It’s easy to assume that logos and brands are synonymous; however, brand is a much broader term. Think of logos as the building blocks of brands. They are identifiers for your company. The Nike swoosh, McDonald’s Golden Arches and the Target bullseye are examples of logos that are extremely recognizable in today’s society. Each are representative of their corporations, each can stand by itself and can identify their respective companies without having the company name beside it. But, they do not, by themselves, create the brand.
Branding is much more than just a logo. Your brand conveys your company philosophy and tells your prospects and customers what they can expect from you. Brands lets people know whether you are a company with luxury items (think Jaguar) or if you have lower prices (think Walmart). Your branding must tell your story and do it in an easy-to-understand way.
For small businesses or sole proprietors, branding should also reflect who you are and how you are different than your competitors. The challenge in marketing small businesses or sole proprietors is designing a brand strategy that illustrates your commitment to providing comparable products and services to larger, more well-known companies in the same industry.
Brands create credibility. The end goal of proper branding is creating loyalty so your customers think of you as their go-to provider for your goods and services. Once you have developed your brand, you can move forward with your brand strategy. A branding or marketing professional should coordinate with the print and web designers to create a cohesive plan for constructing your brand strategy.
Your logo is an integral part of your brand and should be used on all your marketing, both digital and printed. It’s essential that your logo be displayed identically on all marketing pieces. It should be sized proportionally and maintain the same color palette. Remember that your logo is a starting point. Branding is an image.