a logo is not a brand

Vikings wore horns on their helmets. Napoleon was a tiny man. Earthworms become two earthworms when you cut them in half. Do you know what links all these statements together? They are ALL common misconceptions. And I’ll tell you another great one; a logo makes a brand.

Yes, this may come across as heresy, but a logo is not a brand. A logo is designed for identification purposes – with its meaning usually derived from the product or service it symbolises. It should NOT explain or sell what you do.

Think of it as your company’s ‘avatar’ rather than the make or break point of your business. This should put those nerves to rest.

For example, a TV announcer once proclaimed, “Wal-Mart has changed their brand!” which in turn, left us all gasping in shock and suspense. The Wal-Mart brand of high value, accessibility, low prices and a welcoming consumer experience has changed? What good reason would they have for doing so?

Turns out they just updated their logo and their brand was the same as it ever was. The scariest part about this news report was that the majority of people could not tell the two apart.

Many organisations seek branding agencies in hopes for a ‘new brand’, which typically means a new name, logo and look and feel from their existing one. They believe a brand begins and ends there – once their name has a good old tampering with, they can stick it under email signatures, websites and business cards, and voila, a new brand is born.

But let’s face it; no amount of clever design is going to support your company if your products are faulty.

There isn’t a pretty package in the world that will soothe your client’s frustration if your customer service is unreliable and rude. A spanking new business card is not going to get you new clients if your existing clients aren’t going to rave about the experience your brand has to offer.

A brand is so much more than a logo. A brand is everything, and everything is a brand.

A brand is your strategy, calls to action, customer service, your voice, variety of communication, the people within, your facilities and a whole bunch more.

We get it – by having an awesome looking logo, this will make you feel more ‘official’ and will act as an inevitable and eventual step in developing a visual identity. But don’t put the cart before the horse – instead, dig deep and really find what your brand stands for. Once recognised, everything should just fall into place, logo and all.

Is a logo holding back your brand from moving forward?

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How would your brand participate in the golden age of the geek?

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