First, it is important to understand the difference between a “brand” and a brand “identity”. These terms get confused a lot, and there is quite a bit of overlap between the two.
Your “brand” is the emotional response or relationship that people have with your company. It is based purely on the emotions, gut feelings, and the overall vibe that customers get when seeing or interacting with your company. This has a lot to do with what your company stands for as a whole and what kind of values you represent.
Your brand isn’t what you say it is. It’s what they say it is.Marty Neumeier
The term “branding” typically refers to the process and strategy of influencing this perception that your customers have. You can certainly try to influence it, but it’s not an exact science. Ultimately, your brand is up to customers to decide how they perceive your message, whether positively or negatively. Therefore, you have to do a REALLY good job of putting that message out.
Think about the way you perceive Target versus Walmart. Or Starbucks versus Dunkin’ Donuts.
Your “brand identity” is the sum of all visual elements used by your company, including: your logo, fonts, colors, photos, and other imagery.
Unlike your brand, your visual identity is something that you CAN define. Although, there are a lot of psychological elements that come into play here too. All of your visual design elements are specifically chosen and tailored to your target audience. Here’s a quick example of how important font choices are:
What does the font on the top represent? Love, romance, sincerity, a thoughtful handwritten note.
What does the font on the bottom represent? Probably a serial killer.
Fonts are important. Colors are important. Your brand identity is important.
Did this post help clarify the difference between your “brand” and your “brand identity”? If not, leave a comment below or feel free to get in touch with me!