The Difference between a logo and a brand


I get questions all the time about logos and brands. Is “brand” just a fancy word for a logo? Are they used interchangeably? What exactly is a brand and do I need one for my business? I’m going to try to answer all of these questions in this post.

Most of us know what a logo is, but if you don’t, a logo is the mark or shape that’s used to represent your company.

Examples are the Target bullseye, the Nike swoosh, the McDonalds golden arches, etc. These are all something we would automatically recognize and know what the company is, right? But that’s really the extent of a logo. It’s made so that you can tell the different between items and so you can easily recognize the company.

Branding on the other hand is a more holistic approach to how your customers experience and interact with your company.

A brand is not just your logo but is everything you use to make an experience for your customer. It is every touchpoint you have with your customer and it is what you use to create either good or bad experiences and memories for your customer. And it is ultimately why your customer purchases something from your company over another.

Take a moment and think about why you picked an item over another, whether it was a cereal, a computer or a tennis shoe. What factors went into making the decision? A big one in the creative world is Nikon vs Canon. Why did you pick a canon over a nikon, or vise versa? Was it because of a commercial or ad you saw? Was it because all of your friends love their canons and had great recommendations? Is it the look of the camera? Is it because it comes in a beautiful package with simple instructions? All of these play into the brand and the value it has in your mind.

A brand includes postcards that you get from GAP in the mail that encourage you to visit a store or the website, it includes Anthropologie’s curated stores and magazines, and the Nike commercials and the celebrities they get as sponsors.

A brand includes everything: commercials, packaging, store design, product placement, sponsorships, hang tags, in-store graphics, the website, social media channels, printed pieces, photography, typography, messaging…I could go on and on.

Seth Godin said it like this:

A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer.

So remember it like this: A logo is how people recognize your company, a brand is how they remember your company.

Now, if you are wondering if you need to take a look at your brand and make sure the customer experience is what you want it to be, or maybe your brand is non-existent and you need to start choosing your logos, photography, messaging, etc, I can help. At Hayley Bigham Designs, I work with small businesses, through logo design and branding, to create a look that they are proud of and can use to grow their businesses.

I always start any relationship with a free consultation, so if you are interested, head over to the website and click the “work with me” button!