The Difference between Logo vs. Branding (With How-to Steps)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published June 26, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Most businesses strive to build an image of trust and loyalty to help ensure customer retention. They can do this by using powerful marketing tools, such as logos, to create a compelling brand strategy and maintain consistency. Understanding the differences between logos and branding can help you make strategic decisions to facilitate brand development. In this article, we compare logo vs. branding differences, explain the benefits of developing an effective brand strategy, and outline steps for implementing this strategy.

Logo vs. branding

To properly understand the differences between logo vs. branding, you can review the following definitions:

Logo

A logo is an icon that represents a brand name and what the brand does. It can be a combination of text, images, and shapes that depict a business's purpose. A logo is a vital aspect of a business, as it makes the first impression on customers and compels them to interact with the brand. It provides a symbol with which customers can easily remember the brand. Components of a logo include:

  • Colour: A logo's colour exceeds the aesthetic appeal and serves as the core communicator of the brand's messages. It usually matches the other branding materials and aids an audience's perception of the brand.

  • Typography: A logo's typography can also be its fonts and arrangement of its letters and messages.

  • Images: A logo's image can be a symbol, icon, or picture, and it typically represents the values that a brand upholds.

  • Tagline: You can find a tagline underneath a logo, and it comprises sentences that clarify what a company does. Not all logos have taglines, but you may consider including one if the logo alone is an abstract brand interpretation.

Branding

Branding refers to the steps companies take to develop the image they want their consumers to notice. It's an active process that includes decisions and activities that influence how a company's identity develops. The way a company communicates with consumers, tone, and words are usually part of its branding process. Designing a logo or website is also part of the branding process. On a larger scale, branding is all the elements that help create an identity for a company.

Related: What Is Employer Branding? (Plus How to Build a Brand)

Brand identity

A company's branding process typically leads to creating its brand identity. A brand identity is a result of an effective and consistent branding strategy. It's the way consumers perceive the brand, including the branding process and logos. These are some of the most popular elements to include in a brand identity:

  • Logo: A brand's logo is an outward and visual representation of its identity.

  • Non-visual communications: This includes interactive materials, such as audio communications.

  • Marketing materials: The way a company designs their marketing material contributes to the brand identity. Marketing strategies generally include brochures, flyers, and website posts.

  • Signage: Many companies design both their exterior and interior signage to represent their brand.

  • Product packaging: How a company packages its products can influence customers' brand perception. It's advisable to use designs and packaging that fit the brand image.

Benefits of branding

Here are the key benefits of implementing an effective brand development strategy:

Aids brand recognition

Customers are typically more likely to choose a brand they recognize over others. This is usually because they're already familiar with the brand and its values. You can create a brand identity customers can associate with value and quality with branding. Using effective branding strategies can help ensure that customers can identify the brand.

Encourages consistency

An effective brand identity can guide other critical aspects of a business, such as its processes and marketing strategies. You can model a company's marketing efforts and create consistency using its brand image. This generally helps customers relate more to their messages. For example, customers may relate more to a brand that uses the same logo for its promotions and content than a brand that frequently changes its logo.

Related: Brand Consistency: Definition, Importance and Steps

Promotes brand loyalty

Appealing branding may compel customers to continue making purchases. Essential aspects, such as brand voice, product packaging, and customer service, may increase their loyalty to the brand. Brand loyalty can also increase the number of return customers and referrals. When a brand has an image of delivering quality services, it can compel its customers to refer it to their friends and family.

Related: What Are Branding Strategies? (With Definition and Benefits)

Ensures brand credibility

It's common for customers to have reservations when trying out new products, but with a positive brand image, you can assure customers of quality. You can distinguish a brand as an established business with strong values. To achieve this, you can offer exceptional products and services, provide satisfactory customer service, and use compelling visuals to communicate with customers. This can help you establish the business as a professional brand.

Provides confidence to launch new products

It may be easier to introduce new products with a proper brand identity, as many customers trust the brand's offerings. These customers already have an interest in the company's products and services, so there are opportunities for business expansion and development. Building a positive reputation through branding can allow businesses to market and sell new products with confidence.

Gives a competitive advantage

You can distinguish a brand from competitors in the market by creating a unique brand identity. Developing an effective strategy can help you build a brand with a clear purpose and mission. Positive brand identity may influence customers into choosing it over similar brands offering the same products. This is because of the customer's perception and impression of the brand.

How to implement an efficient branding strategy

Here are steps you can follow to build a compelling brand:

1. Discover the brand's purpose

Identifying a brand's purpose can ease communication with an audience. This is a crucial step in forming the foundation of a brand and interacting with customers in a way they relate. You can hold an open discussion and gather answers to questions like, What need does the brand intend to satisfy and How can the brand differentiate itself from competitors. Getting these answers can help you develop a consistent brand image.

2. Research the market and competitor brands

Researching market competitors can offer a competitive advantage. You can study their strategies and devise ways to improve on them. Analyzing their products, services, and reviews can help you understand how to satisfy customers better. This step aims to create strategies that may compel customers to choose the brand's products and services over competitors' products.

3. Discover the brand's target audience

Identifying a brand's target audience can help you create content and offerings that appeal to their needs. For example, you can design the marketing strategies to compel the right set of consumers to click on ads and subscribe to an e-mail listing. With information from your research, you can identify the buyer's persona, which aids in brand creation. You can get information on their age, gender, income, location, and educational level. It's possible to get more detailed information that can help the brand development process, such as the customers' brand affinities, motivations, and goals.

Related: A Guide to Designing a Brand (With Steps and Tips)

4. Establish the brand's core taglines, mission, and vision statements

With a proper mission statement, it's easier for a brand to maintain quality and value. When creating a mission statement, you can begin by stating the company's services and how they intend to offer these services. This mission statement serves as a guide and commitment to accomplishing the brand's vision.

Read more: Mission, Vision, and Values Statement Examples and Benefits

5. Create a logo

Some companies design their own logo as part of the branding process, but you can also hire a creative artist or designer to create a suitable logo. As this logo visualizes the brand's core messages, it's crucial to make it exceptional. The logo designer can also develop guidelines to help ensure consistency for any future application, including the colour palette, iconography, logo size, and web elements.

6. Adopt a marketing strategy

Using a suitable marketing strategy, you can communicate the brand's core product, key features, and vision to the target audience. Understanding the target audience's persona can help you develop marketing strategies to create awareness of the product. For example, if the target audience is between 16 and 30 years old, you can consider using online advertisements and social media channels.

7. Build a website

You can build a website to provide potential customers with complete information on the brand's products and services. With the website, you can attract more attention and build a customer base for the business. This website also creates an opportunity for the brand to develop an aesthetic that matches the company's core values and message. A company website additionally provides credibility and legitimacy to the brand. Customers may browse the website and explore the brand's mission to verify that it aligns with theirs. You can also add features to allow customers to buy products directly from it.

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