A Brand Is Just a Logo, Right? Think Again

May 12th, 2021

So you think you know Branding?

Today, it’s common to think of a “brand” as another word for a logo; after all, many people believe that branding is a term coined from branded livestock on cattle farms. However, the real history of branding goes back much further.

The recorded practice of branding began as early as the Babylonian era when leaving a mark on an object was meant to signify ownership
or a legacy of that property. It was a way of safeguarding its use against others. The actual term ‘brand’ used today was developed with a new desired purpose. Our intention now is to put a ‘reputation’ onto something for it to be sought-out and ideally stand out from its competitors.

Suppose modern branding aims to suggest a reputation. In that case, the psychology of modern branding is to help quell the anxiety of the consumer. Let’s consider how many choices we face in our daily lives. We can appreciate how this bombardment might affect how easy it is to make decisions.

Despite our vast technological advances and our ever-increasing knowledge, our brains’ decisions are still based upon a reptilian system rooted in a fight or flight mode. What we rationalize in front of us is not the same as what we perceive in this part of our brain, which is why not having a straightforward or easy choice can often make us feel uneasy and exhausted.

Understanding and working around this dilemma is what branding does best. Using visuals to tell an audience what to expect and what desired experience they will have even before their choice is made.

At the end of it all, the uncomfortable truth about branding is that it’s never in the hands of the makers. Those who decide what kind of brand is formed are actually the consumers; it is in their minds where a brand reputation is actually created and propagated.

Since the consumer gets to decide whether the brand reputation has true merit or not, branding must balance what is true and idealized. The promise vis-a-vie the packaging or other touch-points and interactions must all be delivered upon. This is how the brand earns its ‘reputation,’ albeit a positive or negative one. It is vitally important that every business understands that their brand is constantly being branded, either for better or worse. Although it is put out by companies, it is ultimately cemented by the experience of the customer.

Where art thou, logo?

Where does a logo fit in the experience of branding, and how important is it really? If we can think of branding like a person (we are all our own personal brand already). In that case, a logo is its face, a means of recognizing and remembering a unique identity and experience among the crowd.

At its core, a logo’s purpose is to take a complex emotional experience across many different interactions and to distill it into something simple and easy to remember, like a single name and/or shape.


Business Branding Experts

Are you ready to strengthen your brand and build your business? At Treefrog, we take a top-down approach to helping you develop your brand strategy. Whether it’s logo design, logo maturation, corporate identity or graphic design services, we’re your business branding experts.

Give us a call at 905-836-4442; our team of graphic design and branding experts are ready to help!