Brand Image VS Brand Identity

The dawn of humanity has always been about passing information amongst each other. This means articulating our thoughts and ideas clearly and efficiently. With the world rapidly civilising, communication seems to have regressed as the meaning of words is constantly evolving. This brings us to today’s topic.

The constant battle of using the terms brand image and brand identity interchangeably has become rampant. This causes confusion among marketers and their audiences. So then, with this in mind, what is the difference between brand image and brand identity?

It is first important to understand the basic definition of these terms. Brand image is a consumer’s interpretation of your company and its products and services. On the other hand, brand identity can be defined as the visible elements of your brand, such as your colour schemes, designs, and logos that identify and distinguish your brand.

The best way to understand these two terms can be when you define brand image as what people think of you. On the other end, you can think of brand identity as what you present your brand as. However, let’s get into understanding the two.

Your brand image as per the definition is largely something that you cannot control. The only thing a brand can do is influence how they are perceived. This influence can be through the experiences you create for your customers and your level of service. However, it is not only limited to these two factors. A brand can also improve its brand image by participating in CSI initiatives and through PR.

Read more: The Comparison Between Marketing And Public Relations.

Now the common question is why brand image is so important if it is just perspectives. After all, you cannot possibly be viewed and loved equally by your target audience.

All you can do as an organisation is put a lot of effort and time into your brand image. Your audience gets to decide how they want to perceive your brand.

Now that you understand brand image let’s get into understanding brand identity. It is very common to use both terms interchangeably, however, these two terms are technically not the same. They share a lot of similarities. What makes them different is that you are in full control of your brand identity. Your brand identity is something that you are. is made up of what your brand says, your values, how you communicate and present your product or service, and how you make people feel about your brand. It is what you put out there that makes your brand unique and different.

The reason why brand identity is important is the representation of almost everything your business is and does can inspire customers and increase a sense of loyalty for your brand.

Let’s use Coca-Cola as a good example in understanding brand image and brand identity. When Coca-Cola is brought up what is the first thing you think of? Bet is their logo and a few of their holiday seasons campaigns and that is their brand image. However, what lies in their brand identity, is their logo – the colours used on the logo and the unique shape of the bottle which has also evolved with their brand identity, and those are some of the attributes that contribute to their Brand Identity

Ningi Sithole