A brand isn’t just an image or a logo. The term is used loosely and so many consumers do not realize that there is so much more to a brand, including feelings and emotional relationships. A brand is a relationship and along with a brand comes brand image and brand identity—two pieces that are crucial to the brand’s success.
Brand image and brand identity are often times mistaken for one another because they are both related to branding, which includes assigning a name to products or services. However, both terms mean very different things. Brand identity relates to the way a brand is defined and the way the creator of the brand wants the public to view it while brand image refers to how the brand’s consumers perceive it.
A brand’s identity focuses more on the way a company chooses to represent itself and the way the brand wants its audience to view it. Essentially, the brand identity should represent what the company looks like, stands for, and what is represents. Branding plays a crucial role in ensuring that an audience understands a company’s identity. A company’s consumers and competitors will distinguish products based on the way it markets itself and communicates its identity.
On the other hand, a brand image is geared more towards what customers think about a brand. When a customer thinks or hears about a brand, the feelings and ideas that come to mind are what form the brand image. Many moving parts go into building up a brand’s image such as promotions, campaigns, customer interaction, etc. However, once a customer perceives a particular brand in a positive light, it is well on its way to becoming successful.
Building an effective brand image and brand identity makes it easier for consumers to connect with a brand and form a special relationship with it, which in turn builds customer loyalty. Both are critical for a brand to prosper. By understanding how both of each of these segments of branding feed into the creation of a brand and by carefully strategizing, a company can create something to be remembered by.