What is a brand, anyways?

this is a sign photo

So, a lot of times when I’m sitting down with a new client, they express confusion over what a brand really is. Is the word interchangeable with a logo? How do you “get” a brand? If you have a logo, then do you have a brand? 

Let’s start with the basics.  What is a logo?  A logo is simply a visual representation of your business, often made up of a wordmark and an icon. A logo, in and of itself, is quite easy to get.  There are lots of logo makers out there that allow you to enter your business name and they will generate a list of simple images, or icons, for you to choose from with some trendy text options. 

premade logos

On the other hand, a brand is a separate beast. Your brand is how your potential customers, current and former clients, investors, and even media perceive who you are and what you do.  Developing a brand is a strategic component to building a thriving business, and a logo is just one small piece of the overall puzzle.

Let’s explore a few of the other pieces as well:

Brand Compass.

Your brand compass is a composite of all of the truths about you and your business: your Purpose, Vision, Mission, Values, and Strategic Objectives.

Your brand compass is so important to understanding how to find success as a business. It’s the foundation of your authenticity, as well as offering insight for where you’re going and why to ensure that each decision you make is consistent with who you are (or aim) to be. Having clarity around all 5 of these elements is the basis for understanding your position in the marketplace, and something we talk about together during our Creative Strategy session.

Brand Personality

Your ‘personality’ can be defined as the unique array of thoughts, emotions, and behavioral patterns that are intrinsic to any person.  But that can also be said to be true of brands!  Your brand’s personality is an amalgamation of its individualism–and what sets you apart from other businesses in your sphere. 

Simply consider the difference between Microsoft vs. Apple; the brand personality of Apple is young, hip, chic, and status-driven.  Microsoft’s personality is centered around being traditional, professional, reliable, and affordable.

Your brand personality should be highly identifiable for your loyal customers, and what drives them to create personal relationships with your business. 

Brand Identity 

Your brand identity translates your name, colors, symbols, and visual language of your personality. Strategic brand identity is highly intentional and intuitive, founded on research into your market, your customer, and your brand compass.  

Your brand identity also encompasses your brand voice and messaging.. They are what sets your business apart from other competitors.  In every instance in which your brand’s voice is heard, whether via marketing collateral, advertising scripts, or website copy, your customers should be able to recognize you

My brand identity package starts with a Strategy Session to help you locate your compass and define your personality.  From there, we move into the development of a brand identity that is authentic, consistent, and recognizable.  And yes, it definitely includes a logo suite–but a custom one designed with your identity in mind!

Contact Me

Niko Kirby
Freelance Designer