The brand concept means assigning a name to the products and services of a company to provide it with “brand power”, which establishes a differentiation from similar products and services in the market. Within the brand, we must distinguish two very different aspects: brand identity and brand image, which tend to be used interchangeably.

Both concepts are fundamental during the construction of the brand. We must not forget that the brand is a fundamental asset of the company and, as such, both the brand image and the brand identity must be properly identified, in order to act accordingly.

Thus, there are significant differences between them, that understanding them is one of the keys to the success of your business, and that we will see in detail below, beyond the main difference already pointed out in the introduction: that the identity is defined by the owner of the brand, depending on how users perceive it, while the image is defined by these users.

What are the Brand Image and Brand Identity

Brand Image

The brand image is what users think (both existing and potential customers). It consists of a variety of ideas, beliefs, and impressions of your clients, formed based on their experience with the brand and other sources, whether direct or indirect.

In other words, it shows how a user thinks and feels when they hear about the brand; that is, it explains the way in which customers think about a brand and the feeling it represents when the user hears its name.

The brand image cannot be created in one day, but it takes a long time to develop it and not always in the direction the company intends. It is anything and everything that influences the user’s perception of the brand.

The brand image can be built through a promotional campaign or through direct user interaction with the brand. In short, it influences what a user thinks and how they perceive it. For example, making the brand logo must remain in the user’s memory linked to quality service.

Thus, users create a connection with the brand, based on their experiences and interaction with the products offered by that brand. Based on these experiences, they develop an image that can be positive or negative depending on the current market position of the brand.

Brand Identity

As we have advanced, brand identity is the way the company presents itself to users, customers, or not, and wants it to be perceived and considered by them. In other words, it is the face of the company, which reflects its values, personality, and ideas.

It is made up of the characteristics, attributes, quality, performance, and services available, as a result of the company’s collective effort; In other words, not only from its management but also from its administration and staff: only the combined effort allows for the strengthening of a brand identity.

Thanks to this management and company policy, an outstanding product or service can be created, with different characteristics from the rest of the competition, and determines the way in which the company wants it to be recognized not only by its target audience in the market but also by competitors.

For this purpose, brand campaigns, strategies, and techniques are essential to communicate and transmit the identity to users. It implies brand vision, positioning, personality, relationships, etc., that provide familiarity and differentiation to the brand.

Main differences between Identity and Brand Image

  • The identity image of the brand depends on how the company presents itself to its target audience. On the contrary, the brand image is based on the interaction and experiences of users with the brand.
  • Although the creation of the brand identity requires the active participation of the company, the brand image is somewhat passive, created by the actual experience when consuming it.
  • The brand identity brings together all the components created by the company with the aim of representing a correct image of the company in the eyes of the user. On the other hand, the brand image represents the complete impression of the product or brand in the user’s mind considering all sources, not just direct experience.
  • The brand identity represents the reality of the company; that is to say, its vision, mission, central values ​​, and objectives. While the image of the brand shows the subjective perception of the user about the brand.
  • The brand identity is about looking back, with the aim of improving it. In contrast, the brand image focuses on hoping to improve users’ experiences with the brand.
  • The brand identity covers all the visible elements of the brand, such as its logo, name, color, design symbol, etc. On the contrary, a brand image includes both these visual elements and brand associations such as quality, reliability, values, etc.
  • The brand identity is under the control of the company to establish it, while the brand image is totally out of their control, but under that of the users.

In conclusion, the brand identity is nothing more than the way the company establishes the brand name and wants users to perceive it and it is largely in the hands of the company and the efforts made by it. On the other hand, brand image is the way your current and potential customers think about and connect with the brand.

Both depend largely on the type of services that a company provides to its users and how faithful they are to their commitments when promoting their brand. Therefore, both are equally important to the prosperity of a brand.

The terms of Brand Identity and Brand Image are used almost interchangeably. We have seen that they are not the same and listed their differences. What other differences do you find between the two?

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