Branding, Brand, and Brand Identity: What It Really Means

Marketers use professional vocabulary, but the differences between these terms are not always evident to the average person. For example, the terms Brand, Branding, and Brand Identity seem very similar but actually have different meanings. Let’s find out what a brand and branding are and also give a definition brand identity. This will help you if you are going to work in a marketing-related field or are developing your product and order advertising.

What is a brand, and why is it not the same as branding?

It is generally accepted that a brand is synonymous with a company name. Recently, this term has acquired such a meaning as well. However, a brand is primarily a combination of a company’s reputation, values, and reliability.

Branding is the process of creating a brand, i.e., the halo around the name of the company that is associated with a certain product and causes one or another association. For example, Apple’s branding aims to make consumers perceive technology as elite and premium. Therefore, gadgets created under this brand are in high demand and fall into a higher price segment. So, branding is a brand positioning strategy and a way for a company to take its place in the market and find its audience.

Brand identity: What is it?

If the brand is defined as a set of values and principles of the company, the identity is a sensory-visual manifestation that is reflected in the material plane. Identity can touch all the senses, thanks to which consumers fix a clear association between the brand and its products. Brand identity is all those elements that form a corporate style: color palette, fonts, signatures, banners, slogans, smells, and other aspects. It is something that remains unchanged globally, even if individual elements change, for example, the logo is modernized. Brands like Instagram and Pepsi have changed their logo often enough, but it still stands out.

How to Work with These Concepts?

The larger the business, the greater the importance of establishing a strong reputation and brand identity. The market is extremely competitive in any niche, so people buy not a product but a value. But it does not mean that the company has the possibility of neglecting quality. In contrast to the development of brands, there is also a culture of cancellation, which even serious corporations find difficult to combat. As soon as the trademark faces a scandal, it puts it on the verge of existence in the market. However, this is more about brand politics.

Marketers deal with the corporate style and corporate image, which are the two main aspects of brand identity.

Corporate style is such elements as:

  • Established visual associations (logo, corporate colors, graphic elements);
  • Verbal identity (slogan, tone of voice, etc.);
  • Flavors (this applies not only to perfumes and cosmetics but also to culinary masterpieces, coffee, and even clothes);
  • Tactile elements: special packaging, product texture, etc.;
  • Brand characters (think of the bunny that urges you to try another cup of Nesquik).

The combination of values and meanings with corporate style manifests itself as a brand image. The image appeals to the buyer’s emotions, broadcasting certain messages.

Bottom Line

So, a brand is created, and its identity is projected. In this way, the material and moral aspects of business are combined.

Main definitions:

  • Brand = the meaning that consumers attach to a product line or individual service.
  • Branding is the management of public opinion about a particular brand.
  • Identity is manifested as a set of all associations with a particular brand.

We associate the taste of Coca-Cola with a festive mood and a distinctive brand, and we cannot imagine a successful person without MacBook or iPhone in their hands. Here’s how it works in practice.

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