Your logo is one of the most identifiable representations of your business. It can tell customers who you are, what you’re like and what you stand for. Unfortunately, this can work against you when your logo is outdated and no longer aligns with those things. More often than not, logos require tweaks and updates as society shifts and changes, to connect with new audiences and communicate who you are in the best way possible. However, sometimes you need more than a logo refresh to achieve these things.
A logo and a brand are not the same thing, even though the two terms are often used interchangeably. A logo is just one element of the broader concept of “brand identity”. Sometimes, you might just need a logo refresh but often a business requires a broader brand refresh.
What is a logo?
A logo is a graphic or symbol adopted by a company to aid in identifying its products and services. There are different types of logo – each adds a different attribute and identity to your company.
A well-designed and unique logo will help quickly identify and recall your brand. A logo makes your brand stand apart from your competition and creates an emotional connection with your customers.
What is brand identity?
Brand identity is the process of naming your business, designing a logo, selecting a colour palette, writing a tagline and deciding on all other design elements that are unique to the company and easily recognisable by its potential customers. A brand identity gives consistency in visual communication and increases brand awareness.
Brand identity is an element of the broader concept of branding. As part of branding, there is a focus on defining and driving the company’s values, voice, perception, promise and positioning in a competitive market. For a company to make a mark, to effectively communicate your services, emotionally connect with customers and stay relevant in the market as the business grows, branding is important.
Do you need a new logo or a strong brand identity?
If you are a business in its initial stages of operations, a company name and logo is a good first step. This will be your first face in the market and a part of your initial communications to customers, partners and even investors. However, as your company grows so does its attributes, values, customers and services. To be distinct from competitors and appeal to new customer segments, building a brand identity is key.
Working on brand identity, both in-house or with an agency will establish a company’s long-term visual identity with elements like a tagline, colours, fonts, and design style. Further down the road, these visual elements give direction to branding – market positioning and tone of advertising.
Branding gives emotions to your brand identity. Think of Nike: the highly recognisable tick is not just a visual image – there are traits that have been attached to the image to communicate who Nike is as a company. Without branding, the tick is just a graphic with no substantial meaning.
Building a brand identity takes time but it’s one of the best things you can do for your business. It increases a customer’s ability to relate and build loyalties with a company and its products or services. A strong brand identity is also important for employees, building strong relationships and allowing employees to feel represented accurately. Brand identity contributes to the overall direction of growth of the company.
Case Study: Kia Motors
At the start of 2021, the South Korean car brand, Kia, revealed a new logo and brand slogan through a world-record-breaking drone and firework display.
Kia is the second-largest automobile manufacturer in South Korea, following its parent company Hyundai Motor Company. In line with this success, Kia identified a need for a more refined logo and a slogan that aligned better with their customers.
Kia’s old logo was written in all capitals, missing the horizontal bar on the “A” and all three letters featured a serif flick on the top left to convey movement. The new logo is designed to resemble a handwritten signature, a “rhythmical, unbroken line,” the brand said in a statement. The brand explains that the symmetry “demonstrates confidence” while “rising gestures” of the logo embody Kia’s rising ambitions for the brand.
As well as a new logo, Kia revealed a new brand slogan: Movement that inspires (Replacing “Power to surprise”). This new slogan reflects the company’s bold transformation and represents its “ambitions to establish a leadership position in the future mobility industry by revamping nearly all facets of the business”.
Watch the display here: