In the realm of business, is there really a difference between a brand, its identity and its logo? To answer this question, we first look at the definitions:
Brand: the perceived emotional corporate image as a whole.
Identity: the visual aspects that form part of the overall brand.
Logo: the use of a mark or icon that identifies a business in its simplest form.
Thus, logo design, identity design and branding all have different roles, that together, form a perceived image for a business or product. Let’s break them down in more detail.
In a nutshell, a ‘brand’ is an organization, service or product with a “personality’ that is shaped by the perceptions of the audience. On that note, it should also be stated that a designer cannot “make” a brand – only the audience can do this. A designer forms the foundation of the brand. For example, Apple as a company, projects a humanistic corporate culture and their business values are evident throughout everything they do, from their innovative products and advertising, right through to their customer service. Apple is an emotionally humanist brand that really connects with people – when people buy or use their products or services; they feel part of the brand, like a tribe even. It is this emotional connection that creates their brand – not purely their products and logo.
One major role in the ‘brand’ or ‘corporate image’ of a company is its identity. In most cases, identity design is based around the visual devices used within a company, usually assembled within a set of guidelines. These guidelines that make up an identity usually administer how the identity is applied throughout a variety of mediums, using approved color palettes, fonts, layouts, measurements and so forth. These guidelines ensure that the identity of the company is kept coherent, which in turn, allows the brand as a whole, to be recognizable. For example, the visual devices could include a logo, business cards, products, packaging, etc. All of these things and more make up an identity and should support the brand as a whole.
A logo is simply used for identification. It identifies a company or product via the use of a mark, flag, symbol or signature. It does not sell the company directly, nor rarely does it describe a business. Logo’s derive their meaning from the quality of the thing it symbolizes, not the other way around – logos are there to identify, not to explain. It could be argued that what a logo means is more important than what it looks like. For instance, in the Apple example above, most people around the world recognize the single bite out of an apple as being synonymous with the IT company. It identifies the business in a way that is recognizable and memorable in its simplest form.
So, all three elements are equally necessary and important in building a business. Do you need help developing your brand, identity, or logo? Contact Semple Marketing to build your business today!