• There’s a big buzz about branding right now.

    I’m always curious to see what people are saying because I’m no stranger to the branding process. Back in ‘the day’ I used to work for an ad agency and I’ve worked on branding and image campaigns from start to finish (although, truthfully, branding is an ongoing process).

    Anyway, there seems to be a lot of confusion about what branding really is. Some people think it’s a logo. Others swear it means creating a really cool television spot. And, others are simply mystified by the thought of branding.

    To demystify branding for you, I’ll share the simple definitions that I included in the training materials I created for the Idaho Small Business Development Center several years ago. This clearly illustrates the difference between your logo and your brand because your logo is not your brand and your brand is not your logo.

    Logo: An identifiable insignia that represents a company.

    Brand: The overall impression and experience that your customers receive from your business.

    Simply put: branding is EVERYTHING you do to create the overall experience and feeling that your customers get from doing business with you. Your logo is just one element of your branding.

    I once hear a “guru” tell a group of people at an event that putting your photo on a business card is a big branding mistake.  I don’t find this to be true. Realtors use this technique, speakers use this technique and so do some politicians. When YOU are a big part of your brand this can actually help with brand recognition.

    I’m  personally am a bit of a rebel and break a ‘branding’ rule by having my business cards printed on glossy, thick card stock and I don’t plan on changing that any time soon. Many say you should use a matte paper and leave the back blank so people can take notes. I say, my cards stand out and make me memorable. Plus, I use both sides to create an impression.  I share this because THIS is YOUR brand and it’s up to you to decide what works best in your business.

    You image and the printed materials for your business are just one part of your brand. In essence, everything you do, say and produce is a representation of your brand. So, choose wisely.

    Want more information on branding and image. Read “How Long Does it Take to Create a Brand” click here.

    Lisa Manyon is "The Business Marketing Architect" a content and copywriting strategist for mission-driven entrepreneurs. She's the creator of the NEW marketing model for success (as seen in Inc. Magazine) that's changing the way people market today. She specializes in powerfully communicating your marketing message to increase results via Manyon Marketing Web Makeovers, website copy packages and content strategies to effectively market your business. She offers a free Copywriting Action Plan and marketing resources on her award winning blog. Her consulting and coaching is known to help produce million dollar results www.writeoncreative.com/blog


    17 responses to “The Difference Between a Brand and a Logo”

    1. Cindy says:

      Who knew that who you are and how you behave is your brand?
      When I started this whole business thing I thought having the business card and the matching letterhead were my brand – and boy have I learned differently in the years since I started my business!
      And as for glossy business cards – partially a mistake. I will keep my thick glossy business cards -but will have the back matte so people are able to write what they need to on the back. I hate trying to write on my own business card!
      And I think pictures on cards seem to be reserved for financial advisors, realtors and insurance agents – or that seems to be the norm anyway!
      My picture plastered all over FB is enough. I think that’s what the logo is for! When people look at my logo they remember me – or so they say!

    2. Lisa Manyon says:

      Hi Cindy,

      Great thoughts. Yes, your letter head, logo, envelopes etc. are not your brand but rather your identity package. 🙂

      I personally don’t want my picture on my cards but I do see the value at live events when many of the attendees have connected via social networks.

      Thanks for sharing. 🙂

      Write on!~


    3. You are right, Cindy~ A lot of people think a business card and letterhead with the same colors and logo is your brand. And as Lisa pointed out, that is your packaging and it is important that your packaging is branded.

      Your branding comes from inside of you, or your business. Who are you (or your business)? What do you stand for? What do you promise to deliver – every time? What are you an expert at?

      The answers to these questions will bring out a “personality” profile that people will recognize and relate to at a deeper, emotional level. When your branding is right, it evokes a feeling in people. ~ Have you ever been with a Toddler when you drive past the Golden Arches? ~ Yes, that feeling!

      A fun way to look at it is ~ “If your business were a person, who would it be?” Whoopy Goldberg? Abraham Lincoln? Oprah?

      If your brand had a personality style, what would it be? A Maverick, like Harley Davidson? Or a Humanitarian like Paul Newman?

      Getting to the core of your brand personality takes deep and thoughtful work, but it is also a really fun and enlightening process!

    4. Lisa Manyon says:

      Nice perspective, Laurie.

      All aspects are a part of your business brand –even employees, VA’s etc.

      Write on!~


    5. Chris says:

      Hi Lisa, hope you’re fully recovered now. branding, as my students know, is one of my favourite topics because, IMHO, it is THE key to lasting business success but, as yuou write, is SO misunderstood. (BTW, interested to read that, like my ‘advertising ladies’, here, you also worked in an ad. agency. Wish you could be a guest speaker for my MarComs course students!)

    6. Chris says:

      Again, as you write, Lisa, for most people branding = logo = the picture (maybe, slogan) on my business card, stationery, etc. IMHO, the PRINCIPAL mistake is not realising the importance of Touchpoints (i.e. wherever someone comes in contact with you, your product, your business) to your brand. Again, as you write, the customer EXPERIENCE. One very well-known local telecoms co., spent millions on rebranding but was (and is) famous for poor customer service — result permanently damaged brand via Word-of-Mouth. (I can’t mention the name as I was a consultant for some of their consultants! LOL)

    7. Chris says:

      If you want a good, short definition: a brand is ?€?a promise kept?€™ (Blackett, 2003, p18). One of the most famous branding experts, Keller (2003, p4) defines a brand as: ?€?a product . . . [which] adds other dimensions that differentiate it in some way from other products designed to satisfy the same need. . . . [Achenbaum adding] ?€?what distinguishes a brand . . . and gives it equity is the sum of consumers?€™ perceptions and feelings about the product?€™s attributes and how they perform, about the brand name and what it stands for, and about the company associated with the brand.?€™

    8. When I was researching my Masters, Professor de Chernatony, kindly provided me with his 2009 paper, ?€?Towards the holy grail of defining ‘brand’?€™, which I’ll quote from, here, (p105), where he defined a brand as: ?€?a cluster of values that enables a promise to be made about a unique and welcomed experience . . . a visionary promise that adds value to all stakeholders.?€?

    9. The keywords, again, IMHO, being promise,value, and experience — NOT logo! (Hope that helps, Lisa.) I guess you’d agree with the vision part, too! 😎

    10. Tom Lehner says:

      Hi Lisa,
      There is one thing I always look forward, and that is to your blogs. I have learned so much from you. I only give my comment when I have something to say or when I am confused. Today?€™s Blog of yours has many things who are totally new to me, some that are confusing to me and some where I just might have questions.

      Branding ?€“ for me as a Cattle & Horse Rancher branding always means putting my Brand (Ranch Logo) on the butt of a horse, cow and/or any other animal I own. This brand identifies my ranch, and every Cop, State Trooper; Texas Ranger in the State of Texas, and slaughter house in the Country has a copy of it. It is registered at the county and is to assure that so called rustlers (Stock thieves ?€“ yes they still exist) cannot sell stock that is stolen on my or from my property, and to assure that my neighbors know immediately, who is the owner of the cow that is straying on their property.

      So far so good; But now you are telling me that branding is not my Ranch signature on the butt of an animal or my logo on a company stationary but rather my actions, my performance as horse trainer, Cattle breeder, business man, investor in my second company, my blogs I am writing and by whom I am identified by my readers?

      For me branding has always meant that my Logo is my brand. I usually do not use my personal name on any company I run, that is why my company has a different name, my ranch is called – ?€?RockinL Ranch?€?; Land, Horse and cattle Operation ?€“ Because I always thought I am Identified by those names and their Logos. Whenever I call a slaughter house, horse trader or any other acquaintance they know my name and my Logo/Brand, that is how they identify me.

      I will definitely listen to the show because now thanks to you I have the whole weekend something to think about. I am really, really confused now.

      Not many people have the ability to confuse me, surprise me in a positive way and make thinking all weekend ?€“ you are so awesome and I appreciate your blog and all your insight you are giving me. I have learned so much from you.

      Thanks for sharing your great thoughts with me.

    11. Lisa Manyon says:

      Hi Chris,

      Feeling MUCH better. Thanks so much. I LOVE your definition of brand in relationship to a brand being a promise kept.It’s always nice to discover new resources from you.

      Write on!~


    12. Lisa Manyon says:


      In your industry “brand” has two meanings. However, when you listen in on the call, you’ll see how they are both intertwined. When you think about the brand you use on your cattle — also think of the message it sends to people. I assume the officials automatically know it’s your ‘brand’ and they associate it with the way you do business, your business integrity etc. So, it’s all part of branding — your cattle brand included.

      Write on!~


    13. Delighted your much better, Lisa. If I have to give a short definition of brand, a promise kept is my favourire but I always emphasise the importance of a positive experience and value, too! BTW, I agree with your answer ro Tom, and, yes, brand DOES come from branding property, not just animals but ancient potters branded their wares as a sign of quality.

      As I’m also a historian, it’s useful to remember that branding, in the marketing sense, really got under weigh when the Industrial Revolution started and people no longer had a personal relationship with the manufacturer (craftsman). The owner of the factory put his name to the products as a guarantee of quality (another meaning of a brand); i.e. he stood behind his product. It’s that guarantee of quality that STILL makes people pay a premium for branded over unbranded goods!

    14. As always, my pleasure, Lisa. By explaining what branding REALLY is you’re doing a great service to your readers. Understanding what branding is (beyond the logo) is a big problem for my clients, too, particularly the importance of Touchpoints.

    15. Nice work! Those dudes at your competition (you know who) don’t even have a clue! Keep em coming! Regards!

    16. I work in the MLM Industry and have experienced the transition to selling yourself rather than the product or business opportunity. People like to buy from people they like and trust and you can’t establish all that in a business card. Thanks for sharing!

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