The terms brand identity and brand image are sometimes used interchangeably. However, they are not the same thing, and to clarify the difference between the two words, we need to dig a little deeper.
Since the best place to start is always at the beginning, let’s kick things off by tackling the question—”What is a brand?” Throughout the years, the term brand has been given a myriad of definitions by marketing experts and branding professionals alike. In general, today, the word “brand” refers to the perception people have of a company, product or service.
A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service or organization.
Brands don’t just happen by themselves—they are the result of many customer interactions with a company’s touchpoints over time.
Therefore you cannot brand something… unless it is a cow of course. You earn your brand. In a way, the brand is your reputation.
Brand Identity vs Brand Image
Your brand identity is what shapes your company and makes you instantly recognisable and appealing to your target audience.
Your brand identity should reflect the total proposition that you bring to the market–everything from the language you use, your organisational values, products and customer service through to your colour palette, use of imagery and other visual elements. While the brand identity defines how the business wishes to be perceived by others, the brand image is how others perceive the business in reality.
A successful brand is, therefore, one whose image matches the brand identity—thus, having a brand image that matches their identity should be every company’s goal and aspiration.
Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Munch Studio is a boutique design agency that specialises in corporate identity design, logo animation and other brand expressions.
Have a great idea? Let’s put a mark on it.