If you’re not exactly clear on what differentiates a brand, from branding, and brand identity, rest assured, you’re in good company. For many people, the three terms sound like synonyms. But for business owners (and admittedly, digital marketing and design geeks), the three terms mean totally different things. As a business owner, if you don’t know the difference, read on for a deep dive into the difference between your brand, branding, and brand identity and how your logo design factors into all three.
What Do You Mean by Brand?
In the marketing world, a brand isn’t a label on your jeans, your juice, or your smartphone. A brand is an intangible sense of your company, or organization, created by your customers or end-user. Another way to put it is to consider it a relationship between end-users and your company or organization.
Consider, for example, Google. The Google brand is so powerful that the name of the brand is now a verb in the everyday lexicon. How many times each week do you hear someone say, “I’m not sure, I’ll Google it.” Google is certainly not the only search engine out there. But have you ever heard someone say “I’ll Yahoo it.” or “I’ll Bing it”? Unlikely. The Google brand has been created and reinforced by its customers as the go-to source for information. Further evidence that the Google brand has been created by its users can be found in the fact that Google owns dozens of companies, performing dozens of services, but it is known to almost all people as a search engine.
How is a Brand Different From Brand Identity?
If your brand is the invisible or intangible relationship customers have with your company or organization, the brand identity is the opposite. It’s the visible, tangible aspect of your company that customers engage with. To that end, your brand identity is your logo design. It is the font you use. It’s your color schematic, that makes your company easily identifiable in seconds. It is the branded content you use on social media.
What is Branding?
Branding refers to specific marketing actions companies and organizations take to guide the public’s opinion or perception of your business or organization. You may think of branding as an umbrella term for how your logo design, your mission statement, and consistency across marketing (social media, content, website, PPC ads, etc.) all work to create an enduring impression on customers.
The Role of Logo Design in Branding and Brand Identity
A well-designed logo is essential for effective brand identity and branding. Your logo plays a foundational role in introducing your company to new customers, inviting customers to develop a relationship with you, distinguishing you from your competitors, and ultimately helping to facilitate brand loyalty.
It is a mistake to think that your logo must convey the products or services that your business provides. In fact, in many instances trying to incorporate your products and services into your logo just wouldn’t make sense. Need proof that your logo need not illustrate your products to generate brand loyalty? One of the most recognizable logos in America uses a green and white mermaid to identify coffee!
However, because your logo will be used in virtually all branding efforts, you should invest time and energy into thoughtful logo design. Under no circumstances should you “try out” a temporary logo, and change it later. (Changing your logo often requires a complete rebrand, which can be cost-prohibitive for small to midsize businesses).
Logo Design for Small Business, Non-Profits, and Start-Ups
To avoid releasing a logo that doesn’t authentically convey your brand identity, look to an agency that specializes in brand identity, branding, and logo design for help. As they learn about your business, don’t be surprised if you get a custom questionnaire to fill out, so that they learn about your products, services, and mission. Your input will play an invaluable role in the custom design of your logo that will be used across all platforms to fortify the relationship your audience builds with you. Contact Jus B Media today to learn more about our logo design services.
Queen Bee at Jus B Media. Crazy about digital marketing and content strategy. I absolutely love working with clients from the ground up and creating a homogeneous message across all of their digital platforms: web, social media, and ads.