Brand or Logo: Which came first the chicken or the egg? Should a logo come first in your business is a question I hear quite often. I thought I would address that issue in this post. Marketers, graphic designers and entrepreneurs toss around two words like a hot potato. These two words are logo and brand(ing). It can be really confusing to someone who has just started a business and is already overwhelmed anyway. So really what do these words mean? Why wouldn’t you hire a graphic designer to design a logo first? Or do you develop your brand (your business) then have a makeover of your logo once you’re up and running.
Good valid questions.
When marketers and designers talk about a brand or the process of branding they are actually referring to a total mental impression the customer develops after interacting with your business, product or services. When we say logo we mean the visual graphic mark that represents your business visually when people are not present.
Customer impressions and judgments of your business are the benchmark and guide for decision-making toward a positive customer or magnetic brand experience. Ultimately, it is customer opinions that count – right? To this end defining and clarifying your product/business purpose will also impact the concept of your logo.
What is a logo?
A logo identifies a business in its simplest form via the use of a symbol, mark or icon.
A major component of logo creation is answering a lot of questions that become the design brief. This can be an informal Q&A an outline of the details such as business mission, intention, purpose, goals, who buys your stuff and more. The process of discussing what the brand will be – brand values, positive associations, personality, audience appeal – is fundamental to determining the direction of the business and therefore bringing clarity to whom a business target clients are and purpose to the actual design concept.
Creating a good branding experience takes work, planning, strategy, testing, and time. A business owner or team has to clarifying and define every process, policy, customer service, customer interaction, every system, graphic, color, image, marketing, hiring, training and business decision that is made bottom to top to support the branding efforts.
The brand and logo work together for the greater good.
So the logo, as the first visual embodiment of the brand, is a way to put your business out there and make it memorable. If you don’t think about the brand up front, you’ll be doing yourself a disservice.
So which comes first the logo or the brand?
My opinion is that a logo can influence the brand experience because it is the foundation but your clients buyers of your products and services ultimately define your brand. Defining a business brand gives clarity and definition to how a logo should impact or influence what a customer thinks through the concept and elements of design. So neither logo nor brand win the race! What do you think? Should you hire a logo designer before you know your business and who your customers are? Let me know in the conversation box below or read part two Brand or Logo: Which Came First? now.