Before comparing branding and logos let’s take a step back and define what each element is. A logo is a symbol that consumers can quickly recognize as belonging to a business, product(s) or service(s). A brand is an idea or an impression that consumers have, branding is attaching that idea to your business. Branding also consists of the overall image you portray via your business cards, website and additional marketing materials.
For example the “golden arches” of McDonald’s is iconic and just the sight of that big rounded yellow M makes you think of the restaurant. But the company’s brand is the impression it brings to mind, which for most people is something along the lines of a family friendly place for reliable fast food.
A logo can be a part of a company’s branding strategy as one more way to instantly connect with the audience but it’s not the only aspect of company branding. Similarly a strong brand image will enhance the public’s recognition of a logo.
Another example is Tingalls Graphic Design, which uses the logo shown above. When you see this logo you know it’s connected to Tingalls Graphic Design. But another big part of our company brand is telling you what we do through our logo and our trademarked slogan “designs that make you money.” Our branding also includes the consistent use of the red and white exclamation point and brown polka dots.
While having a logo is a great way to not only gain recognition from the public but also to reinforce it, you’ve got to establish a positive and consistent brand image first. If your brand is unknown then your logo will often go ignored as it doesn’t register any impression with viewers. Think of your brand as the big picture and your logo as an important part of the company branding but still just one element inside the brand.