Brand identity and Brand image building are two of the most essential components that define a success of a brand in a market. These terms determine what the brand speaks about, and what is being heard by the customers. Although both these terms are two sides of the same coin and helpful to one another, they both derive different meanings altogether.
What is the difference between brand image building and brand identity? Why are they so important for the foundation of any brand?
A Brand Identity, also known as the visual identity, confines all the visual aspects that you have created to make your brand stand out, or make it unique in a market full of similar competitors of the same niche. It contains the logo, style, colors, typography, accent, consistency in image formats and styles, etc and anything else that helps the customer to differentiate your brand from the others. A brand identity is the message that you want to convey through your brand or product. It demands complete consistency when it comes to messaging as this creates the first impression of your brand in the customer’s mind. It requires complete involvement of the firm to create a presentable impression of the brand that has maximum recall value and a concrete brand positioning. It showcases the brand message with the help of all the other visual elements that complement it to create a unified message that helps build your brand value in the long run, using integrated marketing communications.
The brand identity also comprises of the firm’s mission, vision, personalities and core values. It depicts the ideologies behind the intent of the brand and promises delivery of assured quality in products and services. The core values of any brand communicate what you believe in as a whole and your shared beliefs and interests to reach the desired target. This at times resonates with customers who share the same beliefs as well. Brand identity is the brand’s voice, something that the brand is trying to say and portray, and the key to building a strong identity is to maintain this same tone throughout the marketing processes to have a unified presence.
In layman’s terms, your brand identity is who you are, what you do and how you do it. It depicts your brand’s desires and what the reality is. Consumer trends today have been changing very frequently. They tend to prefer brands that share their beliefs and reflect their values. For eg. A customer is prone to be attracted to a brand that believes in sustainable development of the society, which can be conveyed only through the brand’s identity messages. Brand identity components are diverse in nature and are unified to solidify a brand’s personality and appeal in the customer’s memory, and these factors are some of the key differences between brand identity and brand image building.
A brand image is a feeling, or what the customers think about your brand. It is the complete perception of your brand to the consumer, or a basic impression of your brand, which is created through brand messaging and brand awareness, and always aligns with your brand identity to create the desired perspective of your brand. A brand image is developed over a certain period of time during which the customer gets to experience and interact with your brand.
Every brand works towards creating an optimistic and a strong image in the market. It ensures more customers, which essentially leads to more sales. The market today is clustered with similar products which leaves the customer with uncertainty. A strong brand images ensures the customer chooses your brand over others, and increases the brand awareness with the same. It also plays an important role with maintaining brand loyalty for existing customers. A brand image is superficial in nature, as it relates only to the psychological effect your brand has in the market due to successful branding and the appeal of your brand identity.
A major advantage of a strong brand image is the ease of introducing new products. A firm finds it difficult to attract consumers to a new product due to certain factors such as consumer uncertainty, competitor’s marketing, competitive pricing, etc. When a firm has a strong brand image in the market, it becomes easier to introduce new products and focus lesser on marketing them as the consumer already has a positive perception about your brand. Due to this, they would not be hesitant to try your new products, which enhances brand promise and increases brand awareness.
A brand image comprises of several brand associations such as features, attributes, quality, performance, services and support facilities. Apart from personal interactions and experiences that the consumers get, it can further be enhanced through advertisements, word of mouth, sales promotions, packaging, bundling, etc. The image of a brand is important because they consumers associate themselves with the brand’s image, which attracts them in the first place. For eg. Woodland Shoes are perceived as adventurous, outdoor, sturdy, etc. Consumers who buy these reflect the same personalities in themselves.
Brand image building is something that firm’s focus on more and more today. It involves a complete holistic approach that involves PR, advertising, digital marketing, etc. Brands that endorse celebrities find it beneficial to work on brand image building as those celebrities have a mass following, and it reflects in the sales of the product as well. The brand image building process involves identifying the target audience, establishing brand objectives, reflect with relevant messages and create a persona for yourself that is easily identifiable in the market. Brands today optimize various marketing strategies that make extensive use of digital tools such as content development, digital PR, social media and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Brand identity is how the brand wants to portray itself to the potential target customers as well as existing ones. Your firm’s brand identity is what it says you and your background, including the quality of products and services you offer and how they differentiate from competitors in the market.
The brand image is basically how the brand is perceived by your target and potential group. The most important task for a firm is to associate the brand identity and brand image as closely as possible. This is because brands want to reach out to consumers in a holistic manner and convince them that their ideologies go hand in hand with the consumers’. This also helps further in branding and marketing strategies.