There is an interesting discussion taking place in a LinkedIn group about how a logo is not a brand. I agree and think it's an important point for marketers to understand. Yet those who dismiss the value of a professional logo do so at their own peril. A brand and a logo have a special relationship. They work together to achieve some important objectives — recognition, recall, stirring up positive emotions about a brand experience.
A brand is not something you can actually point to or hold in your hand. It's not a logo, a tagline or even a name no matter how clever it may be. A brand is a feeling that people get when they think about a product, service or destination. There is no exact synonym for it, but the closest I can think of is: reputation. And like a reputation, a brand can vary from person to person. Smart companies and destinations are proactive about helping consumers reach the right conclusions by having a brand strategy. That's what the act of branding is all about.
One of the objectives when building a powerful brand (ie: a sterling and widely-known reputation) is having recognition and recall among a large number of consumers. That's where a unique and memorable logo comes into play. While a logo is not the brand itself, it is usually the most visible representation of it, appearing on signage, packaging, business cards and more. It should evoke some sort of feelings whenever a customer sees the logo like the way the Disney logo makes kids feel happy or a sports team logo gets fans excited about the next game. A logo needs to be more than just nice artwork. It plays a role in brand building. A pretty important role if you ask me.