Brand and Logo, a Case of Mistaken Identity

Hummingbird CreativeBranding & Creative

nike brand logo hummingbird creative group

setting the record straight

As a full-service branding agency, we hear the question frequently: “what’s the difference between a brand and a logo?” Many seem to think they’re one and the same– even some agencies! So, if even the professionals are confused about the difference, how can we expect our clients to understand?

Many clients feel that they have a beautiful logo and they use it all over their business cards, website, marketing materials, flyers, brochures and more. But that doesn’t mean they have a brand. Colors, typeface, messaging and even the overall design can be inconsistent from piece to piece.

With so many inconsistencies, would we know who or what this business is with the logo covered?

Because of how often the terms “logo” and “brand” are used interchangeably, it’s easy to mistake one for the other. Entrepreneurs, designers and other creative professionals act like these terms are identical twins when, in reality, they’re not.

They must work cohesively.

so, what’s a brand?

“A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or organization.” – Marty Neumeier, The Brand Gap

A brand is every interaction a potential customer may have with your business. Brand covers the positioning, messaging, visual designs, communications channels, target markets, voice, tone, promotions, marketing and more an individual will have or has had with a business, product or service– offline, online, in-person and through others.

then what’s a logo?

A logo is a little easier to explain. It’s the easily recognizable design element, a visual shorthand or image, that individuals will use to recall your business. They derive their meaning from the quality of what they symbolize– the brand– and are there to identify, not explain.

It’s the identity of a business in its simplest form.  

is there a connection between a brand and a logo?

A brand is the relationship which means the logo is the symbol of that relationship. A logo points to customer back to the larger organization as a whole.

i need an example of how logos interact with brands

Let’s look at Nike:

The swoosh is Nike’s logo. It’s clean, simple and represents speed in motion.

Nike’s branding includes everything they do: commercials, athletic endorsement, packaging, store design, product placement, graphics, tags, videos, web design, technology, and more. Every touchpoint a consumer could have with Nike is their brand.

Since a customer doesn’t experience a company through a logo, the brand is important. The logo is just one small part of a large collection of graphics that helps the consumer recall your brand.

It’s not really brand versus logo. In fact, they go more hand-in-hand. The logo is just the tip of the brand iceberg, the visible part that represents something so much bigger.


Discover what we can do for you.

Have a project you think we’ll like? Working on branding your business? We love working with enthusiastic clients who are as passionate about their business as we are about brand strategy, design and development. If that sounds like you, we should talk. Schedule a call with one of our creative branding professionals to see what Hummingbird Creative Group can do for you. Contact us today!