Brand Identity vs. Logo Design

Cristian
by Cristian Pacheco, on Aug 12, 2020 / Perspective

If you can answer this one question, then we won’t get mad if you skim through.

What is the difference between a logo and a brand?

Most people will tell you that both things are the same. The truth is, the logo design is only part of the branding process. The brands we recognize and love today have been instilled in us through iconic logo marks and positive experiences. To create the connection between the brand and the consumer, you need to look at the holistic brand package.

What is Brand Identity?

Before you get to see the picture, you need to put the puzzle pieces together. In other words, exploring and defining your brand’s identity will make the logo design process a lot more successful.

Brand identity packages can consist of:

  • Naming the brand
  • Logo design
  • Setting the color scheme
  • Typography system
  • Defining the language and tone
  • Creating the voice
  • Much more!

Think of your brand identity package as the tangible things that people experience when they interact with your brand. This consists of your ad designs, flyers, packaging, store design, web design, and much more. The most unique brands formulate brand guides that are distinct and cohesive. The goal with brand identity is to create an experience that leaves a positive and lasting impression on a consumer’s mind. This is how you begin to generate interest, motivate buyers, and build loyalty.

What makes a strong brand identity?

The iconic Nike Air Jordan can be recognized all over the world, from the most advanced nations to even the most remote areas. Most of us know the influence Michael Jordan continues to have on the world. The Air Jordan brand was manifested through Michael’s history as arguably the best basketball player to have graced the game. His success on the court allowed him to create a successful clothing sports brand even past his retirement. That is because the success of the Air Jordan is not only attributed to Michael’s basketball achievements, but also tied to what Michael represented as a player.

On the court, Michael was admired for his unmatched determination to win and to be the best. Everyone wants to be like Mike. As an idol to many, it’s only natural that his brand would be widely supported. Nike and the Air Jordan brand used many of Michael’s most iconic moments to create a brand that can allow his fans to feel like Mike. This explains the massive long lines of customers that form outside mall centers at 5 a.m. waiting for the next Air Jordan shoe. It also explains how online releases sell out quicker than a human can physically enter billing and shipping details.

brand identity - crowd outside foot locker

Brand Loyalty

This type of brand loyalty, recognition, and support is possible through the brand’s consistent way of connecting the products with Michael Jordan’s life. Michael was able to connect directly with his customers by being the main image of the brand. This is directly seen through the Jumpman logo that Air Jordan uses to brand a lot of their merchandise. The Jumpman logo was inspired by a photo of Michael attempting a slam dunk and used the pose to create the iconic silhouette. The famous Jumpman pose reminds fans how captivating Michael Jordan was on the court.

This made an instant connection between the logo, the brand, and the consumer’s memories of Jordan. It’s every brand’s dream to create the following, loyalty, and enthusiasm that Jordan has with their customers. As consumers we see the Jumpman Air Jordan brand and instantly recognize. It took Michael his entire life to build the reputation of being the best player which allowed him to then build the Air Jordan empire. Hopefully by now you can see that building brands is beyond creating a logo and announcing yourself to the world!

Branding’s Bottom Line:

Good Branding = Good Communication

As you work to build your brand’s identity, make sure that you’re looking at every brand touchpoint you may have with consumers. Determine the perception that you hope to create, this will help position yourself in a way where you design for your audience. Make sure that every element you define for your brand helps tell your story and helps attract your target audience. Even small decisions like your brand’s color scheme can have a massive effect in the minds of consumers for years to come. Always look at it like this, if you’re not taking the time to build your brand’s identity somewhere another competitor is. Do yourself the favor and differentiate yourself in the market by creating strong brands that communicate efficiently.

What is Logo Design?

Understanding the logo design process and how it fits into your brand identity package is an important step to creating timeless brands.

To start, let’s begin by defining what a logo is. Every brand needs a visual mark that people can use to identify a company, an entity, or commercial products. Logos can be a combination of many elements from typography, graphic symbols, colors, and other graphic elements. The process of “creating the logo” fits into your brand identity strategy as we discussed above. Once you start to define the brand, the concept for the logo starts to become clearer and meaningful. Oftentimes we see people start with the logo first and then plan to fill in the blanks as they go along. The problem with this is that you can miss out on various opportunities to create authentic and unique brands.

Take the time to conduct market research to understand your landscape

This helps know what exists to avoid looking similar and also helps you see what’s not being done to stand out. The next step is to start defining the experience you want to create for your target market. At this point, gears start to turn and you’ll begin to see a possible image, voice, colors, or other ideas that you may feel will attract consumers. Taking the time to do this will not only save you time and money in the logo design process, but it will also set you up to have a logo that you can grow into. This is huge as you want a logo design that won’t need to be changed in 5-10 years.

nike air jordan brand identity using jumpman logo

In the graphic above, we bring back the Air Jordan brand and focus on the Jumpman logo. In the graphic you’ll see how the Air Jordan brand uses the Jumpman logomark to create their identity. The feeling you get when you see the Jumpman symbol isn’t from the logo design alone, remember, it comes from Michael Jordan’s history as a basketball player. Use your logo to remind people of who you are, what you do, and also who you want to become.

 

Let’s Recap

Here’s a very short way of remembering everything we talked about:

Brand = what people say about you
Branding = what you say to people
Logo= the graphic people see to identity you

Remember it like this and you’ll never have to wonder about branding or logos again! If you have any questions about branding or logo designing feel free to reach out!

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