Are branding and logo design the same?

Whats your brand - sarah bates design

Branding and logo design are not the same and I’m going to explain why because it is important to know as it has a direct impact on your business. I have created a Branding Asset Checklist to ensure you have all the elements you need make sure your brand stands out, looks good online and in print – just sign up to my newsletter and you’ll be sent a link in the welcome email ✅.

I want to help you get to grips with your branding and what it actually is… and by getting it right, it can have a positive impact on your business, engage more customers and elevate your business for growth.

“Firstly, do you need a logo design for your business?”

YES because it’s not ‘just’ a logo – it’s the visual identity of your business – it’s how customers recognise your business!

We live in a fast paced world where image is everything – images are used everywhere. We see over 3,000 logos every day, from waking up in the morning to going to bed at night as there are logos on everything you have bought! Our brains instantly recognise images (logos) in nano-seconds far quickly than the written word – think how fast your scroll on your phone on your newsfeed – so your business needs a visual identity so it can be recognised and remembered.

There was some research undertaken on image recognition and a huge number of children could instantly recognise McDonald’s yellow cured arches before they could even read or write. So the power of getting the image right for your business, the logo design, is immense.

You should place a high value on your logo as it’s not simply for recognition, more importantly it communicates a message instantly which should evoke a feeling, an emotion. If the logo design is done well, it should also communicate your brand’s values and emotionally connect with your customers and attract new ones!  

The logo design, goes without saying, should be visually consistently everywhere – it should look the same on everything.  Same colours! Same fonts! Same style! For it to be successful it should be simple, memorable and effectively connect with an audience but this is only part of the story…

“So if branding and logo design are not the same – what is branding?”

If your logo is the visual symbol to recognise your business – the brand is all about the customer journey. The brand is the bigger picture – it’s everything else to do with your business and your customers. It’s all the touch points that your business has with your customers, it’s how the business makes their customers feel. If an emotion is felt, then it is highly likely an action will be taken, hopefully in most cases this means a sale, a conversation, a relationship. Ideally to instill the marketing mantra of Know – Like – Trust – emotions have to be engaged.

They may forget what you said — but they will never forget how you made them feel.
Carl W. Buehner

So ask yourself – what do you want your customers to feel about your business?

What do you want them to say about your business when you are not there?

Keeping the answers to these questions should be the driver for everything else, here’s a little story to illustrate the point…

A person walks into the coffee shop, it’s an independent, they want to support local, it smells delicious roasted coffee, cinnamon, freshly bakes pastries and brownies displayed in a glass cabinet, stacked up to show the top, the sides and ‘look how big the pieces are…’

So the whole place looks inviting, it’s warm, looks clean and this person definitely wants a coffee and one of those delicious nibbles on the side.

The queue is long but this person is prepared to wait – however 10 mins later and it’s getting too long, by the time they gets served it’s 15 minutes, they ordered without saying anything but the barrister apologises for the long wait and gave them the biggest brownie ‘on the house’ and thanked them for their patience.

The person sits down, they no longer feel aggrieved because they felt they had been treated well and it was ‘worth the wait’ because the brownie was delicious, as was the coffee, as was the place and they cared! However, more importantly the barrister had made this person feel better, they had recognised 15 minutes was too long to wait and wanted to make it up to them, so apologises and turned it around. The customer went away feeling happy and will probably tell people, “the new coffee shop that’s just opened, well you have to wait a bit but it has the most delicious coffee and the brownies are out of this world” and without doubt they will return.

Now, if the person had waited, had complained but there was apology, still charged full price, the coffee was poor, the brownie wasn’t great – that person would probably tell a lot more people, about their bad experience, “the new coffee shop that’s just opened well I had to wait over 15 mins and then when I eventually sat down the coffee was bitter and luke warm, and I had the most disgusting brownie I’ve ever had” all because they felt aggrieved, annoyed and will probably never return!

The attitude of the staff, the quality of the coffee and brownie made a difference to this person’s experience, it’s how they felt and that matters. That is what will be remembered!


Whether your business is B2C or B2B – you have to deal with customers. Ensure you get your customer journey right, at every touch point, and customers will always remember how you made them feel and if it’s good they will keep coming back! 

This simple diagram shows you the relationship between you, your customer, your logo and how branding encompasses all those things.

Branding, Logo design and identity diagram

“What can I do next?”

Now that you know the difference between branding and logo design, I’ve created a Brand Asset Checklist – which is designed to help you collate and tick off all the elements you need to start making a difference. Use the checklist to make sure your business branding has all the assets needed to show up and look great. If anything is missing then you this can be a plan of action to ensure you get all the bits together then you can start being consistent with your style, logo, colours and fonts!

How do I get the free ‘Brand Asset Checklist’?

Head over to the subscribe page, sign-up and you’ll be sent a link in the Welcome Email, to download the Brand Asset Checklist, which also means you’ll be able to get my weekly newsletters with exclusive content, marketing tips and freebies to help small business owners grow your business through design and marketing . 🙂


How do I get the freebie workbook – ‘What’s your brand?’

Head over to the subscribe page, sign-up and you’ll be sent a link in the Welcome Email, to download the What’s your brand, which also means you’ll be able to get my weekly newsletters with exclusive content, marketing tips and freebies to help small business owners grow your business through design and marketing . 🙂


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