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What is the difference between a brand and a logo?

August 23, 2019

What is a logo?

It is fair to say that everyone knows exactly what a logo is, right? But do they know the difference between a logo and a brand? A logo is the visual identity of your company. It is the initial thing people see or think of when they hear your company name. It enables customers to recognise your business and even what it does at first glance, so it’s really important to get it right.

What is a brand?

Nike store front branding example

According to Collins English Dictionary, the word “brand” is defined as

“A particular product or a characteristic that serves to identify a particular product”

Here is what we think at Fifteen:

“A brand is the emotional connection between you and the customer. It’s about your values and how you affect your audience.”

Dave Sloan, Senior Designer

“A brand is everything from the tone of voice to the use of imagery and a logo is just the visual identity that people associate with your brand.”

Stephan Salt, Creative Team Leader

Nike Motto Branding Example

In short, “Branding” is the practice of actively seeking to manage the meaning your audience attaches to your brand. A brand is the way you communicate with your customer, the values you have and the story you want to tell. When it comes to your brand identity you should map out exactly who you are and what your brand is way before you start your logo creation. Take this burrito analogy, for example, the tortilla wrap, meat, vegetables, cheese (and guacamole, of course) are all elements that make up the logo, and the taste/experience of eating the burrito is the brand.

…Sorry, if I have made you hungry!


So, now that you can see the difference between a logo and a brand lets go into a bit more detail about how a brand works. Let’s start with an existing brand… let’s say, Apple? Ever heard of them? If you have, immediately you should be able to describe what their logo looks like. Once you can see their logo you start to remember experiences you have had with this brand – like your experience owning Apple products. These memories prompt an emotional response to the brand. You recognise you know this company, you know their products and what you liked about them (Or you are an Android user and see Apple as the enemy). With all that said, a logo is just a visual cue that allows the customer to recall their experiences with the brand, sparking conversations, which in turn triggers an emotional connection with the brand.

Apple brand Example shop front

Take a look at this visual below that showcases the differences between a logo and a brand. Now, you may look at this visual and think that the logo isn’t that important and it’s the brand that is fundamental. However, both the logo and the brand are crucial when marketing and trying to build a brand.

Apple iphone branding example

Finding the meaning, product or service of your company and initially understanding your values and what you are offering to you audience is what makes a great brand. Finding the meaning, product or service of your company and initially understanding your values and what you are offering to you audience is what makes a great brand. Once you have some of these core things in place you can then explore how best to present this information to your audience.




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