Nowadays, everyone is discussing about the power of marketing or how influent a brand is. There is no wonder, as a web related expert, to have tons of clients interested in creating for their business profitable marketing campaigns. Willing or not, the Internet is turning into a new commercial environment and the users are turning into potential customers…is it good or not…nobody knows!
Under these circumstances, it’s normal for every business owner to manifest interest in making a good online presence for his/her affairs. The biggest issue is that many people are considering themselves experts in every domains and it can’t be ever pardoned. In my humble career as a logo designer, I met clients that wanted to have a new brand…a “shiny one”! Usually, my answer simply demotivated them: “if I was very good at making new brands, I wouldn’t create only logos.” Yep, between logos and brands is a huge difference; this fact must be well known for any logo designer and they must teach the clients. This article has multiple purposes and I consider that it will be very useful for many categories of people. This article is useful for the novice logo designers that need some clarifications about, maybe some experienced logo designers need a brief refreshing of their theoretical skills and it will be totally useful for the clients that want to make an idea about the differences and the common points of these two entities, logo respectively, brand.
So, what is a logo?
No matter how much we appreciate our profession, a logo is a graphical creation and nothing more. If you create a wonderful logo and keep it on your hard disk none will remark it. Much more, you may promote it on various channels: it may be added on a business card, on a T-shirt…it still won’t say something, or the message is not relevant. Usually people will say that is a nice drawing…is it the role of logo? Not quite, therefore, it must be inserted into another process and surely, the results will be different. How is named this process…you guessed, it is branding.
What is a brand?
A good logo may be created in few days or weeks but a decent brand can’t be formed in years. While a good logo may be bought with few hundred of dollars, a good brand asks for incomparable more. Let’s see how a brand is born (warning, it is a very simplistic approach):
- You must have an entity, a product or a company that should be the subject of branding;
- The next phase suppose to have a clear plan of what you want to do; it usually requires the work of a economist or a very entrepreneurial approach;
- A logo is the symbol that makes the connection between the owner and the clients, the primordial condition is to have the same message;
- The next step consists in creating and applying of a good promotional campaign- it means a huge endeavor and many resources.
- After a while people will recognize the logo, will appreciate the products and in this way, any new product having your logo will benefit from the same appreciation.
In conclusion, a logo is just a part, but a very important one, from your brand.
There is another notion that will drive crazy any reader that just delimitated the above two concepts: the visual identity.
The visual identity is referring to the all items that graphically represent the owner. In fact, the visual identity consists in the assembly formed by business cards, posters, banners, brochures or any graphical representation of the business. Now it’s simple to understand: a logo is created by a logo designer, a visual identity by a designer and a brand involves the participation of more experts (marketers, designers, economists). Mathematically explained, a brand includes the visual identity and it includes the logo.
I presented here as separated entities, but in reality, the situation is a little bit different: these are so strong connected that usually are considered as a single entity (this is the reason of the common confusion of a logo with a brand). The ones that have the hands dirty with these ideas surely will understand the notions above-mentioned but the beginners will still encounter some issues. Definitely, the power of example is phenomenal and the next case study will help them.
Case Study: Red Bull
Red Bull – Logo:
It is a nice graphical realization but definitely, you can’t deduce too much about the owner of the logo only by studying it. Quite probable, the product, or the company behind this logo involves physical strength and why not, some violence. Don’t take me wrong but I don’t see any clue to make me think that it may address to the young people. (personal opinions)
Red Bull – Visual identity:
By admiring the presence of this logo on various items, you have now a more coherent idea about its purpose and message. Undoubtedly, it invokes strength and energy but there are added a strong originality in addition to freedom and imagination. These ingredients create the perfect cocktail targeted for the young and middle age segment of population. Now Red Bull may be regarded as the daily dose of energy drink enough to give you super powers simultaneously with making you an enjoyable and charismatic individual.
Red Bull – Brand
The image created around Red Bull isn’t a chaotic process or just a happy situation; it is the result of great endeavors and a very well defined strategy. The latest even, the great challenge of Felix Baumgartner is nothing more than the icing on the cake. The brand of Red Bull was built on the idea that this beverage will transform in something usual in our activities, it should give you the energy to pass any difficult moment of the day and besides that to shape around the drinker the idea that he is cool, charismatic, courageous, and very original. There is nothing more courageous and in the same time original than making what Felix realized, a space jump.
Disclaimer: it wasn’t an unfair promo for Red Bull products, it is just an example. I preferred a huge brand and a recent event just to make everything clearer.
– Written by Daniel –