15th Jul 2016| by Paul Findlay

Logo VS Brand Mark

Logo Versus Brand Mark punching image blog


You’ve no doubt heard the terms ‘Logo’ and ‘Brand Mark’ thrown around many before before, but maybe not quite understood the difference between the two. The truth is it’s quite common to mistake them for the same thing, but they are actually quite different from each other… I would go as far to say that they are arch rivals, but one of them happens to pack a LOT more punch – let’s open up the ‘Logo VS Brand Mark’ debate and bring in these contenders and see who comes off second best.

The Logo

Think of the Logo as a visual shorthand or an image that people can quickly recognise and recall your business from. Some of the more basic Logo designs can quite often based more on aesthetics or trends, rather than looking at way it can activate the brand strategy, with the customer in mind. And sure sometimes a good looking logo is all you need for a quick bandaid fix, but this mark is designed to be the face of your business, for what you would hope be a substantial amount of time. If you’re after a quick fix the good news is that logos are a dime a dozen these days, you can pickup one up online for next to nothing online, but what are you really paying for? Without the planning a Logo becomes a feather weight option – with no time put aside for planning, it’s best to be prepared for a rebrand when you figure out what your brand stands for.

The Brand Mark

A Brand Mark is just as it states in two separate words… it’s the Mark that sits on top of your Brand. In order to have a Brand Mark and not a Logo, you’ll need to have a the foundations of a Brand first… and just to be super clear, keep in mind a Brand is not a Logo, it’s an emotional connection. I think the easiest way to understand what a Brand is, is to think about it as ‘it’s not what you see, it’s what you feel’ a brand is that ‘gut feel’ – the one you get when you think about a brand – not the logo or website or product, it’s the ‘feeling’. These emotional triggers (if created just for you) will draw you closer to a brand and get you emotionally engaged with it. Now place a Mark over the top of this Brand (one that’s been created with the brand and customer in mind) and that my friends is a Brand Mark, the heavy weight contender.

Amazon is a good example of a brand that originally had a Logo and now has a Brand Mark. The original Logo is more of an icon (look it’s an ‘A’ with a badly drawn Amazon River flowing through it) probably not the most emotive mark you’ve seen… But their updated Brand Mark is a different story, it’s been designed with their customer and Brand in mind. This Brand Mark smiles at you and says ‘Hey we’re the A-Z of what you need’ – an ideal customer take-out for a brand like Amazon.

Amazon Brand Mark Logo

Now that you understand the difference, what do you have? A Brand Mark or a Logo?

Get your business fighting fit and ready to take on the world with a Brand Mark and not just a Logo. Consider a branding agency rather than just logo design companies and invest in some Brand Planning upfront, so your brand is smarter and is connecting better with your customers, delivering knock-out blows to your competitors along the way. 

If you want to debate Logo V Brand Mark some more… Contact Brands to life®


Paul Findlay
Paul is the Creative Director at Brands to life® with over 25 years experience building brands. He has founded two of Melbourne’s most successful independent agencies with many highlights along the way including ‘BRW Fast 100’ and ‘B&T Agency of the Year’. Paul creates memorable and authentic brand experiences through engaging Strategies, Identities, Visual Languages and Brand Stories, whatever it takes to breathe new life into brands.