The Fine Line Between a Logo and a Brand

The phone rings at 95 North headquarters from a business owner who says “I’m starting a business and I need a logo”.  Our response is, “Congratulations, but do you  “just need a LOGO” or are you trying to establish a BRAND?”

Most people make the mistake of using the words logos and brand interchangeably.  A logo is just one small part of a brand, and the brand-not the logo-is actually what customers will interact with and fall in love with.

Here’s a quick way to think about it:

A logo is the mark that makes a company identifiable, much as names give people a place in the world.

A brand is a company’s purpose, visualized; it is the heart and soul of the business, capturing and promoting its mission in a desirable way.

A brand identity is the expression of a business and can be flexible, changing as the company grows.

Click here to read about businesses that have used design to go beyond a great LOGO to create truly robust BRANDS.

Or go straight to a few websites with great brands – included below are a Restaurant, a Co-op, a Supermarket, and a Chocolate Maker.

The Peoples Supermarket
Makers & Merchants
The Girl + The Bull
Mast Brothers Chocolate

The strongest brands are built by owners who see beyond the logo; and they utilize the full breadth of design thinking to add flesh to a business, transforming it into something that comes to life.

Courtesy of and Adapted from the April 2015 issue of Entrepreneur