When does a logo become part of a brand?

Logo design is part of brand design; but a brand is much more than just a Logo!

A logo is a unique, meaningful design which combines with your company name in an appealing, interconnected and cohesive way. It has a colour palette assigned to it and is a signature element used consistently in all marketing materials. A good logo is timeless.

A brand however is the collection of perceptions that customers have about your business. A brand is what lives in the customers mind and encapsulates their opinion, ideas and understanding of your organization.

A brand is therefore a living organism which needs to tell the story of your business, your ethics and ensure your customers perceive your organization in a way that drives your success and profitability.

You can control your customer’s idea of your brand by defining your brand and then designing exceptional graphics to communicate your brand message.

So, a brand is much more than a logo — it's the consistent story that you tell through your unique graphics (and all the other ways that you talk and write about your business).

The first step in brand creation is to compile the “story” you are telling about your business.

Here you need to describe who you are, what you do, what makes you different and which target audience/s you want to appeal to. This should be compiled into an ‘easy to say’ and ‘easy to understand’ Brand Story.

The Brand Story should form the foundation of all your visual communications, business and marketing writing, marketing design and strategy.

Now the Logo can enhance your brand and becomes much more than a simple symbol, image or signature. Your logo should be designed based on the brand story; created to visually portray your message and be attractive to your target customers.

Since the idea is to tell your brand story through your visual imagery; the logo is just one part of your visual vocabulary.

A logo in itself is a good start, but it does not take full advantage of the opportunity to make your designs more eye-catching. The use of additional graphics like background colours and patterns, header designs, photographs, borders and font style should work together to further tell your brand story.

Consistency is key. Specific marketing material designs should focus on the coherent use of your visual vocabulary. The design of business cards, letterhead, brochures, e-book covers, website and even Social Media platforms such as Twitter pages are all a crucial part of visually sharing your brand story. These materials should reinforce each other to match without blending together too much.

Successfully achieving the above is what gets your brand story into your customers' minds and — if you've created a stand-out brand — it will stick there!

Once you create this stickiness or memorability, your clients will all be "on the same page" about your brand. This means that their comments and buzz about your company can reinforce their ideas about you — and the ideas that you want them to have about your business.