What is Strategy?
Strategy is the diagnose before treatment.
You spend money on a logo or design and strategy makes sure, that your new logo or design aligns with your customers' needs and your business goals. So strategy makes you spend your money wisely.
What is a Brand?
"A brand is what they say about you, when you're not in the room. That's how Jeff Bezos describes it."
Marty Neumeier says: "A brand is a person's gut feeling about a product, service or organisation."
So a brand is an emotion. It's what makes you take this one product out of the shelf, and not the other one. Logo, Look & Feel, Tone of Voice, Messaging, Customer Experience, Packaging, Website, Social Media presence are all parts that make a brand.
Why should you pay much money for Logo, instead of just getting one for 50 bucks from fiverr?
A logo is all about identification.
It's the unique form, that marks the ownership of a particular company, product or service. So it's a very important part of your brand.
Some logos are untouched for 50 years.
A logo has to be simple, unique, appropriate, long-lasting, remarkable, structurally sound, authentic, work in different sizes, and so on...
So there goes a lot of expertise and thinking in a logo.
For 50 bucks, you won't get that. You'll get a logo, that's quickly made out of a template. It's as simple as that.
Good logos are expensive, but have even more value.
What is a Branding?
Branding and identity are separate things.
Branding is a disciplined process used to build awareness and extend customer loyalty, even better: turn customers into fans.
Branding is about seizing every opportunity to express why people should choose one brand over another.
A desire to lead, outpace competition, and give employees the best tools to reach customers are the reasons why companies leverage branding.
Brands use unique imagery, language and associations to encourage customers to identify with the brand.
What is the difference between Brand and Design?
Design, or "Identity is a trademarked logo, symbol, monogram, emblem or other graphic device." says Marty Neumeier.
So design / identity is a part of your brand. It is a thought-through system that ensures the same unique look on all devices, in all sizes, everywhere.
Elements could be: Logo, business card, letterhead, website, presentation templates, and so on...
Why should you hire a Freelancer instead of an Agency?
Basically, it depends on the scope of work and on your budget.
For start-ups, small sized and medium businesses it makes very much sense to hire a freelancer. All your budget goes directly into the project. There is no expensive overhead to pay for.
And by the way: Agencies hire the same freelancers to work on projects;-)
In the end, it's all about trust, so wether it's an agency or a freelancer, get to know them and then decide.