Logos and Brands—What's the Difference?

September 13, 2019

Evan Pitchie

Many people use the terms "logo" and "brand" interchangeably, but the reality is that they are not the same.

A logo is a visual representation or mark to identify your brand. It doesn't necessarily have to demonstrate what your company does. For example, Apple's logo is a mark of a bitten apple—but their operations have nothing to do with fruits. Starbucks' logo is a mermaid, but its operations have nothing to do with mythical creatures.

A brand, defined by Marty Neumeier, “is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or organization.” How the company looks, sounds, and feels are elements that make up a brand. It fuels the sentimental reasons that drive consumers towards Nike or Adidas and McDonald's or Burger King.

Here are 4 questions you can ask to identify the strength of your brand:

  • What words come to mind when you think about [brand name]?
  • What feelings come to mind when you think about [brand name]?
  • What impact does [brand name] have in your life?
  • How does [brand name] stand out compared to others?

If your audience's answers match your answers, then there's a good chance you have a strong brand! If their answers don't match, then you might need to revisit your approach.

You can do this exercise internally or work with a branding agency. Doing it in-house would mean that you would not have to spend additional resources, but you may lose on value if you don't have the expertise. Working with an external party will help bring more clarity as they will not have tunnel vision and are the experts on the subject—which will allow you to concentrate on making your customers and users happy.

Interested in having a conversation about your brand?
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