You’re probably thinking “is there a difference”? Yes and No.
I am often viewed as a “logo designer” even though I am a branding strategist (or specialist) because logo design is a piece of branding. Keyword being PIECE.
Typically people who refer to themselves as logo designers often focus on creating a “logo” without any relation to other aspects of a brand which has the potential to negatively impact a business. I go more into detail about this in my other blog post “How Bad Branding Negatively Impacts Your Business”.
Granted, some logo designers do understand and practice brand strategy when designing a logo but unfortunately, many do not.
I believe you should always choose a branding strategist over a logo designer who does not implement brand strategy. I say this not only because I’m a branding strategist but because there is a tremendous difference in the amount of value your business (brand) receives.
Branding is the reason why Victoria Secret, Coca-Cola, Nike, McDonalds, Walt Disney, and other brands continue to be successful. It isn’t just because they have a nice logo and offer great products, it’s because they have good BRANDING.
Let’s look at these shirts for an example. You can print your own logo on the “your logo here” shirt but people are still going to perceive the Nike shirt to be of much higher value (unless you’re the founder of GUCCI) because that shirt contains a logo built around a strong brand.
In essence, you can take a $2 shirt and slap a popular brand on it to increase its value by hundreds.
So why would anyone choose a logo designer (that doesn’t implement brand strategy) over a branding strategist?
Well they are cheap, there just isn’t any other way to say it. When it comes to the creative world you tend to “get what you pay for” and that is the case when it comes to a vast majority of logo designers.
When I say cheap I mean CHEAP…when compared to a branding strategist. Typically people don’t have the budget to afford a branding strategist when they are just starting and they don’t understand the value that comes along with a branding strategist to be willing to invest thousands.
These logo designers are able to offer such low prices because they don’t spend hours putting research & thought into the brand itself like branding strategists do. They also tend to use non-industry standard software (CANVA) & pre-made elements making it a quick and easy process for themselves.
However, when comparing a branding strategist to a logo designer, the ROI (return on investment) is much greater for a branding strategist. A branding strategist is going to give you a “blue print” for your business versus a logo designer who is going to give you a section of a blue print that won’t piece together in the end because they didn’t design it with the whole thing in mind.
The blue print a branding strategist provides is going to set up your brand for success by providing materials that are not only going to attract your ideal target audience but accurately reflect your services, values, message, style, and provide instructions on how to piece those things together.
In some situations it may be suitable for a person to choose a logo designer over a branding strategist such as when they need a “logo” for their hobby or side hustle. BUT keep in mind that side hustle is going to be a lot harder to turn into a full time thing if there is no proper branding in place.