What is the difference between Branding vs Brand Identity?

When most people think of branding, the first thing that comes to mind is a logo. But did you know that it’s actually the combination of elements that make up your brand? Your logo is just one part.

For example if you sell coastal real estate the logo might possibly have a customised design element representing a home and possibly some elements of nature that represent the coastal lifestyle, such as palm trees, a deckchair, waves, etc. Or your logo identity could be a totally custom element, say for instance Nike’s Swoosh, or Apple’s iconic Apple with a bite out of the side which actually makes up the element of the leaf on top. Cleverly designed logos become iconic for your brand allowing instant recognition of your products or services, and should be an essential part of every business brand strategy.

The term ‘Logo’ is derived from the Greek ‘Logos’ which means ‘Word’, and dates back many centuries. In fact, if you walk through the Greek ruins it is not uncommon to spot ancient logos representing the services that the market stalls once provided.

The term ‘Logo’ is short for Logotype, which is is the technical term for a trademark created from a custom word, however many Trademarks can also be a creation of a symbol, an emblem, or any other graphic device that forms your unique brand element.

But keep in mind your trademark or logo is not the actual brand, it is simply a symbolic representation of your brand.


So what is branding?

Branding is how people perceive your business, service or product. It is the key element that emotionally draws or repels someone to or from your brand. And while often you don’t have full control over how your brand is perceived, you do have the ability to influence the potential customer or client.

Your branding should be designed to target your exact potential audience that your service provides, and you can utilise different forms of media to target and reach this audience, whether it be via a jingle on the radio, a visually appealing series of commercials on the TV or Youtube, or a cleverly crafted social media campaign. 

Say for instance you are selling luxury property, then you might consider your audience would be wealthy, successful and enjoy the finer things in life. They might like elegance and understand that spending money on higher priced quality products is actually an investment, not an expense. So you might target this audience with a high quality commercial filled with deep, bold tones, with some slow ambient music, and slowed down video of a couple enjoying and absorbing the lifestyle of the new property surroundings that they have worked hard to reward themselves with.

Or if you were a cleaning service you might reach your target audience with a cheerful upbeat jingle about cleaning their carpets, with the happy team cleaning your home, doing the jobs that you don’t really want to do yourself.

Both serve a purpose, and both provide a valuable emotion-targeted message to your audience.

And depending on your target audience, it should also depend on which type of medium you choose to target and reach them to ensure a successful campaign, whether that be a press ad, video, radio or social media, or a brand strategy combining a few of these mediums.

Your overall branding should be designed to promote trust and value in your business and identify what you do and why your audience should choose you.

So when it comes to your brand and your brand identity, while there is a very big difference between the two, both are equally important as each other to ensure the success of your business and its overall brand.

For more handy brand tips, head over to smartfish.com.au and make sure you follow my channels for more helpful branding, design and web tips for your business success.

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