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The difference between branding and brand identity

We often encounter confusion around the terms “branding” and “brand identity” from our clients.

Laura Richter
By Laura Richter   /   November 25, 2019
Strong Digital blog article about the difference between branding and brand identity

These elements come together as part of a successful brand strategy but at their core, refer to different aspects of your business.

What is branding?

Put simply, a brand is how customers or users perceive your business. It relies on the values that define your business and the overall experience associated with the customer journey. The tone of communications, the visual associations and the actions you take to make your customers happy all come together.

Branding is the intangible way you want your customers to feel when they think about your business. It’s the key to differentiating your offering from competitors and encourages customers to be loyal to you.

What is brand identity?

The brand identity of a business is what we see- it’s the visuals coming together to represent that brand’s values. It’s the ‘design stuff’ and encompasses elements such as a logo, colour palette, typography, supporting patterns and grid systems. These visual components come together to determine how a user experiences and remembers a brand.

As business owners, its important to remember that our own aesthetic preferences are secondary to what will resonate with the target audience. This can be hard to let go of, but your business (and customers) will thank you.

How do these work together?

These two elements intersect as the brand identity represents and promotes what the branding is trying to say. Considering the attitude of your brand and how you’re perceived is a crucial first step in the branding process. Defining your mission statement, core values, target audience and keywords provides the best foundation for translating your business visually. There’s no point in designing beautiful graphics if they don’t reflect the values of the brand they are representing.

Understanding the difference between branding and brand identity allows you to focus on how you’re presenting your business to your audience.

Looking for a team that will help you translate your brand into a visual reality? Get us on board now!