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Brand Identity vs Brand Image: Understanding the difference.

Vikeduonuo Behlo
10th January, 2024
5 min read
Table of Content


The brand of a company represents one of its most valuble assets. Branding goes far beyond logos and taglines - it encompasses the entire experience a client has with a product or business.

Brand identity comprises of various ways a company presents itself, including its mission, values, personality, visual identity, messaging, and more. It's the desired perception the brand seeks to create. Brand image, on the other hand, consists of the associations and perceptions held by customers and the public. It's the reality of how people view the brand.

Aligning brand identity and brand image is crucial for companies. When the two are identical, it allows for clearer communication, increased trust and loyalty, and overall better performance. Examining the differences between brand identity and brand image provides helpful insight for brands aiming to improve their strategic marketing and messaging.

Brand Identity.

A brand's identity is its fundamental, defining characteristics that set it apart from competitors. Brand identity includes visual components like logo, name, slogan, colors, fonts, and packaging. It also encompasses a brand's personality, voice, and messaging.

Brand identity is determined internally by a company and serves as a guideline for presenting the brand to consumers. It is intentionally designed to project the desired brand image. The goal of brand identity is to make the brand recognizable, memorable, and distinguishable. Delve deeper into it, Explore our blog at Brand Identity: The Art of Curating for a wealth of knowledge and inspiration.

Let’s have a look at some of the key elements of brand identity:

  • Logo - A logo is a brand's most identifiable visual asset, serving as its signature. An effective logo briefly conveys the brand's personality and meanings. Logos are impactful when they are simple, recognizable, versatile, memorable, and align with the brand identity.
  • Name - A brand name helps consumers identify and remember the brand. It should be unique, easy to pronounce and retain. The ideal brand name evokes the brand's personality and positioning.
  • Slogan - A slogan is a short phrase that captures the essence of the brand. It expresses the brand promise and identity in a catchy, memorable way.
  • Colors - Brands use signature colors to stand out, tap into emotions and associations, and get recognized instantly. Brand colors are applied consistently across visual touchpoints.
  • Fonts - Typography choices like fonts and text styles reinforce brand personality through their shapes, sizes, and feelings. Fonts prompt consumers on the brand's tone and voice.
  • Packaging - For physical products, packaging contains colors, logos, shapes, materials, and text that identify the brand. Packaging serves as a critical touchpoint to convey brand identity.

These visual identity elements work together to communicate the brand consistently at every consumer touchpoint. A strong, cohesive brand identity is key for making an emotional connection with the target audience.

Brand Image.

A brand's image is how it is perceived by consumers and the associations people make with it. Brand image is the result of cumulative impressions customers have of the brand based on their direct interactions with the brand, word-of-mouth, marketing communications, and brand experiences. It goes beyond the brand's identity and logo to include the emotional connections and feelings people have towards the brand.

Let’s have a look at some of the key aspects of brand image:

  • Perceptions: How consumers view the brand based on their personal experiences and interactions with the brand. This includes perceptions of quality, value, personality, and distinctiveness.
  • Associations: The attributes, feelings, and symbols people connect with the brand. Brand associations can stem from the brand's communications, visual identity, customer service interactions, sponsorships, and user-generated content. Positive brand associations help build brand equity.
  • Reputation: A brand's reputation is built over time based on user experiences. It refers to the prestige and regard the brand is held in by the users and the general public. A brand with a strong reputation benefits from word-of-mouth, loyalty, and increased sales.

A brand's image evolves as customer experiences and brand touchpoints change. Brand image should align closely with brand identity for consistency . Measuring brand image through surveys and social listening provides insights to maintain a desired brand image.

How Brand Identity Influences Brand Image.

A company's brand identity directly influences its brand image. There are a few key ways that brand identity impacts brand image:


A consistent brand identity across marketing channels, products, services, and customer interactions helps shape and reinforce customers' brand image perceptions. When a brand presents a cohesive identity through visuals, messaging, tone, and experience, it sticks in customers' minds and informs their opinions. Inconsistency, on the other hand, can dilute brand image or lead to confusion about what a brand stands for. Delve deeper into our insights, Explore our blog at Why Consistency is Key: The Art of a Balanced Brand Identity for a wealth of knowledge and inspiration.


A brand's identity is its chance to stand out from competitors. Elements of brand identity like logo, tagline, personality, and design help separate a brand and make it more memorable. When executed effectively, brand identity makes a brand recognizable and distinct in customers' minds. It gives them a clear idea  that feeds into their overall brand image.


For customers to form a positive brand image, a brand's identity and external portrayal must match its actual mission, values, and offerings. Brand identity elements should truthfully reflect the brand's core competencies. When identity aligns with reality, it establishes trust and an authentic brand image. If not, customers may view the brand as deceptive.

Major key differences between brand identity and brand image.

While brand identity and brand image are related, there are some key differences between the two:

  • Internal vs External: Brand identity represents how a company wants to portray itself, while brand image reflects how the public actually perceives the company. Brand identity comes from within the organization, whereas brand image develops externally based on consumer experiences.
  • Controlled vs Uncontrolled: Companies have a high degree of control over their brand identity through logos, messaging, visuals, and other branding elements. Brand image, on the other hand, is largely uncontrolled since it depends on external interpretations by customers.
  • Stable vs Dynamic: Brand identity tends to remain relatively stable over time, only changing through strategic rebranding initiatives. Brand image is more dynamic and constantly evolving based on new products, innovations, campaigns, current events, and consumer trends.
  • Proactive vs Reactive: Brand identity is established proactively based on how a company wants to be positioned in the marketplace. Brand image develops reactively in response to a brand's identity, actions, and real-world interactions with customers.

The key differences highlight how brand identity originates within an organization, while brand image forms in the minds of consumers based on their experiences and impressions of the brand. Understanding these distinctions is essential for shaping a brand identity that resonates with target audiences and translates into a positive brand image over time.


A brand's identity and image are two related but distinct concepts that both play a critical role in a company's success. While brand identity represents how a company seeks to portray itself, brand image reflects how the public actually perceives that brand.

It's important for companies to align their brand identity and brand image as much as possible. When the brand's intentional messaging and personality match up with consumer perceptions, it demonstrates that the company truly understands its target audience. This leads to stronger brand awareness, loyalty, and engagement over time.

However, brand image can never be completely controlled. It emerges organically through consumers' direct and indirect interactions with the brand. Companies must consistently assess brand performance through surveys, focus groups, and other feedback channels. This enables them to evolve the brand identity in ways that resonate with changing consumer sentiments.

The goal should be synchronizing brand identity and brand image to tell a cohesive, compelling story. When a company's vision of itself aligns with the public's view, it unlocks immense value. Consumers gain a brand they can trust and relate to on an emotional level. And the company gains loyal advocates who feel connected to what the brand represents.

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