A brand identity is a set of tools or elements used by a company to create a brand image. A brand image is a customers’ perception of the brand consisting of various associations related to it and memories about interacting with it. A brand identity and its elements stem from a company’s mission, brand value proposition, long-term goals, competitive position on the market, and relevance to the values and interests of the target audience. These factors have a foundational nature and, in the branding process, describe what a company wants to communicate. Meanwhile, a brand identity describes how these foundational elements are communicated. The most commonly agreed upon elements of a brand identity usually include:
- A brand name
- Colors and graphic styles
- A tagline or a slogan
- A logo and a wordmark and their variations
- A voice and a tone
- A style and a typeface
These elements can be grouped differently, and there are a lot of opinions as to which specific brand elements should be included in this list and in which order they should be presented. These differences are usually explained by the context in which a brand identity is being discussed and the perspective of a particular expert. For example, a designer who is developing a brand identity for an existing company would omit a brand name and a tagline from his creative process and would put more emphasis on its visual part. In contrast to that, a fuller span of brand identity elements is usually involved during the process of creating a new brand, rather than rebranding an existing product or company.
A brand’s attributes are a set of labels with which the corporation wishes to be associated. For example, a brand may showcase its primary attribute as environmental friendliness. However, a brand’s attributes alone are not enough to persuade a customer into purchasing the product. These attributes must be communicated through benefits, which are more emotional translations. If a brand’s attribute is being environmentally friendly, customers will receive the benefit of feeling that they are helping the environment by associating with the brand. Aside from attributes and benefits, a brand’s identity may also involve branding to focus on representing its core set of values. If a company is seen to symbolise specific values, it will, in turn, attract customers who also believe in these values. For example, Nike’s brand represents the value of a “just do it” attitude. Thus, this form of brand identification attracts customers who also share this same value. Even more extensive than its perceived values is a brand’s personality. Quite literally, one can easily describe a successful brand identity as if it were a person. This form of brand identity has proven to be the most advantageous in maintaining long-lasting relationships with consumers, as it gives them a sense of personal interaction with the brand. Collectively, all four forms of brand identification help to deliver a powerful meaning behind what a corporation hopes to accomplish, and to explain why customers should choose one brand over its competitors.
- Credibility and Trust: Having a brand identity doesn’t just make a product more memorable; it makes the brand more authoritative in the marketplace. A brand that establishes a face, and maintains that face consistently over time, develops credibility among its competitors and trust among its customers.
- The “Face” of Your Business: For all intents and purposes, a brand’s logo is the “face” of the business. But that face should do more than just look cool or interesting a logo’s contribution to brand identity is associative, too. It tells the public that this image means the name of the company.
- Advertising Impressions: A brand identity is a template for everything that would include on an advertisement for the business whether that ad is in print, online, or a preroll commercial on YouTube. A brand with a face and industry credibility is well prepared to promote itself and make impressions on potential buyers.
- The Company’s Mission: When an identity is created for a brand, it’s giving it something to stand for. That, in turn, gives the company a purpose. Almost all companies have mission statements, right? However, that can’t be done without giving the brand an identity.
- Generating New Customers and Delighting Existing Ones: A brand identity one with a face, trust, and a mission attracts people who agree with what the brand has to offer. But once these people become customers, that same brand identity gives them a sense of belonging. A good product generates customers, but a good brand generates advocates.
Advantages of having a strong brand identity
- Improves brand Personality
- Drives the Vision of the Company
- Improves the work culture of the company (clear goals)
- Maintains the positioning and even improves it
- Immediate connect with customers
Disadvantages of brand identity
- Brand identity plays a crucial role in any organization and if not handled properly, it will showcase that the company is not in touch with the realities of the market and its current trends.
- If a company is unable to form a favorable brand identity, it may lose its positioning in the market.
- The inability to understand the market sentiments can have contrary affects and may lead to loss of sales and less revenues.
Brand image is a consumer’s interpretation of your company and its products and services. It takes form inside the consumer’s mind based on their experiences and interactions, as well as their perception of your company’s mission and values. A strong brand image can create brand recognition and encourage the formation of a loyal client base that can provide a company with profits for years to come.
Brand identity is composed of various shares that trigger particular responses in consumers in addition to filling the afore-mentioned functions. These shares build on one another; the more shares a brand has, the stronger and more positive the relationship with consumers.
At the very lowest level, mind share must be created in the consumer consciousness (cognitive level). This means that, as a complex perceptual and conceptual construct, the brand evokes an internal neural representation in the minds of consumers, leaving behind certain brand impressions.
This refers to the emotional relationship a consumer should develop with a brand. Heart share is less a matter of a product’s functional utility and more a matter of its symbolic attributes. The buyer of a Ferrari, for instance, will not develop affection for the car based purely on functional attributes, but rather as a result of the values associated with the brand and the brand environment it operates in.
Brand identity must trigger a buying intention share in consumers. After all, despite the importance of a brand’s mind and heart share, it only makes sense for a supplier to invest in brand identity if consumers will also want to buy the brand.
Brand identity contributes to self-share, which means that the brand functions as a manifestation of the self, a tangible expression of self-image within the social environment. In this context, brands serve self-expression and self-design purposes, differentiating the individual within the social group. Brands can easily serve similar ends in the realm of business-to-business, where they bolster self-image in terms of a company and its functions.
Here, the brand shares in the existential search for meaning conducted by a consumer in a world enlightened to the point of meaning-lessness and takes on a virtually religious character. This aspect sheds light on the cultural-sociological proposition that brand management is worshiping the customer. Brands allow consumers to achieve social position or status, to partake of cultural expression, to create mythology and shape meaning, and as a result, to weave themselves into the social and metaphysical fabric of the world. In this context, a loyal customer is a member of a community and an individual loyal to that community not just a customer who makes repeat purchases. A brand is a tool for building a sense of community and belonging, for building the community itself.
A good brand image can help a company establish credibility within its industry. It requires earning the respect of consumers and competitors through quality, consistency and honesty. There are many ways that brands establish credibility, such as:
- Providing expert testimony about products or services
- Answering customer feedback.
- Being honest with consumers
- Addressing issues quickly
- Comparing products and services with competitors
- Becoming a thought leader in the industry
- Protecting customers’ information
- Focusing on quality
- Taking a stance on social issues
Consumers may trust brands that are more credible and open about their operations. When they perceive a brand as the most credible option in the industry, consumers may be more likely to support the brand over its competition.
When customers have a positive brand image of a company, they may be more likely to refer its services or products to others. Referrals are an important part of growing the brand’s audience, and trusted friends and family can serve as a credible source of information for many people. Sometimes, a potential customer simply needs a positive mention from a trusted friend to decide to support a company.
Makes a good impression
Making a good first impression is important, especially in business. Consumers will create an impression or brand image of your business based on factors such as messages and values communicated through your website, customer service, social media posts and even your company logo. How consumers see your company, even on a superficial level, leaves an impression. You want all points of contact with potential customers to leave a positive impression.
A recognizable brand can attract new customers and establish itself as a key component of a specific industry. For example, if customers think of your brand as honest, supportive and innovative, those are the attributes they associate with each of your products or services. They might describe the brand as honest, supportive and innovative when discussing it with others or writing reviews. Their positive opinions about your company also make it easier to introduce new products under the same brand. The new items immediately have a good image since they’re affiliated with your strong brand.
A brand’s image can also help it appear professional and organized. If a brand’s image is clean, consistent and organized, customers might think the brand embodies professionalism. Along with credibility, professionalism may help customers trust the brand and create expectations for service and products. Those expectations, when met by the brand, can help increase customer confidence and potentially their loyalty to the company.
|Brand Identity||Brand Image|
|Brand identity develops from the source or the company.||Brand image is perceived by the receiver or the consumer.|
|The general meaning of brand identity is “who you really are?”||The general meaning of brand image is “How market perceives you?”|
|It’s nature is that it is substance oriented or strategic.||It’s nature is that it is appearance oriented or tactical.|
|Brand identity symbolizes firms’ reality.||Brand image symbolizes perception of consumers|
|Brand message is tied together in terms of brand identity.||Brand message is untied by the consumer in the form of brand image.|
|Brand identity represents “your desire”.||Brand image represents “others view”|
|It is enduring.||It is superficial.|
|Identity is looking ahead.||Image is looking back.|
|Identity is active.||Image is passive.|
|It is total promise that a company makes to consumers.||It is total consumers’ perception about the brand.|
|It signifies “where you want to be”.||It signifies “what you have got”.|