There seems to be quite a bit of confusion when it comes to the difference between a brand and a logo, and “visual identity” kind of feels like a foreign term. But having a clear understanding of these words can help you make good decisions about your business and know what steps you need to take next. Here’s my rundown of these different terms and how each one can help boost your business:
1. Your brand is the impression you make.
If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you already have a brand. Your brand is the intricate combination of feelings, thoughts, and impressions people get when they interact with your business. Whether they’re browsing in your shop, calling you to ask a question, checking out your Instagram, or skimming your Yelp reviews, you are making an impression and building your brand.
The strongest brands are built intentionally and communicate the company’s values and positioning in a way that resonates with their ideal clients. Businesses with strong brands start by figuring out who they really are and defining the kind of impression they want to make. Then, they make sure everything they do aligns with that and moves them toward their goals.
If you haven’t been building your brand intentionally, don’t let this stress you out. The great thing about your brand is that it’s always changing and evolving. It’s never too late to take control of it and make it work for your business. Start with the Brand Discovery Workbook and make a plan that works for you. You can get your free copy by signing up for the newsletter on the sidebar 🙂
2. Your logo is a symbol.
Your logo is pretty important. It’s a symbol that helps people identify your brand and connect all of your things together. It serves as a visual shortcut that helps the world see which business goes with which website, social media account, letter, or ad.
While having a great logo doesn’t guarantee success, it can make a huge difference in the impression you make. It can either support the brand you’re building or work against it. Your logo is one of your most important tools for brand building because it helps connect all your efforts to one another.
Having said all that, the value of your logo depends entirely on the work you put into your brand. Your brand is what will keep customers coming back to you, earn their recommendations, and grow your business. Your logo can serve as a symbol for your awesome brand, but it can’t do all the work on its own. So if you’re planning to invest any work, time, or money on your logo, make sure you’ve first invested in your brand.
3. Your visual identity is how you present yourself to the world.
If you gathered every single printed and digital marketing material you use, you’d get a good sense of your visual identity. Your visual identity is the look and feel, tone, or style that ties everything together visually. It includes your logo, colors, patterns, fonts, photos, and any other design elements you use consistently.
A good visual identity communicates your brand and resonates with your people. It cohesive across marketing pieces and platforms to help your audience easily connect the dots. It doesn’t have to be anything super fancy or elaborate. Consistency is more important than all that.
If you want to give your visual identity a quick boost in the right direction, start by narrowing down the fonts you use to just two. You can pick a more decorative one for headings and titles and a simple readable one for main text. Then, pick up to three brand colors and start using them consistently. Start applying these selections to everything you use to market your business going forward. If it makes sense, revisit old marketing materials and update those too.
Your logo and visual identity are important parts of your business. But they’ve got nothing to stand on if you don’t have a strong brand in place. Take the time to do some self-exploration and find out who you are, who you serve, and what your goals are. Knowing yourself will allow you to make intentional decisions about your logo and visual identity.