There’s a common perception that logo design and branding are the same, and they are even used as synonyms at times. But even though they are closely connected and need to work together cohesively, they are two different processes.
Understanding the Concept of Logo Design and Branding
The process of designing a logo is referred to as logo design, and on the other hand, the process of building a brand is known as branding. Thus, in order to understand the difference between these two processes, first, we must understand what a logo and brand are.
A logo is a simple, recognizable shape that represents a company or commercial product. It is one of the many ways of setting apart your brand in this cut-throat competition where hundreds of thousands of graphic elements try to steal our attention daily. A logo is a combination of vibrant colors, symbols, graphics, etc. that helps a brand establish its visual identity. There are so many brands that we recognize in a fraction of a second by just seeing its logo, for example, Starbucks’ two-tailed smiling mermaid, Nike’s swoosh, Apple’s half bitten apple, McDonald’s “M,” Chanel’s double C’s, etc.
The renowned luxury brand Gucci’s logo is one of the most popular logos. It comprises two interlocking G’s and the brand’s name written in all capitalized letters GUCCI. However, the brand uses the two G’s separately for some of its products or simply the “GUCCI” as they did on their website. The brand uses its logo for various purposes across multiple channels.
A brand can be understood as the image that pops up in consumers’ minds when they think about any particular product, service, ad, or the company’s activities both practically and emotionally. When a customer is exposed to a touchpoint between them and the brand, a mixture of these emotional and physical signals gets triggered. These touchpoints can include – brand name, logo, products or services, ads, staff, and so on.
Continuing the example, we discussed above, after seeing the Gucci logo and if you are a little aware of the brand, several images or emotions must have come rushing to you. While some may feel a sense of elegance and luxury, some may recall its products (handbags, shoes, makeup, accessories, readymade garments, fragrances), in-store experience, and high prices. Even though different people will have different experiences and images, the brand’s overall impression will be quite alike for all of us because of Gucci’s branding.
Difference Between Logo Design and Branding
As mentioned earlier, logo design involves designing a logo, and branding involves building a brand. More specifically, branding is a strategy that organizations build to enable customers to recognize their products and company faster and provide them a reason why they should pick their offerings instead of their competitors. In essence, a branding strategy clearly states what a specific brand is and isn’t.
Numerous tools can be used for branding. Here are some of the elements that a typical brand utilizes in their strategy:
- Brand Core – purpose, vision, values
- Brand Identity – brand name, brand voice, visual identity (including logo design)
- Brand Positioning Statement
- Advertising and Communications – Television, websites, mobile applications, out-of-home ads, magazines, radios, etc.
- Sponsorships and Collaborations
- Customer service and In-store Experience
- Pricing Strategy
- Product packaging design
So, here you must have also noticed that logo design is a part of a branding strategy utilized as a tool for building the brand’s visual identity.
Importance of Logos for Branding Purposes
Even though the logo is just a tool used for branding, it is an important one as it appears on probably most of the touchpoints with consumers as well as stakeholders, like website, product, packaging, stores, employee uniforms, ads, brochures, etc.
So it is safe to say that a logo is a crucial graphic element that lets the audience recognize a brand and its products or services. You will often see that your logo is the first element that customers use for identification.
Let’s understand the importance of a well-designed logo when it comes to branding:
- Allows people to identify and remember your brand quickly
The logo is the one thing that people often use to recognize a brand, which applies to your company’s stakeholders too. It not only helps them identify your brand in the blink of an eye across various touchpoints and channels.
- Establishes consistency across different communication channels
We live in a dynamic world where there are too many options and, thus, too much competition. Companies have to maintain their presence on numerous different platforms such as websites, social media, brochures, business cards, pamphlets, blogs, and events, among others. In this case, a multipurpose logo will help you in representing your brand with consistency across multiple communication channels.
- Forms a part of your brand identity
Your brand’s logo forms a rather important part of your brand identity. It is one of the primary tools that will reflect your brand values, mission, vision, and personality graphically to your entire audience base.
- Fosters a professional image and increases expectations
Customers want the brands to carry a professional image, starting right from their logo. An intricately crafted logo design by an experienced professional will help distinguish your company from the rest of the competition while also adding an authentic and credible look and feel to it. Plus, hiring a skilled logo designer will increase the chances of you having an original, unique, and creative logo that also reflects the personality of your brand.
- Sets your brand apart from the competitors
When getting your logo design prepared, you can ask the designer to play a little with it to help your brand stand out from the ordinary. They can use a combination of colors, typographies, styles, graphical elements, etc. to create a logo design that conveys what your brand is and what it isn’t. Having a relevant logo design will also make the people remember your brand within the industry.
- Promotes an emotional connection with the stakeholders and boosts brand loyalty
You need to have a logo that customers can quickly connect to your brand as soon as they see it. Appealing logo design helps improve people’s recollection of your company and the way it makes them feel. If they have pleasant feelings associated with the company, whether the person is a prospect, worker, or supplier, your logo design will further promote their emotional connection with your brand along with the other factors. This is something we have seen many times when a company decides to change its logo, but the customers get so upset with the new logo that the company returns to the old one only.
A logo can be defined as the graphical representation of a brand. In contrast, the brand itself is a combination of physical and non-physical elements representing the particular company. Now, if the brand didn’t exist, the logo would be nothing but a mere graphic element with no meaning.
When a well-designed logo and an effective branding strategy works in a cohesive way, it not only helps the company reach its target audience effectively but also builds the brand as a tough industry-leader. So if you are an aspiring entrepreneur, do not brush aside the importance of having a well-crafted logo design and a strong branding strategy. Investing in these two will do wonders for your business eventually.