HomeDigital MarketingWhich comes first: The brand or the logo?

Which comes first: The brand or the logo?

A brand is not a logo, although a logo helps brand a company. What’s the difference between these two marketing tools that help position a company in the marketplace?

Some of the branding questions I’ve received as a web designer at NEWMEDIA have led me to believe there’s confusion for some folks around “brand” and “logo.” The two are not interchangeable. They are very different yet interdependent.

What’s a logo?

A logo is the physical representation, a symbol, icon, emblem, letter mark or word, for your company. It may be the first thing a customer sees, so it’s really important. Some well-known, recognizable logos include the Nike swish and McDonald’s golden arches. 

A logo ought to be easily recognizable. It’s often trademarked. Ideally, it evokes a positive emotion among consumers. 

What’s the brand?

The brand is intangible; it’s how you’re perceived by your customers in the marketplace. We try to influence this with our brand strategy, which is a company’s tone, image, marketing tools, and so much more. A good branding strategy gets a company noticed in the marketplace. That’s the goal: to get noticed, and build a strong relationship with your audience. A good brand encourages repeat customers. 

A company’s logo ought to come out of its brand (not vice versa). A lot of research—about business goals, identity and strategy; brand personality and voice; the intended audience; and more—goes into creating a company brand. 

Out of this groundwork, a logo also may be created. It’s the face of the brand; it’s what people can relate to (think back to the familiar Nike and McDonald’s logos). 

I always keep the company’s brand in mind when designing its logo. I need to know about the company’s target audience and how it wants to be perceived. Creating a logo has less to do with the colors or symbols you like; what matters is how you want your company portrayed to your intended audience. 

Successful companies brand everything: the product packaging, how the company is presented in social media channels, the flavor of its advertising … right down to how the phones are answered at headquarters—it all comes out of a well-crafted brand. The logo is there too, facing the world, communicating the brand.

Logo and brand: They play with each other, but the brand takes the lead.
If you’d like more information about branding strategy or how NEWMEDIA can help your company strengthen its brand and logo, please contact us through our website or at (303) 860-6050.