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Brand Identity vs. Brand Image

Believe it or not, brand identity and brand image are two different aspects of branding altogether. You may be here out of curiosity reckoning that the two are the same, or you’re looking for some guidance on whether your business has a brand identity or image. As we go over the differences and similarities between these two phrases, we’ll also offer you some tips on how you can enhance your branding.


Alexa, what is a Brand Identity? ?

It is the mechanics of the branding design itself; such as the visible elements of a brand, including logo, colours, shapes, and voice that are attached to your business. Each design element is specifically chosen to decipher how your brand identity translates to the audience. 


Companies with strong brand identities include Apple, Lego, Google, Coca-Cola, etc. We’re sure you’ve got plenty more to add to that list. Over the years, their logo designs have been updated for a more modern feel however brand identity and logo are often used interchangeably. Although the logo is the symbol of a business, it is not the entirety of the identity. Therefore ultimately, iconic brands such as these have if anything only updated their brand identity but have stuck to their same foundations. 


Hang on… what is a Brand Image then? 

To clarify, a brand image isn’t your logo. Once put out to the world, brand image is how your business is perceived and what impression it leaves. This can be positive, neutral, or negative – either way, your brand image is heavily influenced by the social aspect and public relations. 


For example, Amazon’s brand image has drastically changed over the last few years as its competitors have invested in sustainable supply chains and ethical practices whilst the internet giant Amazon, has vastly fallen in favour with consumers worldwide because of its lack of initiative in these areas. Earlier this year, Amazon’s shares fell by 14% – the worst day for them since 2006. 


On the other hand, brands such as Evri (what was known as Hermes until recently) have rebranded themselves entirely to move away from the, arguably disdained public opinion of their courier services. Now, with a new face Evri is rebuilding its brand image, and in turn its public appearance and reputation. 


So, how do the two complement each other? ??

Brand identity and brand image are two halves of one that is brand. The better the identity matches the externally perceived brand image, the better the unique character and differentiation of the brand in the market. 


It all starts with your brand identity. What are your company values? How do you want to communicate your product/service to your audience? What is the personality of your business that you want to show off? 


The answers to these questions are then honed into the design of your brand identity. The traditional stages of brand design are:


  • Using colour psychology, create a colour palette that best depicts your brand. 
  • Deciding on typography that reflects your brand identity. 
  • Tying this into your iconography to best support the overall brand appearance. 


Once all of the above elements have been decided upon, an icon logo can then be created and formed to use in all of your business marketing materials. 


Maintaining your company values and ethos in your business is important in ensuring that your brand image does not disway and have a negative association. However, with a strong brand identity comes confidence in your company, what you’re doing, and what you stand for. 


Tips for a strong brand

  • Research and know your audience, value proposition, and competition. 
  • Use emotive language that connects your brand to the audience, and encourages a call to action. 
  • Digital marketing activities such as social media, blogging, and email marketing.
  • Public relations and online advertising. 
  • Understand and clearly communicate your brand’s value proposition in all areas of your digital estate. Consistency is key! 
  • Personalise your user experience, offerings, products, and services to various audience segmentations. 


And most importantly, monitor your brand image consistently so as not to have a negative impact on the identity that you’ve worked so hard to achieve. 


Your brand identity

At Mantra, we craft the pieces that will let your business put its best foot forward. Each and every element of your brand identity is crafted by our graphic designers to be bespoke and unique to your business. How do they achieve this? Researching the stamina of competitors’ branding identity within your particular field allows our team to determine the logo design, brand colours, fonts, and other brand guideline elements that will see your organisation standing strong above the crowd. If you’d like our expert opinion on your current branding, don’t hesitate to contact our creative specialists today.