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Your Logo is NOT Your Brand


So, when I say the word “brand”. What comes to mind? Is it your logo? Or is it a bit deeper than that?

The word “brand” or “branding” has been used interchangeably in so many different ways that many of us including those who are in the branding and marketing industry have trouble articulating the definition. As a result, the word has become diluted and confusing.

So if the people guiding you don’t really understand it… then where does that leave you? It leaves you lost and confused. I get it, there are a lot of layers to a brand and there are symbiotic relationships, and that’s why it’s so confusing.

“A brand is… a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or organization. It is way more than just some fancy logo.” - Marty Neumeier (Paraphrased)

So, if a brand is a gut feeling. Then what are the pieces necessary to create that reaction inside us to engage and why do we identify with them so strongly?

Your brand is the identity of the vision you represent, and the message you want to share.

But what are the aligned pieces needed to create a brand?

That’s what I am going to discuss in this article, the anatomy of a brand and why the statement that a brand is a “gut feeling” is true.

First, let’s identify all the parts of the brand’s anatomy.

  • Vision
  • Visual Identity/Expression
  • Character, Personality & Voice
  • Culture & DNA
  • Process, Procedures, & Platforms
  • Products, Services, & Client Experience (CX)
  • Differentiation & Value

As you can see there are a lot of parts to create a holistic brand, but where do you start?

Vision: You start with Vision. Vision is the boundaries that outline where and where you shouldn’t engage. Everything else in those boundaries of your vision only adds more clarity to that alignment. Your vision is the framework of your brand, and this is why so many brands struggle in the marketplace. They can’t articulate with clarity their vision with consistency and therefore struggle with an identity crisis. If you don’t know who you are, then your audience will also pick up on that subconscious message as well. That can lead to a confidence issue and a breakdown in trust for your brand.

Visual Identity/Expression: This is way more than just some logo. I have heard from countless individuals for 20+ years tell me that their brand is their logo… NO, that is not even close. Your logo is like the face of a person. It’s a part of their first impression when you meet, but it’s not the deciding factor. This in my opinion is the least important of all the parts of the brand anatomy, but the more alignment between all the pieces the stronger the draw your brand has to your audience. I come from a strong background in design and I am telling you this, but your logo isn’t the only visual expression of your brand, and those parts are important to contributing clarity to your brand’s alignment.

Character, Personality, & Tone: This is your brand archetypal mix. It determines your motivations, communication style, and tone. It determines the language you should use to create a magnetic message that is aligned with your brand authentically. This is also linked to the core of your brand’s culture and DNA.

Culture & DNA: The atmosphere you create, the principles you stand for and the values that define you. The core essence of your identity as a brand. Your mission and purpose for being a brand. Even your processes, procedures, and platforms are affected by this on a deeper level.

Processes, Procedures, & Platforms: You don’t want to create processes, procedures, and platforms that aren’t aligned with your culture and DNA. You ONLY want to create and engage with the ones that are. This is paramount when creating a better engaging and seamless client experience.

Products, Services, & Client Experience: These are the frontline engagements of your brand and where you can start to wow them with your solutions. These are the solutions you are to their internal pain, and their experiences or touchpoints of your brand.

Differentiation & Value: This is what sets you apart from every other brand. It’s your unique approach to how you solve their internal pain points. This can be communicated in so many ways, but one of the best ways is the testimonials of your clients’ transformation process. 

Brand: All these elements create a holistic brand and the more these parts are aligned, the stronger the pull on your “gut” feeling. Each part has its role to play in the grand design of the brand structure. 

As you can now see from the way brand anatomy is designed. It’s, not a clear cut as many may have thought. You hopefully can now see why the brand is more complex. What other complex systems design can we relate to this toward? How about the human body and it’s the reason I chose to describe this as “brand anatomy”. We want to create connections between our brands and people. What better way to articulate the strategic structure of the brand. The more human our brand is, the stronger connections we can create between our audience. It’s really that simple.

So, out of the three major parts, which is the most important?

Technically speaking, brands who have only had the Products, Services, & Client Experience aligned have been able to generate quite a bit of “success” or influence. This includes all the symbiotic relationships attached.

If they aligned this way, they would have more success, but it’s not the optimal way.

  1. Products, Services, & Client Experience
  2. Culture & DNA
  3. Visual Identity

I would challenge this paradigm to be this way.

  1. Culture & DNA
  2. Products, Services, & Client Experience
  3. Visual Identity

This includes all the symbiotic relationships of these major parts. 

As you can see from the way the infographic is demonstrating, it’s counterclockwise, and the forces on the outside like attract, engage, and wow are the magnetic reactions and help to define the alignment.

So, now you hopefully understand why your “gut” is the deciding factor and the stronger the alignment of your brand anatomy. The more the right audience will be drawn into your solution.

Our company at this time ONLY focuses on help bringing clarity and focus to your vision. Which is the structure of your brand’s anatomy and we use strategic brand alignment frameworks to bring that into reality.

I have a Brand Anatomy PDF that you can download when you join our BAMFam community for FREE that will give you more visual clarity.

I would also suggest that you take our FREE Archetype Alignment Quiz to help you better understand your brand’s motivations, communication style, and tone of voice.


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