What should you do first: a logo or brand identity?

THE WORLD OF BRANDING CAN BE A BIT CONFUSING FOR SURE, AND FOR ANY NEW BUSINESS OR PROJECT THAT GETS STARTED THERE MAY COME THE QUESTION OF WHAT SHOULD I START WITH – A LOGO OR A BRAND IDENTITY?

Now while it’s good for every business to have an understanding of who they are and what they stand for. The real answer is either and it’s dependent on the needs of your business.

WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? 

A brand identity will likely involve a logo design, but a logo is not a brand identity. Let’s clarify the fundamental difference between these two things, by applying the traits to a person. 

A logo – Let’s think of this as the person’s face. It’s how they are easily identified from others just from looking at them. But it’s not the whole picture of what they look like.

A brand identity – This then is the special sauce that makes that person unique –  it includes their face but also their personality, mannerisms, how they dress or style their hair, the kind of music they listen to or the tv they watch, and how they speak or think, and the feeling you get from spending time with them. Are they a night owl or early bird, are they lazy, what’s their heritage and culture, how do they spend their free time and what are their morals and values? 

A person’s identity is often crafted by them but interpreted and understood by other people. These individual pieces all align to make that person unique, and they help to influence how they come across to others. 

So in terms of branding, a logo is a visual representation of who you are as an organisation… the first piece of the puzzle to people understanding who you are. And it typically takes the form of a mark that combines both text and image. 

A brand identity are those additional layers that help to make you unique, recognisable, and relatable and it goes deeper than just design and how you look. Making sure you come across as you intend.

 

how to build a brand identity

 

 

what is brand identity

WHAT SHOULD COME FIRST?

Both elements when used will start to influence and contribute to the recognition of your brand. It really depends on your current goals and your limitations. Here are some things to take into consideration:

Are you looking to set up and get started as quickly as possible?
An identity is more in-depth and can take longer than a logo so under time constraints a logo may be more appropriate.

Are you just testing an idea as a minimum viable product and want it to have a ‘face’ to see if the idea has legs?
It may be more useful to craft the brand identity once you know the MVP is something that works and you have a deeper understanding of the business yourself.

What kind of investment are you currently willing and able to put into your brand at this moment in time?
Starting with a logo will likely be a smaller investment in the short term but may need more investment later on. A brand identity may be a bigger investment initially, but should save costs later on.

How big is your business and are you looking to grow?
A smaller business, blog or personality may only need some basic brand elements like a logo, typography and colours. But if you have big ambitions, are wanting to grow, are growing or are a larger business – having that clarity on your businesses identity would benefit that growth.

Do you know what your business objectives and goals are?
If you already know what your business goals are, it may be more beneficial to dive into the brand identity, to make sure your brand aligns with your objectives and goals.

Are you looking to clearly establish your business and drive recognition?
If this is a priority then working on your brand identity will provide more value for you than just working on a logo.

Is your organisation growing and do you want to clarify who you are before you get too big to change it all?
The more recognition you have and the bigger your audience already is, the harder it is to change your logo and your brand. If you are a growing business, focus on your brand identity as this will provide a strong framework that will stand the test of time.

 

Having a logo before an identity can be beneficial as it’s usually more cost effective, but it may not align with your business in the long term, and could need to be changed to align with your identity should you decide to look at it later. This may impact the brand recognition and equity you start to gain as you grow your business. 

A brand identity on the other hand will ensure you have a brand that builds recognition faster with your audience through a consistent, considered approach. It’ll create clarity within the organisation of what you all stand for, and it can help to make business decisions easier by aligning with the businesses personality and values. But it may also be overkill and pre-emptive if you have a very young business or idea, and don’t quite know where your organisation is heading. 

The decision really is up to you and what you need and we hope this post informs you to be able to make that decision. If you’re still not sure after reading this, then please shoot us a message and we’ll be happy to guide you to the right choice. 

how to create a brand identity

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