Branding Matters: Logo vs Brand.

The elements that make up your brand are as important as your logo itself, if not more so.

In the past, logo design seemed to be the primary focus for organizations when it came to their public image. Now, more than ever, branding is everything.

Your organization’s brand is the culmination of all your branding elements; logo, colors, fonts, etc., and how they work together to elicit an emotional response, further strengthening the memorability of your organization.

Sadly, many organizations never make revamping their branding strategy a priority; or worse, they don’t realize that they only have a logo and not a brand.

Where to Begin

A great branding strategy starts with a logo.  Like most great things, the logo must be designed with the end in mind.  It’s not enough to have a logo that you’re happy with, that logo also needs to have elements developed that will work together, as well as independently.

To illustrate this, we will be analyzing the Dunkin’ Donuts brand.  They started from pretty humble beginnings, but have grown their brand into one of the most recognizable out there.  To help you put the starting point of your brand into perspective, I have included the original Dunkin’ Donuts logo below.

Analyzing the Dunkin’ Donuts Brand

Let’s take a look at the branding elements of a national chain, Dunkin Donuts. Their (6) branding elements work together to assemble their core logo but also work well individually.

Core Logo

This is the “main” logo that your organization will use. Your core logo should be designed in a way that allows for it to be displayed in its entirety, or broken apart to display the individual elements that make it up. Notice how the illustration below is clearly made up of three supporting elements, all of which are used independently of each other depending on the marketing medium.Dunkin Donuts Logo Example

Supporting Elements

These are the individual elements that are part of your core design. Supporting elements can also be graphics that are not part of your core design, like the organization’s favicon logo.Elements that make up the dunkin donuts brand

Brand Tagline

This is the line of text that best communicates how you would like to be positioned in the minds of those you are marketing to. Taglines can be changed over time to help the company evolve with the market.


This is the perception you give off to the people you are marketing to. Do you provide a premium service, experience, or product? Does your brand communicate value? The direction you choose for the brand’s position will shape what the public thinks of you. In our illustration, Dunkin’ Donuts has positioned its product as “the fuel that American’s use to run their life.”


This is the persona you give off through your written communications. Does your writing have a playful tone or a more serious tone?  The personality should embody what the organization stands for and align with the markets you are trying to penetrate.

Color Palette

These are the colors that make up your brand. Typically, a brand will have one or two core colors along with any additional supporting colors.                                                           

What you can learn from this, is that the new “logo” consists of your branding elements combined in a way to best suit the medium you are marketing through. Having several possibilities will not only make it easier to produce a consistent look over many advertising outlets, but it will make your brand more versatile and will position it to evolve as the marketing landscape changes – and it will continue to change!

Looking further into our illustration of Dunkin Donuts, we can see how many times their branding has pivoted over the years in an effort to stay fresh and relevant.                                                                                  

If you haven’t started thinking about a branding strategy, or don’t know where to start, we would be happy to assist in the effort. Our design team has thousands of projects under their belt and is a great resource to use for your next re-brand.


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