What’s in a Brand: Terminology Breakdown
Branding vs. Identity vs. Logo
Branding, brand identity, and brand logo: what’s the difference?
Because these three terms are often used interchangeably in marketing, many assume that they’re all synonyms for the same basic idea. While branding, brand identity, and logo design are parts of the same puzzle, they have separate roles and functions.
This blog will break down the overlaps, fundamentals, and nuances of each of these marketing building blocks.
Let’s start with the big picture. Your business has a brand, and you might not even realize it — but what is branding?
The term “branding” summarizes all the parts that pertain to your business’s identity, including your standards, methodology, appearance, messaging, stories, behavior, and of course, design. Branding describes every aspect that contributes to your company’s unique voice. As it heavily depends on interactions between your business, other businesses, your employees, and your customers, your branding should stay relatively static over time.
Being consistent and staying tuned in to what people remember about you are both crucial for building and maintaining a strong brand. In his book The Brand Gap, Marty Neumeier describes the concept of branding as “[...] a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or company. It’s not what YOU say it is. It’s what THEY say it is.”
Here are a few examples of corporations with particularly strong and successful brands:
- Amazon is universally known for online shopping with fast shipping.
- Chick-Fil-A is universally known for its great customer service.
- Apple is universally known for its innovation and design.
- Netflix is universally known for hosting movies on-demand.
Everyone has a personal identity. These identities influence how we decorate our homes, dress ourselves, choose the products we purchase, curate which songs we listen to, and connect with other like-minded individuals.
Much in the same vein, your brand identity is the “oomph” that distinguishes your business from every other little Boudreaux and Thibodeaux shop on the block. In other words, your brand identity dictates how your brand is presented to your audience. Colors, textures, shapes, tone, slogans, the general “vibe” you put out — brand identity refers to the collection of elements that come together to establish your unified brand vision.
These questions are essential to defining your brand’s identity:
- What beliefs drive your company?
- If your company was a person, how would it communicate?
- What’s your company’s purpose?
- If your company was a person, what kind of personality would it have?
- What does your company do better than anyone else?
- Why did you start your company?
- How would your customers describe your company?
Logos aren’t just pretty pictures. A logo represents your company’s brand and brand identity distilled into one identifiable mark.
These little symbols do a lot of heavy lifting; a great logo should clearly communicate who you are and what you value as a brand, play along with your industry’s standards, and leave a lasting impression on your audience.
To create a logo packed with local flavor, we utilized design aspects representative of both S&W Foods’ origins and the world of cooking. The “&” between S&W is a pan with smoke, the 3 veggies up top are the holy trinity of Cajun cuisine, and the fleur-de-lis divider symbolizes their roots in Louisiana. Combined with a muted color palette, vintage font choices, and homey custom illustration, our graphic designers crafted a logo that feels rustic, yet modern.
Strong logos are all about showing (but not telling). Each ingredient included in your logo — down to details as small as the fonts you use — should be carefully selected to accurately reflect your business’s overall brand.
In conclusion, branding is more than just your logo. It’s your company’s entire cohesive identity.
Are you having trouble finding the perfect logo or ironing out your brand's identity? Let’s have a conversation. Anntoine Marketing + Design can help you create a brand that makes a statement.