The difference between logo, brand and corporate identity

These words are often jumbled in marketing context, though they are not the same. Your corporate identity is more than just your logo, and differs from your brand as well. Three different concepts yet all connected as well. So how does it work then?

A recognizable logo

The first step to give face to your company is with your logo, and its most important feature is making you recognizable to the outside world. In that way you can be noticed by your target audience. There are different types of logos: a word mark only consists of your company name, while a figurative mark only has a graphic visual. If you choose a monogram, your logo consists of two or more letters and/or graphic symbols.

There's no real ranking of what kind of logo is better than the other. Your choice is based on thinking about what fits your company, your image and your audience.

A corporate identity that separates you from the rest

Corporate identity addresses the graphic part of your bigger brand. Your logo is part of this, but the broader picture consists of much more. This unique identity makes your product or service recognizable and separates you from the rest of the bunch. Your corporate identity captures your name, logo, colours, typography, language and type of imagery in a way that you can systematically use it when communicating.

Enforce your communication with your brand

Your brand goes further than just an appearance. It's about communicating, about who you are and which values you represent. It's about corporate behaviour, the tone of voice you use and the message you are sending. Your brand is the basis for your logo and corporate identity, both have to be enforcing that bigger picture. So before you can develop a powerful logo and an entire corporate identity, you first need to know who you are and which unique characteristics you possess.

A fully developed and established visual identity represents the core values of your business. It's the foundation for all your communication.

A brand guide, the common thread for your communication

Before developing different parts of your branding, you better establish specific guidelines. Just like with your identity, consistency is key. You can bundle all the directives for logo use, colour values, typography, imagery and lay-out in one bigger brand guide. In that way, different partners you'll collaborate with in the future can use this guide to stay close to your brand. All communication can be based on these directives: printing, clothing, digital media, online ads, …

Now that your company got its face, it's your job to define, guard and update your corporate identity. It's crucial not to lose sight of this.