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Brand Identity v/s Brand Image: How To Create & Build A Strong Brand

“Branding is simply a more efficient way to sell things.”

For any product or service to sell and do well in this cut-throat competitive market, it needs to be backed up by brand power. 

Branding creates a much-required line of demarcation between the company’s product and other products in the market. 

The terms brand identity and brand image are generally juxtaposed in this context. While brand identity is how the owner defines his brand, and brand image determines how the ultimate consumer perceives the brand.

Definition of Brand Identity And Brand Image

Brand Identity :  Most people think that a brand identity model depends on its logo. Sure, an eye-catching logo plays an important role, but any brand’s identity and image depend on many more factors than just the logo. Brand identity is how a brand packages itself and the way it wants to be perceived by potential and existing customers. Tangible factors such as color, images, and language, also affect a brand’s identity. Companies have complete control of the brand identity and can improve it through an organization’s active engagement.

Brand Image : The brand’s image is how customers view a brand and reflect outward authenticity. This is based on how buyers perceive, connect and relate to a brand, and it is essential in paving the way to achieving a set market target. Although it connects more to organizational culture, a customer’s perception of the image is about the face behind the brand and its values. 

Brand Identity Vs Brand Image

Depending on common factors like nature, indications, dependency, and more, brand identity and image go hand-in-hand, despite being different from each other. The difference between brand identity and brand image is as follows:

  • Brand identity is an accumulation of all the brand components created by the company to depict a desired image of the organization. On the other hand, the brand image depicts the impression about the product or brand in the consumer’s mind considering all the sources.
  • While creating a brand’s identity, a company’s active participation is required, while the brand image is a product of real experiences.
  • Brand identity wraps all the visible elements of the brand like its logo, name, design symbol, colors, and so forth. In comparison, a brand image encompasses both visual aspects and brand associations like values, quality, reliability etc.
  • Brand identity conveys the firm’s reality, i.e., its mission, vision, core values, and objectives, whereas brand image depends highly on the connection with the individuals.
  • Brand identity depends on how the company presents itself in front of its target audience. On the contrary, brand image relies on the customer’s interaction and product experiences.
  • Brand identity is all about looking back to improve it. On the other hand, brand image concentrates on looking forward to bettering the consumer experiences.

Also Read – Decoding The Process Of Brand Naming & Strategizing

Tips for strong Brand identity

5 Tips To Create A Powerful Brand Identity

1) Research your audience, value proposition, and competition: Like any other aspect of starting a business, complete market research is the first step to creating a powerful brand identity. Learning what your target audience wants from a product is crucial in creating a brand people will love, resulting in robust brand identity and brand image

As far as competitors are concerned, you should ask yourself questions like: What makes your product unique? What can you offer your consumers that others can’t? Knowing the contrast between you and your competition is imperative to creating a successful brand.

You know what your brand can offer, but be sure to have a clear and straightforward mission statement that expresses your vision and goals. 

2) Design the logo and a template: The logo is not the entirety of the brand identity; it’s a vital element in creating a good brand image as it’s the most recognizable part of your business. It goes on everything from your website to the business cards and online ads. 

Hence you should always be mindful while designing a logo as to what colors you should choose, keep a palette in your mind according to your brand’s personality as your logo colors will define the whole tone of your brand and it’s design system. 

3) Brand design system: Even though you’re not branding an individual, that doesn’t mean you can’t be personable when designing a brand image. The brand design system defines your guidelines and use of your typography, colors, and imagery to represent who the brand is. Then enrich that visual representation with your tone of voice. 

In a brand’s archetype, a company can have different personalities like hero, sage, jester, rule, magician, and more. Once you have laid out the USPs of your brand, you can easily figure out what your brand stands for. 

For example, Nike, Adidas and other such brands come under the Hero brand as they are trendsetters and their core values lie in making their customers the real trailblazers of their product. Hence, you should also invest some time in fixing a design system for a powerful brand identity and brand image.

4) Content strategy to connect and advertise: Now that you’ve established your brand within your enterprise, you need to develop a content strategy to communicate with your audience.

Use the tonality and language that matches the personality of your brand. Use professional language if your business is high-end; if your brand is laid-back, be more conversational. 

Also, people love stories. More accurately, people love stories that move them emotionally. A strong language and sharing your values with your community can establish an emotional connection with customers, which can be a solid foundation for building a long-lasting brand identity and brand image.

5) Know what to avoid: You can follow all the steps of creating a robust brand identity model, but knowing what to avoid is essential. If you don’t want your brand to falter or fail, steer clear of these practices.

  • Don’t give your customers mixed messages. Be crisp, clear, and to the point.
  • Don’t copy your competitors.
  • Don’t lose consistency between offline and online.
  • Scale, don’t sacrifice.

Various Steps to manage a strong brand image

How To Manage A Brand Image?

Managing a brand identity and brand image can be challenging. No matter how hard we try, we have no control over other people’s thoughts. However, there are actionable steps that we can take to foster a positive brand image.

  • Present Your Brand Identity Strongly– Building a brand image if you don’t have a robust brand identity won’t work in your favour. Without focusing on selling the product, know what your brand stands for and be clear about your values. Once you are able to communicate who you are to the masses, you will be able to connect with them, and hence you can build a strong brand image. 
  • Set yourself apart – Once you know who you are and your target audience, you should highlight your USPs in such a way that your product appeals to people. In this highly competitive era, the newness of any product is lost hence, you can craft a brand identity and brand image along with a marketing strategy that resonates with them.
  • Give a damn and keep up with the trends! – Brand values and mission statements have never been more vital. You can now see that brands have become more vocal about civil and environmental issues. And honestly, it’s working. Keeping up with the new trends and aligning your UI UX with them can also work in your favor. Studies show that millennials and Gen Z customers are more likely to remain loyal to a brand whose values align with their own and if you keep revamping yourself with a new brand identity. It’s a psychological fact that people get attracted to something new, loud, and unabashed. 
  • Engage – A brand should act as a personification of your business. That involves interacting with followers on social media, imbibing good customer service by replying to reviews, and actively participating in conversations about current events.

Importance of Brand Identity and Brand Image

As the epitome of almost everything your business is and does, the brand identity and brand image can inspire clients and increase a sense of loyalty to your brand. 

A business’ identity with a face, trust, and a mission attracts people who agree with what your brand has to offer. But once these people become consumers, that same brand identity and image gives them a sense of belonging. A good product brings in customers, but a good brand generates advocates. IYKYK!

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