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“I want to build a brand for my business…all I need is a logo.” This is the common misconception running in the minds of many clients who are looking to brand their business. They misconstrue a brand for a mere symbol, logo or a trademark used on a signboard outside the company gate. However the reality is otherwise…the logo designing is just a minor part of entire branding process. A brand is what separates large corporate giants from their small scale competitors.

The biggest dilemma that graphic designers face nowadays is clients with acute brand knowledge. Sometimes a graphic designer creates a logo design for a client that fails to establish its business presence in market. The client throws all the blame of failure on the faulty logo design. However, in reality, it was not the logo that fell short and the brand that failed.

 

How a brand is more than a Logo:

Picture this…you have never heard of McDonald’s before (just assume for a moment). You are unaware of the corporation and what it has to offer to you. Now imagine… if you pass by a ‘Golden arches’ logo in an ad or a billboard, would you be amazed by it?…Certainly… not I presume? Now coming back to reality, since famous brands like McDonalds has actively communicated their logo and established its connection with the company, which is why you have a strong awareness about it. That strong perception created in the minds of customers is the brand that has been established.
 

• Brand is not a mark, it LEAVES a mark:

This is the biggest fallacy of branding made by many business owners and entrepreneurs. Brand is not just a mark or a symbol that you put on your company sign board. On the contrary, a brand LEAVES a mark on your customer that is eternal and everlasting.

 

• Companies make logos, CUSTOMERS make brands:

If you think that you can make a brand by designing a logo, then I’m afraid you’re mistaken. Brand is not a tangible thing that can be built hypothetically. A brand encompasses whatever its customers think about it. In short, you can build a logo, but it is customers who build a brand. Big Ten logo redesign is a living example of this. The company decided on their logo, but in the end it was the Big Ten fans that decided the fate of the brand.

 

• Logo is an illustration, brand is a VISION:

Another major distinction between a logo and a brand is their focus span. Logos illustrates what a company stands for, what it has to offer and what is its purpose of existence. In contrast, a brand has strategic focus. It depicts a vision of the firm as to what the brand will be and what it promises to its customers in the future.

 

• Logos project, brands PROTECT:

A logo design is a visual representation of any company or business. It vividly projects the mesas age of the company’s existence in the industry. A brand goes one step further in protecting the image of the firm. Whatever you establish through your logo design is protected by your brand. The gap logo fiasco is a perfect example in this case. The company decided on a redesigned logo but failed badly in front of their customers. However, their longstanding brand power protected them from severe damage.

 

To wrap it up in a nutshell, logos lay the foundation of a brand but are not entirely sufficient to establish their presence. Brand marketing does not simply end on a logo design. They must be thoroughly communicated and inculcated in order to be recognized.

 

Author Charlie B. Johnson

has written Posts 388 .

  1. carvining time On February 1st, 2011 at 11:15 pm
    1

    Great. it was so confused about this when I was in the corporate design class!

  1. Brand Box On February 1st, 2011 at 11:49 pm
    2

    Every brand being popular by strong marketing but, brand logo is the main part .

  1. Pinky Tuscadero On February 2nd, 2011 at 12:12 am
    3

    I thought that The Gap changed their logo

  1. Anees On February 2nd, 2011 at 1:07 am
    4

    Great post! love that all logos! n agree with this article! “for 2nd one”

  1. abdul On February 2nd, 2011 at 1:58 am
    5

    great post! agreed…your logo is actually your brand power!

  1. DTX Studios On February 4th, 2011 at 12:11 am
    6

    Yup, valid points. Agree with your post. Thanks for the share.

  1. MadMindStudios.com On February 4th, 2011 at 8:48 pm
    7

    I don’t get the GAP logo, what is so special about that.

  1. John On February 6th, 2011 at 11:59 am
    8

    Good write up. It would be nice to add how corporate branding changes with the times also.

  1. 9

    [...] I have been thinking a lot the last couple months about brands and logos . . . as I get ask a lot what the difference is. The staff at Graphic Design Blog have written a great post on this read it below or check it out on their website. [...]

  1. Ashley Panter On February 7th, 2011 at 11:17 pm
    10

    I really like nike’s logo, but it’s sp simple. It’s timeless and very well branded. However, GAP’s logo is terrible. It has zero creativity. At least Coca Cola used some sort of script to make the design interesting. GAP could do better… and so could the Big Ten.

  1. Chicago Marketing Company On February 11th, 2011 at 11:22 am
    11

    So so true. People come to us all the time with ‘I only need a logo’ – it’s about the entire brand! I wish business owners knew this.

  1. Adhere Creative On February 14th, 2011 at 1:08 pm
    12

    Great article and so true, Many business owners think their brand is the logo or marketing pieces they have. When their brand is the emotional perception or “gut feeling” the public has about their company. Designers make the brand identity but every experience a customer has with a company from the person answering the phone to the delivery guy, to every marketing touch point crafts what is ultimately a company’s brand.

    Again Great post, I look forward to reading more

  1. NewWebDesign.com On February 16th, 2011 at 4:40 pm
    13

    With logos, sometimes simple is better. The New York Yankees logo is just an ‘N’ and a ‘Y’ overlapped, but it is a recognizable icon everywhere in the United States.
    And in relation to the new Gap logo controversy, sometimes people are just so familiar with the old logo that the new one puts them off and gets them away from their comfort zone. On the other hand, sometimes a logo redesign can bring a brand back from obsolescence; Radio Shack rebranding themselves as ‘The Shack’ is a great marketing ploy.

  1. Pixelslip.com On February 16th, 2011 at 5:46 pm
    14

    Very good article. Many people fail to recognize that there is more to a brand than just a logo. Companies need to keep their brand in mind with all marketing material. Sticking your logo on a pamphlet does not make it branded there is so much more to consider.

  1. Branding Consultant On February 24th, 2011 at 6:08 am
    15

    A few year ago there was less confusion about branding as it wasn’t such a general term. In recent years branding has become a buzz word with little understanding. Unfortunately a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

    I always clarify what our client’s mean when they use industry terms to ensure our communication is clear. it’s amazing how many people use terms and don’t understand what they actually mean. It’s particularly worrying that a lot of marketing speak on the subject with authority without sufficient knowledge.

  1. CT Design On March 2nd, 2011 at 10:13 pm
    16

    Nice post and i like your choose of logos. They are some of the best logos ever made some of them are still going strong after decades.

  1. Creative Alys On March 11th, 2011 at 4:32 pm
    17

    A good logo which stands out is the key to successful business as far as I am concerned. Anyone who disagrees, clearly have no idea.

  1. Leslie138 On July 28th, 2011 at 9:40 pm
    18

    I agree, logo can determine the success of a business. Logos are only successful when they truly reflects the company. They are like the profile pictures on Facebook, they can determine whether or not a customer wants to enter the store.

  1. Shane Harwood On January 13th, 2012 at 8:07 pm
    19

    I agree with Alys here, logo is the most factor when it comes to marketing.


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