Brand vs Branding vs Brand identity

Have you ever found yourself confused by the terms brand, branding, and brand identity?

You're not alone!

These terms are often thrown around interchangeably, but they each have distinct meanings and play a vital role in building a successful business.

Let's start with the first "B": brand. This is the essence of your company – it's how people perceive you. As branding expert Marty Neumeier famously said, "brand is not what you say it is. It's what they say it is." In other words, your brand is the sum total of all the experiences, interactions, and impressions people have with your business. It's not just your logo or tagline; it's everything from the way you answer the phone to the quality of your products or services.

Next up is "branding." This is the set of actions you take to build your brand. It's the strategic process of creating a unique identity for your business that sets it apart from the competition. Branding includes things like defining your target audience, developing a brand voice and messaging, and creating a visual identity system (like logos, colors, and fonts).

Last but not least, we have "brand identity." This is the sensory elements that are used to identify your brand – things like your logo, colors, and typography. These visual cues help to create a memorable and recognisable brand that people can easily identify.

So why do all three of these B's matter? Simply put, they're all essential pieces of the branding puzzle. Without a clear brand, you'll struggle to connect with your audience and differentiate yourself in the market. Without branding, your brand will lack a cohesive identity and won't be memorable or compelling. And without a strong brand identity, your branding efforts will fall flat and won't be easily recognisable or memorable.

It's important to note that these three elements are interconnected and build on each other. A strong brand identity is built on top of a clear brand and effective branding efforts. So before you start designing logos or choosing colors, it's important to first establish your brand's core purpose and belief system. This will help ensure that all of your branding efforts are aligned with your business goals and values.

Understanding the difference between brand, branding, and brand identity is crucial for building a successful and marketable business. Remember that your brand is not just what you say it is – it's what your audience says it is. By investing in effective branding and creating a strong brand identity, you can help shape those perceptions and build a memorable and impactful brand.

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