What’s the Difference Between a Logo and a Brand?

Many Businesses Confuse Brands and Logos. They Are Totally Different and Its Important You Understand the Difference.

We often hear businesses talk about rebranding their business when they really mean they want a new logo.

The reality is that most people get confused by terms like branding and logos. When most businesses talk to us about rebranding they are really talking about  getting our help with a new logo and related areas like new vehicle livery, brochures or a website.

So let’s start by defining what we mean by logo

Logo .. a symbol or other design adopted by an organization to identify its products, uniform, vehicles, etc.

That’s not the same as a brand.

A brand is an identifying mark burned on livestock or (especially formerly) criminals or slaves with a branding iron.

My guess is most of our clients don’t want to be branded in this sense.

So perhaps we need to look at company branding.

Company or business branding is the process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind.

Or put more simply. It’s what people say or think about you behind your back!

The marketer in me will tell you that branding is mainly achieved through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme and that branding aims to make you stand out in your market. I’ll perhaps also tell you that branding helps you attract and retain loyal customers.

But the customer service side of me will tell you that all the advertising in the world may help a bit, but that customers really need to experience your brand for them to say good things about you to their friends and family.

You see a brand is best established by giving customers a good experience. Things like a great product that really matches their needs, incredible customer service that never over promises but always over delivers. People Talk about things like that down the pub or over dinner.

They also talk about poor customer service and quality.  These are things that destroy a brand in minutes.

It takes years to develop a great brand that stands out as being superior. But only minutes to lose.

But Logos Are Essential

Of course we would say that wouldn’t we. We’ve designed some great logos.

So let’s explain the role of the logo.  Put simply a logo is a shorthand way of reminding you of a brand. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and our logos are an image or picture designed to remind your customer about your superb brand.

Logos come in all sort of shapes and sizes.

For example this logo is one you’ll love or not.

 

 

It’s the Apple logo and is seen on Apple products of all types. An open Macbook has the logo the right way up for anyone not using it to see. So sit the other side of the desk from a Mac user and you’ll see the Apple logo.

Put an Apple phone face down on a desk and the logo shows again. This gave Apple a great Product Placement advantage on TV and in films. The Apple logo is often seen in this way and the brand has benefited.

How to Build a Great Brand

So once the logo has sent you to a business what do they do to build their brand? Or more to the point, what can you do to build your brand?

The first thing is to give the customer or prospect a great experience. On websites we talk about UX .. User Experience. That means your website is easy to use, they can find what they want and subscribe, book, buy, or whatever they need to do, very easily. That means that when they arrive on your site it is clear what you offer or do. You don’t want a website that confuses the visitor. And once they decode to, say, buy. It needs to be very easy.

One site I advised on some years ago was quite good until someone wanted to buy. Then, as part of the shopping cart experience, buyers had to provide their date of birth. This wasn’t for an age sensitive product, its just that the date of birth requirement was built into the shopping cart process. The website had huge numbers of people stop their purchase at this stage. They thought their birthdate was going to be used for marketing purposes and they didn’t like the idea. So the UX was really bad until this was fixed. The bad user experience tarnished their name and brand.

If you have physical premises the same principles apply.

Take two pubs for example. One may be very welcoming with smiling staff and a log fire. The other might suffer from cold unsmiling staff and low temperatures. The latter will find people say negative things about it whilst the former will have people say good things. And it’s what people say about you behind your back that leads to good or bad brands.

But of course it’s not just log fires and smiles that lead to great brands. It’s everything from your website and leaflets to the way you treat people and handle simple things like phone calls. Think about the brands that have long phone queues and tell you that your call is important to them. Is their brand reflecting good practice and care for their customer.

Sometimes the only way to learn about your brand is to get an outsider to examine and experience it. That’s why we offer mystery shopping. Our team will use your website, visit your premises, or whatever is appropriate, and find out what its really like. Then we’ll give you a full report so that you can decide where it’s sensible to improve things like staff training or light a log fire.

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