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What is the difference between logos and branding?

There’s a world of difference between a logo and branding. Logos are important but they’re only a part of a company’s overall brand. In this blog we will look at the difference between logo and branding, why we need them, and how to use them.

What is a logo?

What is the difference between logos and branding? A logo is a graphic symbol or stylised name used to represent or identify a company or organisation, product or brand. Close your eyes and try to think of ten logos. Not difficult isn’t it? Coca-Cola, Nike, BBC, Apple. Piece of cake.

Logos are surrounding us in every step of our everyday life, they are embedded in our culture and lifestyle, they communicate with the public and have a massive impact on the purchasing decisions we take.

What is a branding?

While the logo is just part of it, branding is a more overall perspective of how your customers perceive and receive your company. Branding includes every single contact your customers have with your company such as website, leaflets, product packages, slogans, fonts, images, colours, influencers that advertise your product or name, etc.

When a brand identity is well conceived and works well, you should be able to recognise the brand even if you don’t see the logo or any text. For example, YouTube’s red ‘play arrow’ is a very powerful example how such a simple graphic element could make it easy to identify the brand and send a message. If you live in the NorthWest and you drive down the M62 you recognise the blue and yellow building immediately, and long before you can read the word ‘IKEA’.

Four fundamental elements in every successful brand are:

  • Logo
  • Fonts
  • Colour scheme
  • Brand style guide

Let’s look, as an example, at Nike’s logo and branding. Nike’s logo is a very simple mark that represents speed & motion, the logo is very strong, immediately recognisable and works very well, and even its name, ‘Swoosh’, is an onomatopoeic statement about quickness and dynamism. But this isn’t everything about the Nike’s branding. Nike’s branding includes sport celebrities, store design, the music in their videos, the design of their website, product packaging and every single touch-point you have with Nike.

Branding is also about what a product or company says. Apple’s brand, for example, sends out messages of quality, luxury, desirability, design, exclusivity, etc. and this is borne out throughout its entire marketing strategy and products.

Why only having a logo isn’t enough

Your logo is a small part of a large collection of graphics, messages and other brand elements. Your customer doesn’t experience your company in the form of a logo, they receive your brand through your website, patterns, colours, leaflets, business cards, product packages, your slogans, your statements, etc. All of this is needed to gain a strong and immediate recognisable identity, and this something that every small or big business needs in order to stand out from the herd and be easily distinguishable against the backdrop of all the competitors out there.

If you would like to talk to us about how we can help with branding and company identity, please get in touch – we’d be delighted to hear from you.

Posted in Help and Advice, New Ideas, User Experience

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