Do you think that having a great logo is enough to build a fashion brand around?
Over the years I heard mix answers from designers to this question, so I wanted to try and answer this question because I think it is an important one.
I hear many designers who describe their logo as the Unique Selling Proposition of their brand, its DNA and the reason why people will buy their products.
Although they have a well-designed logo, is that visual aspect really enough to build a brand around?
Let's first define these two terms: LOGO and BRAND, so we can understand how they relate to each other to help us answer the question.
BRAND - its a bit hard to define the term brand in words because its a mix of things that come together. But generally speaking, it can be defined as the "personality" or an image of a company, organization, person or product that are shaped by how they define and promote themselves and how others define and view them.
LOGO - is a graphic symbol (mark, Icon) that represents a company, organization, person or product.
As I mentioned, many people confuse the two, thinking that the logo is the brand.
However, although the two relate to each other and support each other they are not the same.
A brand is established through a combination of few elements: visual aspects, slogan, values, identity etc. which the logo is just ONE of these elements.
The confusion between the two usually comes from looking at well-known brands, like Nike or Apple, where their brands are so well defined that their logos are very recognizable and identifiable with the brand. Therefore when we see their logos they tell us everything about these brands. One look at their logos makes us associate everything that we know about these brands. As a result, the line between who came first or who is more important the logo or the brand might seem blared when we look at these companies.
However, these associations with the brand (the brand identity) were built in our mind over the years through different aspects and elements, and the logo is now the visual icon that is the representation/reminder of all that.
In other words, If we would see the logos of Apple or Nike by themselves before these companies were established and without knowing the brand identity that is currently associated with these logos, they would not have had any value or meaning to us other than maybe a cool visual motif.
Therefore, A logo is not your brand.
Once you build your brand, your logo can then be the recognizable element of your brand but until then it is at most a well-designed graphic.
In the meantime, in order to build the identity of your brand, you should use these elements:
- Your Logo
- Stationery (Letterhead + business card, etc.)
- Marketing Collateral (look books, websites, social media etc.)
- The design aesthetic of your brand
- Colors and visuals elements
- Messages & Actions (Messages conveyed via indirect or direct modes of communication)
- Anything visual that represents your brand.
As to the question of which one is more important, Logo or Brand? They don't really compete with each other and eventually can be as important but to begin with, the Logo gets its importance/relevance from the brand's image.
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P.S. The most important things about branding is to keep consistency across all your branding efforts. Your message, your content, your visuals etc. should always be the same, regardless of the format, platform or form of communication you are using.