Your brand is not your logo.
It’s a common misconception, and one that confuses a lot of people. Yes, even those of us in the design industry.
So, let’s get into the differences, and what you need to know in order to get started on a solid foundation towards starting, and growing your business.
Designing your logo and the visual aspects of your brand isn’t something you should jump into immediately. It takes careful thought and planning.
The first step is to think about what you want your business to communicate. To represent. This includes your values, who you serve, and why you do what you do.
Once you’re clear on these things, you’ll be better equipped to define and achieve your goals for your business. To start building your brand.
What is a Brand?
Basically, it’s your reputation.
Your clients and customers will define your brand. Not you. As Marty Neumeier writes in ‘The Brand Gap’:
Branding and brand design isn’t just a matter of having a logo made and placing it all over the internet. Your brand is what people feel when they interact with your business. It’s an emotional connection you have with your clients or customers.
When you think about Netflix, for example, what emotions come up for you? Your experience of this brand is what gives it meaning.
Here’s a short video that sums it up nicely.
Where Does My Logo Fit In?
Your logo is the visual mark of your business and promotes recognition.
It forms part of your visual identity/brand identity, which includes all the elements that represent your brand. These are things like your colour scheme, fonts, imagery, messaging, stationary, etc.
Even though your logo isn’t your brand, it still forms part of that brand. So, it’s vital to have a well-designed logo that communicates your message accurately.
Over time, your visual identity takes on meaning and comes to be associated with people’s overall experience of your brand.
It’s also important to be consistent in what you’re putting out there to represent your business. Both in the visual aspects of your business, as well as your actions. The actions that you take as a business or entrepreneur will all contribute to how people view you.
A logo represents your values, who you are, and why you do what you do. Your brand is what others think and feel about you and your business.
Although they are two separate things, they form part of the same whole, and therefore need to work together.