Brand, Branding and Brand Identity:
What’s the difference?

When I dive deep and deep about branding, I got amazed by how it helps strengthen the brand, and that’s got me obsessed on this branding power.

But first, what define as branding?

Most people would think of “branding” and “brand identity” as the same thing. But to be precise, terms like brand, branding and brand identity have a different purpose to serve for business and working all together.

In this blog post, I am SO excited to share this branding info with you, my favourite topic so far!  Let me help you understand each term, its purpose and its role-playing in business. C’mon!

Brand – what people think/feel about you

People seem to be confused because when talking about a brand, they think of the logo. In fact, it’s so much more than that.

Brand is intangible, it’s connects people emotionally.

I would say a brand is a combination of the experiences, feelings, perceptions and expectations that people have about your business. Hence, the brand is not what you say it is, it’s what THEY say it is.

For instance, if a person trusts on you and believes in what you are offering then you have successfully created a strong and credible brand. They love your brand and it is irreplaceable to them. Your business can definitely stand out from the crowd.

Marty Neumeier says it best…

“A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or company. It’s not what YOU say it is. It’s what THEY say it is.”

Isn’t that simple? 🙂

Branding – a disciplined process on creating the experience and connects with people emotionally

Branding is a process, a disciplined process on how you take every opportunity to influence people to choose you over another brand. You create an experience in your target market, create awareness and loyalty.

A brand is how people perceived you. Then branding is how you shape the perceptions people have about your business.

So we are advised to act on how you want people to think about your brand. It’s going to be on everything related to your business; your tone, logo, website, customer service, marketing strategies, how you advertise, etc. All need to be put in the same behaviour, same direction to create your desired brand.

Then, how do we know what’s the best behaviors or direction for your brand. You see, branding is a big plan. We better have a well-planned strategy to compel your target market to do business with you.

Setting up a brand foundation is the most important step in branding and to promote your business successfully, even you are doing small business. This is the skeleton, the root of your brand. Without knowing what is your brand foundation, you will easily lose the direction, like driving to a destination without reading the road signs and not having a GPS.

Brand Foundation includes:

Vision, Missions, Value, Message, Personality and Ideal Client Profile.

Vision defines your Why, your desired position of the business in future, for 5 years, 10 years and above. This is your ultimate goal. Your vision is achievable and Future-oriented

Missions are your How, defines what your business currently doing, and what is your approaches to reach the goals. It is measurable and actionable.

Value aligned with your brand’s mission and vision. Those core values should reflect you and your company, what do you stand for and what is your belief? What will you always be or do as a company?

Personality reflects the appearance of your brand. How it feels and look like. Think the brand as a person. What is the characteristic of your brand?

Your brand message is what your brand has to say and say it consistently. You can’t make up your brand message as you go along, and you can’t change it every few months either. Unless you know the changes are significant and better align with your vision and missions.

Defining all these items are not easy peasy but it worth to do that. This brand foundation is your ultimate guide on any decision-making, it drives and filters choices when you build and grow your business.

Brand Identity/Brand Design – is what we can see, the visual side of the business

Many people start out their businesses and ask designers to create a logo for them. They think having a brand identity is to have a logo. I used to have the same thoughts too when just starting out as a graphic designer. But brand identity is beyond the logo, yes, logo is the core of brand identity, the face of the business.

But brand identity is what a person sees and feel about the company AFTER seeing their visuals. This means the colours, lines, shapes, typography and other graphic elements, which mean the logo, business card, website, social media posts, packaging and all the marketing materials.

Some Common Brand Identity Elements That You Would See Are:

Logo, Color Palette, Fonts, Pattern or Icon Design and Photos, Illustration or Graphics.   

Brand Collateral/Marketing Materials Include:

Business card, Letterhead, Social media posts (Instagram, Facebook, etc), Website banners, Ads banners, Brochures/Flyers/Posters, Pricing guide

The brand identity elements and brand collateral make up a system, which I prefer to call it the Brand Identity System. The amount of brand identity elements and collateral in the Brand Identity System depends on how many touchpoint/application needs to be designed for a brand.

Not to forget that, Brand Identity System includes a documented guideline – the Brand Style Guide that tells you how to use brand identity elements and brand collateral consistently and intentionally.

Do you get the idea now? Brand identity is a tool of branding, a tool that you use to shape the perceptions people have about your business.  A logo alone can’t make up a brand identity, the logo is just a part of them.

Brand identity play an essential role in branding, it helps your brand to be recognized and differentiated in the market.

Okay let me sum up…

Brand is what people think/feel about you

Branding is a disciplined process on creating the experience and connects with people emotionally

Brand identity is what we can see, the visual side of the business

Friends, I really enjoy translating the brand’s core values, target audiences, and goals into visuals – the brand identity. Giving my clients the best support on branding, educate them on how to consistently create the experience and connect with your target audiences emotionally.

“Logos and branding are so important. In a big part of the world, people cannot read French or English–but are great in remembering signs”

Karl Lagerfeld

Well ok, I hope you get the idea that developing a brand goes far deeper than creating the logo or just visuals.

Efoo Creative Branding Service involves finding your Why, understanding the heart of your business, step into the shoes of your ideal clients and create a brand that truly reflects you. So you can easily communicate your values and attract more paying clients.

If you’re ready to start taking your branding up a level, click here to schedule a call so we can chat more about how we can elevate your brand to resonate with your ideal clients again and again through my tailor-made branding services! If a phone/video call is not your thing, I’d happy to do it by emails.

Also giving you a heads up, I’m only accepting 1-2 custom brand identity clients each month so I have time to truly focus on my client’s project, the available spot is really limited. So if this is something you want to work together to take your brand to heartfelt new heights, do it now. I love working with you, action-oriented women!


Heart-led design based on strategy for mission-driven brands.

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