As a collective, we need to take some pressure off logos – don’t get me wrong, they are essential to a business, but they really don’t need to work so hard. Let’s focus on what drives your brand as a whole instead.

Over time, companies have started to get into the mindset that a logo, something that does nothing more than identify us–is incredibly important. And, it’s true, it is very important. But, there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye.

Truth is, logos on their own actually say nothing. While they can make people aware of your brand and are essential for discovery and recognition, they can’t tell your customers who you really are, or what you actually care about unless you purposefully build meaning into them!

corporate identity logo

Your logo alone is not your brand. Your brand is the experience your customers have (which includes a good logo) and then tell their friends about. All the best design and craft in the world can’t make a logo that will convince someone your company’s product or service is great if it isn’t. That’s a job for advertising and marketing and website design, and all the other great things that go into starting a company and building a brand.

Don’t take this the wrong way: We still need logos, but it’s not right to make a logo the foundation or the end-all be-all of your brand. It’s simply a building block – or another tool in the tool chest of your company’s brand strategy.

Here’s an example of something more important than focusing all your attention on your logo: Experiential Identity –

You know what your customers will feel and experience? Why are you in business, what do you believe in, what are the values that drive your company, what’s the experience you want customers to have? Great brands are built from the inside out; they’re built around a belief system and driven by values. What your customers experience every time they interact with your company is the “real” brand.

If your brand doesn’t have a purpose, then stop everything and find out what it is. Once you figure that out, you’ll see that everything’s definitely much easier.

Brands are multifaceted and shouldn’t be reliant on just one element (a logo) to be effective. Your visual identity is what you use to communicate the purpose, values, and ideas you have in your experiential identity. There are a lot of moving parts that work together to make it operate the right way.

Here’s a good measuring stick to see how well your brand has been built from a both a visual and experiential identity: remove all your company’s logos from your product(s), website(s), app, advertisements, social media accounts, etc. At the end of the day, your customers should still know it’s you. It’s time to give the logo a little bit of a break.