo, is a logo that personifies the quality of what it represents…not the other way round. Too often do people wrongly assume that by having a high-quality logo for a low-quality product/service, will increase sales – It won’t! It will only achieve a negative response and cast desperations upon the companies involved in its conception and display.
When someone asks you what phone you have, you don’t then give them a full technical and schematical breakdown of your phone and all its glorious functions. 9/10 times you will simply say: “It’s a Samsung/Apple/LG etc…” The same is true with a logo. You don’t want the logo to tell everyone, everything – just to sum up the best points in a recognisable and memorable way.
IMPORTANT NOTE: it will take time for your logo to become truly recognised and it is only when this happens does it then really begin to work in the way in which it was intended.
The identity of a business is made up of visual entities that manifest from it. These are usually formulated by whomever, created it and are generally laid out in a guideline format. They will include elements like approved colour palettes, layouts, fonts etc… These ensure that the brand is represented in a coherent and fluid way, in turn aiding in brand recognition.
The identity is made up of many differing visual formats such as; A logo, Stationery, Marketing Collateral, Apparel Design, Packaging, messages, signage and much, much more.
All of the above and more make up the overall identity of a brand. The logo does take the top spot, purely as it is the identity and brand all wrapped up in one image or mark.
Do not expect this to be an all-encompassing description and breakdown as to what a brand is. Hundreds of books, written by hundreds of different authors and designers have been published about this topic. Quite rightly so as well! It is a huge topic and one that I really don’t want to go too deeply into for this post – as its purpose is to really just provide an overview. To take all of that knowledge and discussion, then break it down into a sub-section of that post is really not as easy as it sounds. But I’ll try my level best to achieve that for you… The best way to think of a brand is this, it is the personality of a business – however, not one that is home grown, moreover one that is created by its audience. Brand specialists – as agencies like to call themselves (we even do!) – DO NOT CREATE A BRAND. What they do is create the framework and foundations for a brand to build.
A brand is not a logo, a few colours, a sexy font and slogan… a brand is how all of that is perceived by those it is targeted at. Do not get me wrong.. all of that helps, and if done very well can really shape how the brand will grow – but ultimately a successful brand is one that is built through the recognition it shares with its target audience.
You have to be thinking more about where you want your business to be in a few years not where it is now – particularly if you are just starting up. If you begin your business life with a logo just because you wanted something so that people would take you seriously – you will find that further down the line you will have to spend anywhere up to and beyond 10 times that figure to re-brand. If you take the time and spend just that little bit more at the start to get something that is well thought-out, it will stand the tests of time and will help you to build a brand that suits you and your company perfectly.
In addition to this if you have a logo as your starting block that creates an air of quality that you just haven’t yet achieved – it will definitely harm your business more than help it. Why? Well, because a picture says a thousand words and will lead people to believe they are going to get something that you just cannot provide. You have to be realistic and honest – by using those values as a starting block, the brand that is built will hold fast over the coming years! Just remember that it is your audience and your customers that build your brand for you, it’s how you utilise the tools and elements that the agency gives that will make the difference.