What’s The Difference Between A ‘Logo’ And A ‘Brand’

Well, they are not to be confused as ‘one and the same’.  A logo is a visual element, symbol, trademark or icon bearing the company name but even if you consider that yours is eye-catching and well designed, by placing it on every piece of company collateral does not a brand make. It does not convey the aesthetic, ethos or attitude behind your business. However, placed within a smorgasbord of colour palettes, fonts, content style and photography or graphic elements, it becomes more than a simple insignia. Together, these components allow you to expand the visual image of your business, providing a consistent look and feel across all your marketing touchpoints. This means that everything from humble stationery and company literature to your website and social media becomes instantly recognisable as ‘you’… even without the logo present. 


Consider your choice of imagery, for instance. Are you promoting engaging and aspirational lifestyle imagery? Perhaps you consider a more ethereal or wistful kind of photography or maybe just the use of black and white photography is the perfect option to create a certain look or feel. Who are you trying to appeal to? Who is your ideal client? Picture them in your head, base them on a friend perhaps, what are they looking for, what appeals to them? What kind of things may resonate with that person?. Do try to avoid clichéd imagery though…I have lost count of how many pictures of stacked pebbles I see on yoga or massage business websites. Free images are available but the best photography requires a licence fee. Your designer can advise you on this.


And in terms of content, what sort of messaging or information really says something about your business, what kind of values or culture do you base that business on. It’s not enough to re-post yet another inspirational quote. Try to remain original, true to who you are and who you want to attract to your business. Write about the things that inspired you to start the business and what incentivises you. Or maybe, you have a story that is intrinsic to what ‘service’ you offer as opposed to a product you are selling. Potential clients want to know that you are relatable and empathetic.


The theory behind the effects that colour has on our psyche is the subject of many studies on their own. There are certain hues that instil different emotional responses. For instance, dark blue is often used on banks or heritage companies. It evokes trust, tradition, authority and professionalism.  Lighter tones of blue speak to us of clinical companies or wellness. Greens are synonymous with freshness and cleanliness or natural evocations, therefore hues of green are often prevalent in food industries or environmental areas.  Orange is more youthful, accessible, fun and affordable. (Consider Easyjet, Sainsburys, Orange Mobile). So colour really does matter.

Think of the late great ‘Prince’. Flamboyant, supremely talented and totally in control of his ‘brand’. Yes, at one point while in conflict with his record company, he adopted his logo and became simply a symbol. This alone was a masterful use of his logo and such was the power of his popularity, this served only to raise his profile and add clout to his protest. It didn’t matter that we didn’t see his face for a year, his ‘purpleness’ was enough. That colour, once only synonymous with high ranking clergy and kings will forever be associated with this diminutive pop genius. But also, his androgynous look and style, flouncy shirts, foiled frock coats, eye-watering pants and high heels, a curious mash-up of Hendrix meets Little Richard were all part of his brand… His ‘look’, his ‘image’. The colour purple remains inextricably linked with him while he passes into iconic status.


Well, in these digitally charged days of social media, it’s simply not enough to pop a logo on a leaflet, pop it through a few doors and hope for the best. Yes, by all means, do invest in printed media too but make sure that your promotional leaflets reflect your website and that in turn, your social media posts also chime cohesively with your website. Remember, it’s an immediate world we reside in, we are bombarded daily with marketing messages and visual stimulation…your business needs to stand out and be recognised, otherwise, potential clients may just click away.