It’s easy to use terms interchangeably, without knowing what they really mean. Like crocodile and alligator, affect and effect, isle and aisle. Brand identity and brand image are in the same boat.
They’re the Olsen twins of business (fraternal, not identical). They might boogie to a similar beat, but they’re not interchangeable. Image and identity are two different animals and ultimately come down to how other humans think about your brand.
Knowing the difference between brand identity and brand image means you’ll be able to set yourself apart from the competition. Sorting identity from image and picking the pieces you can control means less time-wasting and more wine-tasting.
Here’s the thing – it takes consistency and repetition to build even a scrap of public brand awareness, but less than one second for your potential clients to make a decision about your brand. It can affect almost every part of your business, like your reputation, your discoverability, and your clientele, in good ways and bad.
So, what’s the difference between brand identity and brand image?
Brand identity is the face of your brand. It’s the steps you take to make your brand as groovy as possible for your clients. Identity comes from a whole glass of goodness, like your logo, tagline, messages, the words you use, and the colours you pick. It’s built from the inside out and should be a reflection of who your brand really is and what you stand for.
Building a stellar brand identity also comes down to your voice, strategies, and goals. Having a distinct brand voice will set you apart from the competition, so people can spot you from your words alone. And a bullet-proof brand strategy will keep you accountable on your way to achieving your goals.
Brand image is led by the people. It’s set by the way people talk about your brand, how they think about it and how they feel about it. It’s often the human brain that picks your brand’s place in the market.
Here’s the thing – brand image isn’t always controllable. Trying to control it sounds exhausting and time-consuming (no thanks). Clients can’t see where your business is headed, and your brand image might reflect this.
But, never fear! Keep on the straight and narrow and steer your brand in the right direction. Prioritising identity and shaping it to mirror your brand entirely will better your chances of a killer brand image following in its footsteps.
The differences between brand image and brand identity are about as apparent as a Fleetwood Mac cover band playing a preshow for the real deal. Knowing the difference between the two and how they work means a smoother road ahead for you.
Both are as important as one another, but distinguishing them and prioritising brand identity over brand image is strategic and smart (we likey). Having a killer brand identity helps your clients see all your glittery goodness, and can help your brand image in the long run. And, as we said – less time-wasting and more wine-tasting, so get sippin’.
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