Your Logo is Not Your Brand
One of the most commonly held mistakes or misconceptions regarding logos is that they are one and the same as the brand.
For example, if you are looking for Starbucks locations and you see the logo, you’re basically saying, “That is the Starbucks brand.” The Starbucks brand in your mind is this mermaid-looking character set in green, white and black.
Well, that’s absolutely incorrect. You have to understand that brand is a broader concept than logo.
Think of two circles. One circle is huge, and this is your brand. Another circle is very, very small, and this is your logo. Now, place the logo circle inside the brand circle. What this means is that your logo is your brand, but your brand is not necessarily your logo.
Your brand is something more. Your brand involves values that people associate with when they see that logo. But it also involves the values that come to people’s minds when they hear the name of your business. That’s your brand as well.
Also, when people go to your business and they enjoy the coffee or they enjoy the books or they enjoy your plumbing services, the range of emotions they feel, their overall assessment of the experience they just had, as well as many different factors, play a role in your brand as well. Because brand, ultimately, is the big deal that you should be focused on.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that you should completely drop the ball as far as your logo is concerned. I’m not saying that you should completely skip out on your logo and pick any random logo, and call it a day so you can focus on your brand.
Well, if you were to do that, you would not be paying close attention to your brand. You will be doing your brand a big disservice because you might be shooting yourself in the foot.
Instead, you have to look at the values that your business brings to the table. You’re not just solving a problem, but you’re representing a particular human value.
For example, when people go to a Starbucks, they’re looking for quality coffee, that is true, but they’re also looking for an environment. They’re looking for a predictable and consistent set of values that they can grow to rely on.
The value of Starbucks is that it is a welcoming place. It goes out of its way to greet you. It goes out of the way to be courteous. It goes out of its way to make you feel like you matter and that they recognize and appreciate you.
Now, compare this with another coffee shop, maybe a coffee shop around the corner or across the street. When you go in, people are rude. You have to wait and make eye contact with somebody for them to serve you. When they’re serving you, they are very dismissive and sometimes insulting. Sometimes they’re even confrontational.
Which coffee shop would you rather go to? Would it really matter if the corner mom and pop shop charges a fraction of the price Starbucks charges? Probably not.
Do you see how this works? You go to Starbucks because it’s a brand. It is not a logo. There are certain expectations that you have about the brand that’s why you go back again and again and again.
Keep this in mind. If you’re able to do this, then you would be able to keep your logo distinct from your company’s brand.