Logo and Brand

Learn the difference between a logo and a brand and why you need both to grow a freelance business that cultivates brand ambassadors, evangelists, and fans.

Unfortunately, when asked the question: “What’s the difference between a logo and a brand?”

Most small business owners respond with the exact same question: “Isn’t a logo and a brand the same thing?”

No. A logo and brand are not the same things.

A logo is an easily recognizable, reproducible, visual design element, often including a name, symbol, specified colors, or trademark. It is a quick, visual representation of a brand that is SMART — simple, memorable, appropriate, resizable, and timeless.

It doesn’t have to magically communicate everything a brand stands for or what a company does on its own, as it is simply a tool used for identification purposes.

It is only by association with a product, a service, a business, or a corporation that a logo takes on any real meaning. It derives meaning from the quality of the thing it symbolizes, not the other way around.

A logo doesn’t begin to take on meaning, reflect emotions, or communicate specific messaging until it becomes an integral part of a larger brand and is associated by others with the personal interactions and experiences had with the brand.

A brand is the culmination of every interaction with, experience of, thought about, and marketing practice by a business.

From the business owner’s perspective, a brand encompasses the positioning, messaging, and communications, the visual design, the client/customer persona, the voice, the marketing and promotions, and the presence of the company.

From the audience’s perspective, a brand is the reputation of a business that is created by how the business makes them feel, what their experience is like with the business, and what they think of the business.

Simply put, a brand is made up of every experience a customer, prospect, vendor, partner, or other person has with you, your business, product or service, online, offline, or in person, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Your actions as a business owner can help steer the development and growth of your brand, shaping how your business is perceived and how it shows up in the world. If you don’t put forth the effort to define your brand and uphold its values and mission, however, someone else will define it for you — and you may not like what it becomes.

A Logo + A Brand A logo by itself is merely a graphic element with a name. It is a piece of a brand used in visual communication.

A brand is everything — tangible and intangible — that represents a business and gives its logo meaning..

When combined, a well-designed logo and clear brand strategy help you effectively and efficiently reach your audience; communicate your message, your value, and benefits; visually attract more attention; and create extraordinary experiences.

So, my questions to you are:

  • What are you doing to give your logo meaning?
  • How are you proactively steering the development and growth of your brand and shaping how your business is perceived?
  • What guidelines do you have in place to ensure your brand is showing up consistently in the world?