What is the Difference Between Brand Identity and Brand Image

The main difference between brand identity and brand image is that brand image is how consumers perceive the brand, while brand identity is how the company creates the right image in the consumers’ mind.

Although these are terms that are closely associated with each other, there is a distinct difference between brand identity and brand image. Brand image is the perception the consumers have about a brand, whereas brand identity refers to the efforts taken by a company to create a positive image in the consumer’s mind.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Brand Identity 
     – Definition, Features 
2. What is Brand Image
     – Definition, Features
3. Difference Between Brand Identity and Brand Image
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

Brand, Brand Identity, Brand ImageDifference Between Brand Identity and Brand Image - Comparison Summary

What is Brand Identity

Brand identity is the set of all elements a company uses to create the right image in the consumers’ mind. These elements determine how your brand is perceived by the target audience. Moreover, the elements of a brand identity originate from the company’s values, vision and missions, long-term goals, the competitive position of the market, and relevance to the interests and values of the audience. A company’s brand personality (if you imagine your brand as a person and what type of personality they would have) and brand voice (if your brand is a voice, how it would communicate) are also important for the brand identity.

What is Brand Interaction

Brand identity consists of the tangible elements of a brand. These involve design, colour, and logo, which will help customers identify and distinguish your brand. Brand name, slogan/tagline, logo, packaging, social media graphics, web design, business cards, uniforms of company employees, etc., are some of these elements. These help to convey the values the company want to portray in the market and communicate to consumers. Brand identity can develop a positive brand image in the consumers’ mind.

What is Brand Image

Brand image is the perception of a brand in consumers’ mind. In fact, brand image is a collection of beliefs, ideas, and impressions the consumer holds about the brand. His or her interactions and experience with the brand can influence this perception. When a consumer buys a product or service, he is not just making a purchase but also forming a mental image associated with that product/service. A brand image should always be positive and unique. Different consumers can have different perceptions about the same brand. Therefore, it’s important for a brand to have a consistent (positive) brand image. Brand identity is the leading factor in forming a brand image. Other methods like advertising, word of mouth publicity, and other promotional techniques can also strengthen the brand image.

What is Brand Image

A positive brand image can result in consistent sales and helps the company to achieve their business goals. It brings more profits, builds better relationships with consumers, retains existing customers, and helps to introduce new products under the same brand. A company with a negative brand image will have to struggle to operate in the market.

Difference Between Brand Identity and Brand Image

Definition

Brand identity is the set of all elements a company uses to create the right image in the consumers’ mind, while the brand image is the perception of a brand in consumers’ mind.

Nature

Brand identity is how the company presents itself to the consumers, while the brand image is the mental image consumers have about the brand and company.

Elements

While brand identity consists of tangible or visible elements, the brand image consists of visible elements as well as mental values.

Control

A company has total control over its brand identity, but it does not have total control over its brand image.

Active vs Passive

Brand identity has an active nature, whereas brand image has a passive nature.

Conclusion

Brand image is the perception the consumers have about a brand, whereas brand identity refers to the efforts taken by a company to create a positive image in the consumer’s mind. Thus, this is the main difference between brand identity and brand image.

Reference:

1. “Brand Image – Meaning and Concept of Brand Image.” MSG Management Study Guide.
2. Tarver, Evan. “Create a Strong Brand to Grow Your Business.” Investopedia.

Image Courtesy:

1. “InsureRisk Corporate identity // Branding” By Rayz Ong (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) via Flickr
2. “Brand Interaction Cycle” By DaveHarkins (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) via Flickr

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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