Branding vs Identity: What’s the Difference?

Your branding vs identity. What’s the difference? How does each one work to enhance your business?

Basically, branding is the foundation of your brand, and identity is the visual execution of your brand strategy. You can’t have one without the other.

Branding is the strategy you use to shape how you want people to interact with your company. It’s how you want them to feel and the messaging you want to communicate to them. These concepts dictate the strategy for your identity.

Identity is the tangible look of the brand based on the strategy overview you created at the foundation of your brand. It’s how you want to visually communicate. It includes your:

  • Logo
  • Colors
  • Monograms
  • Typefaces
  • Slogan/taglines

Your logo is the most important element of visual brand recognition and should serve to enhance your identity when used as a design element.

HNM_Graphic_v2 (1).jpgWhile you can hand your identity creation off to a graphic designer, it’s important that a strategy team creates your branding. Designers are not trained in strategy and instead need to base their ideas off the foundational concepts you create that define your brand.

For example, a coffee shop might brand itself as a “homey” place to stay and enjoy a cup of coffee with a peaceful environment and delicious, in-house roasted coffee. The designer takes this strategy and brings it to life in the form of a logo and identity.

While calling this blog “branding vs. identity” might sound like the two concepts are different, they’re really working together as the strategy and visual execution of the strategy.

Remember, you can’t have a strong identity without brand strategy to anchor it, and you can’t have a great brand without a strategic visual identity. Master the art of both and your marketing will see success!

Now that that’s settled, let’s get to work. Click below to download our latest eBook designed to help branding beginners create your best brand (identity included!).


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