When you ask people what a brand is, most people's response will likely be “it’s a logo” - either that or a burned stamp on a cows rump. We’re not going to discuss the bovine variety, but it is time to address what a brand in the business sense really is.
What’s the difference between Logo and Brand?
Both logo and brand are an important part of one another. A good way of wrapping your head around this is to think of a company as a person.
The face of this person is the logo. It’s the main part you recognise and put a name to, and it may be the first thing you engage with. The person as a whole and how they talk to you is the brand. The way they present themselves and the things they do, informs your opinion of them and whether you would interact with them again.
Using this analogy it's clear to see how important it is that both these should work together harmoniously.
What makes a good logo?
A logo is a visual signifier of the company's identity. It’s words or symbols or a combination of the two. A good logo is an effective representation of the brand, which is both easy to recognise and understand.
An example of a good logo is the Victoria and Albert Museum logo. The logo appreciates that the museums brand is more commonly engaged with as the abbreviated “V&A”. The mark itself exudes a simplicity and class which reflects the elegance of the venue and the artwork it displays. This is a wonderful “face” for the V&A brand.
What makes a good brand?
A good brand is a carefully considered execution of style and language that creates and solidifies your company's persona. Branding should reflect your company's values and be evidence of your skills. An obvious example of a company with a strong brand is Apple. Everything Apple does from their products, to their website, to their stores, all have a recognisable clean and beautiful finish. The appearance and language of their brand personifies the company’s value for making things simple to the point where the ‘technology’ behind it, is seamless.
Again in the case of Apple, the logo is an effective ‘face’ for the brand, and you can see how its logo has evolved over the years to better reflect this.
For example in Apple’s early years the logo was the same simple apple shaped mark it is today, albeit multi-coloured. These colours were there to represent, what was at the time, the revolutionary colour interface the Apple computers displayed. As their products and brand grew, the company became more about simplicity and creating seamless, humanist technology and so the colours were removed from the logo and the design simplified to reflect this.
For us at Planet, creating brand identities is our specialist subject. However more often than not people come to us asking for a logo, without considering the bigger picture of their brand.
A logo by itself is really just a graphic and a name - a face amongst thousands. A brand is what clearly communicates what you do and what makes you so great. When you combine a well thought out logo with effective branding and strategy; you have the power to engage your audience, show them your value and attract more attention. With good branding you’re worth more.