We often run across awesome, small businesses who are looking for a logo designer. Most understand that good branding is key to helping a small business thrive, but don't realize that the logo design and branding are NOT the same thing. One without the other just isn't enough. Both are powerful and both are necessary.
A logo is simply the visual mark by which your brand is identified. And that's it! When you work with a logo designer you'll usually also get the full brand identity. This includes your color palette, typography, brand marks, and other visuals.
Having a brand identity in place is how you can create recognition for your brand. This is why you want your logo on everything you do. You can think of it as your signature that is left on everything you touch.
Having this consistency visually is inviting and attractive. It's often how you get your audience to pause and take that deeper look at your business. But without branding, even a well-designed logo is nothing more than a hollow shell.
Branding is more complicated and much less tangible than your logo. Your brand is who you are, what you do, who you do it for, and why you do it at all in the first place. Understanding the building blocks of your brand is what lays a solid foundation for every touchpoint of your business. Branding should serve as a compass. With every business decisions you make, it's what you should always be referring back to.
But branding is more than aligning everything internally. Good branding is both strategic and authentic. It prepares you with a message that speaks to your people from a perspective they can't resist. Knowing your brand gives you the power to evoke emotions and foster relationships.
Why you really need BOTH
Imagine you are house-hunting and you drive by a colonial style home that catches your eye. But when you walk in the door you find an industrial interior with exposed pipe and concrete floors. That was clearly NOT what you were expecting to find and probably not what you were looking for.
Keeping that analogy in mind, think of your logo as your curb appeal and your welcome mat. This is what catches your customer's eye and invites them in, but your brand is what's inside. But when these two things don't match up it's hard to get the right clients in the door.
Your logo sets an expectation and your brand has to deliver on that expectation.