Let’s start with some definitions. A logo is an image that represents your business name in a visual way. It can be a logomark (company name accompanied by an icon/symbol), a wordmark (a font-only logo, think CNN), or a lettermark (a custom lettered logo, like Coca Cola).
A brand is what we like to think of as a logo brought to life. I like to think of businesses as people. The logo is the face of your business and the brand is the personality. What’s a pretty face without personality? It may attract visitors at first, but they won’t become loyal customers once they realize there’s nothing more to your business than that.
A brand identity is exactly what it sounds like: an identity for your brand. It includes the color palette, the fonts, the voice, the style, the values, and much more. It can be carefully crafted by designers like me and developed through in-store/in-person experiences.
Many create brands by accident, like the pizza parlor down the street. They may not know it, but customers get a mental picture of what that place is like from past experience eating at the parlor and interacting with the employees. So the next time they see the parlor’s logo, whether in the mail or on a list of sponsors for an event, the customer will bring up that mental picture. Let’s hope it’s a good one.
So a logo is just the beginning of your business. It needs to be fleshed out, whether it’s strategically by your team, or unintentionally by your customers. As a business, you must be aware of what experiences you are giving to your consumers. You want them to be pleasant ones that will entice them to return, correct? The best practice for a successful brand is to create its identity and stay consistent with it. Be intentional with what experience you want to deliver. As a result, you will help your consumers know, like, and trust your brand.