When most people think of branding, the first thing that comes to mind is logo designing. However, a common mistake people make, especially when starting a new business, is confusing logo designing with branding. Both are different and are not interchangeable. It is widely misunderstood that logo is the single entity needed for branding. How can you differentiate between Logo and Branding? Well, here’s the hitchhiker’s guide to the branding galaxy!
- Logo is a visual signature of the brand or company. It can be an icon or symbol (remember the Nike swoosh!) or monogram (like LG) or wordmark (think Google).
Branding is the active process of shaping the perceptions that consumers have about your company/product.
Way more than shoes
For instance, look deep inside Nike’s brand strategy and you’ll find the classic story of the hero’s journey. Nike brand strategy takes the emotional marketing story of the Hero and turns it inward. The hero starts from humble beginnings, challenges a foe greater than he, and against all odds, prevails. You are the hero, and your lazy side is the villain. Similarly, their iconic slogan Just Do It resonates with just about everyone. It connects with individuals universally, allowing anyone and everyone to come up with their interpretation. It creates a relationship between the brand and its fans. It’s actionable and speaks to you on the individual level.
This approach to inspire customers and empower them is what makes Nike one of the most effective emotional branding examples in the marketing world today.
- Logos don’t trigger an emotional connect, but brands do. Logos are a tangible way to express essence of your brand. Whereas, every touch-point your customers have with your product or service is what adds up finally to make it a Brand.
Not just coffee!
For example, the Starbucks siren logo is one of the most recognized logo worldwide. But why do people recall this simple logo so well? Because right from its inception, Starbucks has focused on creating a relaxing and enjoyable experience for people and not just sell coffee. Success of Starbucks is a clear example of how brand perception matters. Starbucks had a vision – “One cup. One customer. One partner. One experience at a time”. And its branding strategy was designed around this vision. Starbucks believes a coffeehouse should be a welcoming, inviting and familiar place for people to connect, so they design their stores to reflect the unique character of the neighborhoods they serve. The choice of furniture and fixtures, the names of its drinks, the messages on the cups, the graphics – all have been studiously crafted. The company operates with a strong sense of attention towards details, replicating a consistent customer experience across all its stores.
So walk into any Starbucks outlet in any country, and you get the same ambience and experience, making you feel at home. This is exactly what good branding is.
- Logo design is just one element of your brand identity. Branding goes beyond your identity. Branding is a sum total of the products you sell, the visual story you convey, the commercials you make, the marketing collaterals you create, the website you build, and most importantly, the experience you leave with customers!
When simplicity is the best strategy
What has made a name like AMUL a super brand of Indian market? AMUL is a world player today because of its high quality products sold at reasonable prices, vast co-operative network, indigenous technology, marketing strategy & member farmer’s belief. They have an excellent advertising strategy which knows the pulse of the common man as well as modern youth. “The taste of India” campaign by AMUL has been a trendsetter. The familiar mascot of Amul girl is easily recognisable for its simplicity, with its 40 year old tagline of “Utterly Butterly Delicious”. Their famous billboard campaigns with satirical take on socially relevant issues are both charming, witty and thought provoking.
AMUL brand today is the essence of everything that stands for milky goodness made in India. And it remains evergreen because of their approach, focus on quality products, consistency and distinctly Indian style.
- Logo is a symbol that can provide instant and powerful brand recognition. It helps consumer associate the product or service with the brand name or Company. Branding is what ultimately helps people decide to stay loyal to your product or service.
What makes customers loyal?
Apple has cultivated one of the most loyal brand followings ever seen. How did they make it happen? The Company started with a commitment to innovation, product quality and cutting-edge design, and these ideals continue to resonate with customers today. High-retention brands which keep their customers engaged recognize that loyalty is largely based on emotion – the way you feel when you interact with a brand. The best way to build loyalty among your customer base is to consistently deliver a positive experience that delivers on a rational and emotional level. Which is what branding does.
- Logo can be changed periodically if needed. In fact, many popular brands like Starbucks, Pepsi, Apple, Wipro etc have changed their logo designs over the years. But rebranding is not an easy task and takes a lot more time because it’s not limited to a logo change alone.
If you are looking to revive & restart!
Making your brand been seen again in a new light takes more than just a logo change. If you really want to revive an existing brand, smart marketing strategy is the way to go. Burberry is a fantastic example of how rebranding worked well. Popularly recognised by its trademark black, tan and red check pattern, this small brand was founded in England more than 150 years ago. Burberry, which introduced the waterproof fabric gabardine and trench coats a few decades ago, was considered gang wear due to its frumpy style. But new leadership and savvy product design transformed the brand into one of the hottest fashion labels! It has since been embraced by celebrities and royalty alike. Endorsements from Emma Watson and Kate Moss helped cement the new image of Burberry, making it a major luxury brand and touted as a symbol of high class and wealth.
Ultimately, to succeed in a market, both a strong brand and a compelling logo are important if you’re trying to position your company and drive its growth. Logo is indeed an important part of your brand communication and identity, but cannot function as a stand-alone entity to build your brand. So even though you may have a very good logo design in place, that’s not enough to push your product/service into consumer mind and ensure recall.
To understand more on how logo designing and branding are both essential in shaping your business, get in touch with PHI.