Confused as to whether you need a new logo, identity or brand? The three are all part of the same animal and therefore easily confused with one another. Many talk about a good logo – when actually what they mean is a ‘good brand’ with a memorable logo.
Therefore it is crucial to understand the differences and how the three work together, especially if you are looking to improve or develop your own brand, identity or logo. Hopefully this article will make things a little clearer for you.
So let’s start with the easy part. The logo. The word ‘logo’ comes from Greek and means ‘word’ or ‘speech’, and in the same way the ancient Greeks used a pictogram to visualise words, we use a logo to visualise a company.
The logo is the mark of a company or person and works similarly like a signature. This can be a simple typeface or a combination of type and symbol that together form a trademark, making us recognise or identify a brand.
The logo becomes a part of the identity or the visual brand. The identity is a set of visual keys that together communicate the company’s personality, intentions and values to a customer. These keys usually include the logo, colours, imagery, design style, typefaces and tone of voice.
The visual brand reflects how the company wish to be perceived by it’s customers & consumers and becomes a crucial tool to communicate with them. A good visual brand engages with it’s audience and creates a memorable visual experience.
The brand is much bigger entity than either a logo or the design. Far more difficult to control, the brand is the sum of consumers perception of your product.
Consider your favourite restaurant. The chances are you will think about more than just the food. Similarly the brand would be a reflection of the whole restaurant and your experience of eating there – What the decor was like, how the waiters behaved, the quality of the food. All these touch-points, and many more, form part of the restaurants brand.
So what makes a good brand?
The best brands taps into people’s memories, aspirations & dreams. They inspire and create emotional bonds with their customers who in time become regular consumers. Think of brands such as Apple, Aston Martin, Coca Cola, Star Wars, Disney and Lego. They have over time come to represent values far beyond their core product.
Lego is a prime example – really only small pieces of plastic, the brand has come to represent so much more. It’s the worlds we built, the box under the Christmas tree that made a recognisable noise when you shook it. The fights we had with our siblings over the missing pieces and the hours we sat following instructions before we finally had the perfect castle. The fact that as a grown woman I still want to go to Legoland testifies as to how powerful a brand they possess.
How important is the logo for the brand?
Although we fall in love with a brand and not necessarily a logo, good logos reflect the brand qualities we aspire to.
Along with the visual identity a logo becomes the face of the brand. A recognisable symbol among the jungle of brands that surrounds us on a daily basis.