Why your brand is not your logo - Free branding guide for SMEs
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Why your brand is not your logo

A good logo is enticing. It can spark imagination and convey a brand’s messaging through simple design elements like colour or shape. But your logo is not your brand. A logo is one of the many parts that a brand is made up of. It works in conjunction with other elements to make a brand a fully-fledged expression of a business’s story, values and personality. 

What is a brand? 

Branding reflects everything about your company – who you are, what you do and how you work. It encompasses so many things that are impossible to convey through something as simple as a logo. 

The main elements of branding include:

  • Tone of voice
  • Company culture 
  • Photography style
  • Logo
  • Typography
  • Style guide 
  • Colour palette 
  • Office etiquette 

What makes an effective brand? 

If you want your brand to reflect everything you do, there are key components of great branding that you have to keep in mind:

Brand identity 

Brand identity is how people recognise your brand. This includes easily recognisable elements such as its name or logo.

Brand personality

These are the emotional qualities that people associate with your brand. This is often portrayed through its tone of voice or messaging. 

Brand experience 

This is the experience that your customer has with your brand, from the service they receive or product they buy to how they interact with staff. 

Brand image

This refers to the image people conjure up in their minds when thinking about your brand, like if they relate your brand to a particular service or standard. 

Brand positioning

Brand positioning is where your brand is placed in its relevant market. For instance, your brand may be aimed at women over 40, so it would be positioned in a way that targets this audience.  

Brand equity

A brand’s equity is its value. Your brand’s value can include revenue, market share and even it’s perception.

Brand differentiation

This is how your brand differentiates itself from its competitors through unique selling points. 

Brand communication

This is your brand’s messaging through various marketing outlets as well as internal comms. 

Brand extension

Brand extension is how a brand has changed and developed from its original concept or services. For example, we originally offered website design and build and we now offer a full range of UX (user experience) services from consultancy to workshops.

Brand gap 

This is the gap between what a business promises to its clients vs what it delivers. A successful brand has a very small gap.

What makes a good logo?

There are many elements of a logo that you could say are important. But the one aspect of a logo that is more important than colour, shape or font is the question is – is it recognisable? 

Think of all the best logos you’ve ever seen. Every single one is memorable. If you can see a logo and instantly associate it to a brand, the logo has done its job. 

Brand vs logo – what’s the difference?

A logo is a physical thing, whereas a brand is an entire experience. Branding is how people feel about your company, whether they are clients or employees. Think about the emotional impact you feel from a logo as opposed to speaking to a friendly member of staff over the phone. A great brand makes you feel something.

What came first, the brand or the logo? 

Creating the brand identity of your business can be an in-depth and considered process. It’s a common misconception that rebranding means simply changing your logo. But, a logo should be one of the last parts of the branding process. If you don’t know what your brand stands for, what it sounds like, then how are you going to get your logo to reflect your business? 

You must start the branding process by working on crucial non-visual elements such as defining your audience and deciding on your tone of voice. It’s not all about looks! If you want to know more about how to create a brand for your SME, we have a guide that can help you out. 

Why logos have lost impact

Simplicity is stylish. It has become trendy to avoid traditional logo designs altogether, with many brands opting for their name written in a nice font. Although a lot of designs for big brands remain iconic, such as Nike’s tick, Starbucks’ siren and Apple’s, well… apple, symbols are on their way out. 

With the rise of wordmark logos, a stronger emphasis is put on other areas of branding to convey messaging. Take Netflix for example, its logo is simply its name written in red, stretched letters. You don’t pick up Netflix’s branding from its logo, you know the brand through its advertising style, user experience and customer service.

Whilst logos are nice to look at, they aren’t the be-all and end-all. We don’t advise you to completely disregard your logo, it’s a crucial piece of your branding puzzle – but your branding as a whole is one of the most important parts of your business,  and every part of it needs equal attention.

Catch you next time!

We hope you found this blog helpful and understand the importance of branding! If you have any questions on branding, feel free tweet us with the hashtag #UnderstandBrand.

If you want to take your branding to the next level, find out the six quick online branding wins for your SME. Or, if you’re starting from scratch, learn how to create a killer brand

Psst! We also offer branding services. Email us at hey@matchstickcreative.co.uk to find out more.

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