You may very well need a logo, but did you also know there’s business identity and branding? There are definitely some differences between a brand, identity, and a logo. In this article, I’m hoping to help you make that decision for your business.
For starters, what exactly is a logo?
A logo is really a graphic that represents a person, business, or organization. It is usually created with the business name in it, but is sometimes also used without the business name. Sometimes they only consist of the business name itself.
You can (and should) have multiple versions of a logo. No matter what your logo looks like, it should always be consistent, unique, meaningful, and appealing to your target audience.
The identity of your business refers to the overall look and feel of all elements related to your business. Someone should be able to associate these elements with your business even when your logo isn’t nearby. For example, who’s website do you think the following images are from?
Most people recognize that these screenshots are of the Target website. Why is that recognizable?
Of course, it’s important to keep your logo consistent, but to really be recognizable, a business’s identity goes beyond that. Identity includes being consistent in your use of typography (fonts, letter spacing, line height), your color palette, and your overall voice in copy writing. A consistent look and feel in your photos also play a big part. Target always uses realistic, personable, friendly photos.
When one of your clients receives an invoice, estimate, letter, newsletter, etc. it should contain the same typography, color palette, and overall tone of voice that your website and business cards have.
A brand encompasses both your logo and identity. It is partially created within your business or organization through customer service, messaging, and reputation management.
Branding directly relates to your promise to your consumers. If a consumer has a problem, will you follow up with them and resolve it? If so, how quickly? How friendly is your staff when dealing with them? When someone posts a negative review about your business online, how do you handle that?
Here’s an example of Target’s response to a comment on their Facebook page. They could have easily ignored this comment, but they took the time to respond.
All of these things matter and build an immediate image of your business in the mind of your consumers. Overall, branding is a combination of how your company defines itself and how other’s view you.
Note: Target Brands, Inc. Target, and the Bullseye Design are trademarks of Target Brands, Inc.