Branding vs. Brand Identity: Five Key Differences and How to Do Both Effectively

Branding vs. Brand Identity: Five Key Differences and How to Do Both Effectively

Business branding vs. brand identity. They're not one and the same.

Both branding and brand identity work to enhance your business, but how?

Let's turn to Seth Godin for help: "A brand is a set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer's decision to choose one product or service over another."

So if your branding is the basis of your brand, what is your brand identity?

Those questions and more are answered in this article. We'll uncover five key differences between branding and brand identity, and we'll look at both in more detail.

"The way a company brands itself is everything.... It will ultimately decide whether a business survives." —Sir Richard Branson:

Here are a few useful definitions:

With that essential information in mind, let's explore five key differences between branding and brand identity.

While your business's brand is abstract, your brand identity is material. Brand identity takes the form of physical (also digital) goods, such as stationery, brochures, books, signage, apparel, and anything else that can be marked with your brand's logo. Your brand identity efforts are what your audience associates with your brand.

Sending out an email campaign, posting on your business's social media channels, and creating new website content are all actions that work toward forming your company's branding.

Branding is communicating to your audience what your business is about, why it exists, and why it's better than the competition.

For instance, a career coaching business can be branded as professional and exclusive, a children's toy as fun and educational. or a camera as an outdoor and sports equipment.

How you communicate with your customers comes under your brand. For instance, if you consider your business to be a responsive brand, all of your messaging should mirror that. Your tone of voice reflects how quickly your business adapts to current market trends and pivots its products and services accordingly.

Your business's brand takes care of the "who" of your company. Branding acts as a verb and describes the "how" part of the brand puzzle.

To ensure your marketing efforts are consistent when you're considering business branding, ask yourself:

Elements of your business, such as live virtual receptionist services, make up part of the branding experience. Exceptional customer service via this method reinforces your business's positive communications strategy, for example.

Branding, at its core, is a marketing function. Branding marketing campaigns create brand awareness and encourage your target audience to buy from you because great branding is what keeps people coming back as repeat customers.

Establishing a consistent brand identity means your customers have no problem recognizing your brand.

Your business logo is just one element of your brand identity, but, together with other visual brand elements, it works to provide your customers with the reassurance they need that they're in the right place.

Arguably one of the most recognized brands in the world, Google is an example of an incredibly successful brand identity. Its friendly bright color palette is synonymous with its brand and is incorporated throughout the business's message.

Google uses its brand identity to give its customers confidence that they can expect the same experience regardless of which Google service you use.

A brand style guide is a great idea to keep all your brand identity elements in one place for team members to refer to. A guide helps ensure everyone concerned has an apt understanding of your business and the message it's conveying, and it helps deliver consistency and therefore reassurance to all audiences.

The most effective branding strategy depends on your business model and target audience. Take the time to delve deep into your customer personas, find out where your target audience resides, and then create branding strategies to deliver your message in the right places.

For example, promoting your enterprise VoIP phone system would perhaps not be effective on some social media channels, but targeted business email campaigns and consistent website content would be ideal.

"Every interaction, in any form, is branding," according to Seth Godin.

It's impossible to have a strong brand identity without a brand. Likewise, you can't have a successful brand without a brand identity.

To build a lucrative business, your branding and brand identity must work in harmony to create marketing campaigns that sell to new customers, win back lost customers, and drive business growth.

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