Confused? Don’t think there’s a difference? Think again.
We all know that logos are a vital way of communicating what your business is ‘all about’. In a competitive world a logo helps your business to stand out from the pack and differentiates you from your competitors. It also provides a face for your company that helps consumers to remember you, and let’s be honest, we humans can be pretty shallow creatures.
A company could have the best product in the world that meets all of your requirements, but if the packaging/marketing/product is hideous, would you give it a chance? Ever been on a website and bounced off it straight away because it had taken ‘homemade’ a little too far, even though it may have had the information you required? Walked out of a restaurant because they have slimy vinyl table covers? Enjoyed the rich italian vine-ripened tomato taste of the limited edition green tomato ketchup? Hopefully you get where I’m going with this… We as a species are incredibly visually orientated and as a business owner you may have a good operation running but if you are lacking in the visual department you could be hindering yourself. Your logo helps as a key visual representation of what you stand for.
Brand Identity, however, is a slightly different kettle of fish…
Whereas a logo is an ‘identifier’; a brand is the perceived emotional corporate image as a whole. The brand identity therefore comprises of the visual aspects that form part of the overall brand.
So, now that we are clear as mud, brand identity shows how that logo (or company) should apply itself in all areas to create a cohesive identity to the end consumer. This involves placement, fonts, colours and layouts – a ‘style’ if you like – which when specified in guidelines, allows any employee, or future designer to follow a complete ‘dummy’s guide to’ putting out your brand message, therefore avoiding having the message you’ve carefully crafted to be diluted in any way!
Your new brand identity does generally sit hand in hand with logo design as we’re not the kind of people to throw you into the middle of the lake in your beautiful logo canoe and not hand you the brand identity paddle, but this is something that needs to intrinsically start with you, what are your business values? As these are (hopefully) the cornerstones of your business, and therefore will not change, this is how we start – from the ground up.
So what makes a great logo? Some say simplicity, but if something is simple and nothing to do with your business model, product, or ethos, and you don’t have a billion pound budget for marketing, the truth is – the public won’t get it. Ah yes, you all squeal, what about Nike? What about Orange? And yes, I shall reply, they have marketed their brands like demons. Nike is about more than a tick, but the advertising and marketing surrounding this little symbol, have made it synonymous with the values they embody, they have created an emotional response to a little icon – brilliant.
We can do simple, and we love it, but we can also advise if this is going to be right for you and your customers. So a great logo is one that works for you and your market (sorry, there’s no exact science there…)
We also help with refreshing brand identity: you started a brilliant business and never really had a logo, or you mocked one up on your home computer, and for a while, these are all good, but if you want to compete with the big boys, or expand your market, you need to look the business. We talk a lot about our ethos here, but it important for you to know where we are coming from. Regardless of having the perfect product, superior service or an inventive idea; a brand must evolve with the world around it to survive. If your branding is not in tune with today’s consumer, your product will inevitably pass them by.