“What’s the difference between a logo and a brand? Aren’t they one and the same?”

Sounds like a silly question, doesn’t it? Well, it actually isn’t.

Many people often get confused when it comes to logos and brands. Sometimes, when they talk about brands, they are really referring to the logo design. Even some graphic designer agencies or marketing firms claim to create brands, when all they actually do is to design logos.

So what is a logo, and what makes it different from a brand?

What’s a Logo?

A logo is a tangible, visual representation of a brand—it is not the brand itself. It’s an easily recognizable symbol that includes the brand’s name, associated graphics, trademark, or other design elements. It is a tool that helps to communicate to the viewer what the brand is all about—its essence and characteristics and everything else in between and beyond.

What’s a Brand?

A brand refers to the intangible aspect—the experiences and impressions that people have about the product, service or business in question. It is what really separates a business from its competitors. A brand encompasses every interaction or market practice behind the business—the message, strategic positioning, marketing and promotions, impression and presence, and more—every single interaction that people have with the business.

Working Hand in Hand

Every business needs to have both a logo and a brand in order to succeed. Think about it, there may be one or two businesses who have really unique and creative logo design, but isn’t driving any profit at all (maybe because of bad customer experiences or a bad reputation in social media). Or perhaps you can think of a really great business, one that has millions or billions of patrons, but whose logo design you can’t identify or even draw with a crayon.

A compelling logo and a solid brand is necessary for any business that aims or strives for growth and success. They are indeed two different things that must work cohesively in order to achieve the desired results.

A business’ logo is a visual cue used to remind people about their brand. When people see a logo, they rarely appreciate the uniqueness or creativity behind it. Instead, they are reminded about their experiences with it—be it good or bad—and have then decided whether they would like to do business with that company or not. The logo’s job—aside from effectively communicating to the viewer the value proposition of the brand—is to provide a symbol where people can anchor their experiences and impression of a brand.

Coming up with a meaningful and impact-generating logo design to represent your brand can be somewhat of a challenge, especially if you’re not sure which design elements to use. Keep in mind that the real power of a logo is in the uniqueness and creativity applied in its construction—in the clarity by which it defines and articulates the message and value behind the brand it represents.