As a logo and visual identity design studio, we notice there is confusion with the terms brand and brand identity. No hard feelings if you mix these terms up, because it happens frequently.
The more you’re educated about these topics, the more you can flourish your small business! That’s why we want to take some time and share with you the difference between brand and brand identity. Because even though they are very distinctive terms, they also work together.
Ready? Alrighty, let’s jump in!
Think of your business’s brand as all the ways you want your small business to be perceived by your potential customers and/or ideal clients. A brand is an experience. It’s the mission, values and vision of the company. It’s the way you want your clients to feel. It’s the style and personality you convey. It’s also the messages you send to your audience.
Our design studio takes pride in the fact our brand is built around core values and missions that exude creativity, passion and meaning. We value authenticity—designing meaningful and unique brands. We also value cultivation—giving love and nourishment to small business owners and creative entrepreneurs’ brands, because we want to see our clients’ brands flourish.
Not only is a brand important for the experience, but it also gives your business the opportunity to separate and stand above the competition. Your voice, messaging, the how, who what, and where can position and convey what is your company’s purpose and message, and as a result your business begins to stand out.
A brand we absolutely adore is Kate Spade. This company’s product line has changed and evolved over the past 25 years—from hand bags only to now, a global lifestyle brand. But that hasn’t changed the company’s brand of WHO they are. Even through the changes, they quote, “All the while, we’ve never lost sight of who we are: our spirited approach, commitment to curiosity and passion for sharing our colorful world still shapes all that is kate spade new york.” Kate Spade has established a fresh, modern, refined and passionate brand that gives a one of a kind experience to their customers. A brand done right!
Okay, so we now know the meaning of brand: an experience.
Now, we’d like to think of brand identity as the perception your community has on your small business, through your business’s visuals. In return, these visuals influence how your potential clients view your business. Your logo, submark, shape, color, typeface, and illustrations or patterns have a huge impact on your brand, just as much as the products, services, and the people behind your business.
Brand identity, also known as visual identity, is essential for your business and so are first impressions. You need to make sure you visually capture your audience in the first five seconds. You can do this through visually cohesive imagery and storytelling. Design a logo that will speak well across all platforms—business cards, letterhead, and website. Also, include a secondary logo or submark that uses the same typeface as your primary logo and accommodates other dimensions. It’s important to establish an aesthetic—a defined look and feel for your brand identity that is consistent through typeface, illustrations and a color palette.
What is your small business’s brand identity conveying to your community?
For example, think of Nike. At a glance, their tagline, “Just Do It”, and their logo “The Swoosh”, seem like a simple concept. Yet, instantly people know this is Nike, because Nike has established a strong brand identity through their creatives. Their brand identity conveys a sleek and victorious business. This is only one example of the impact your brand identity can make for your business to stand out from the competition
As for our design studio, one aspect of our brand identity is our illustrated olive branch. The olive branch symbolizes the peace and confidence the client will have knowing their brand is in our hands. Just like it takes time and nourishment to grow an olive tree, we treat our client’s brand with the same care. Our olive branch gives potential clients a brief glimpse at our business, so they know from the beginning how their business will be treated. This small but substantial visual has a major impact on our brand identity.
How can you cultivate a brand identity and create a presence for your small business?
We suggest taking a good look at your brand, what are the areas in your business, products and services that need a revamp? Begin to refine these areas. Next, distinguish your positioning and messaging. Make sure what you offer and say have an unique position.
And, our favorite—develop your creatives. Develop your creative pieces, including your logo, stationery, social media images, website and more. Needing direction in this area, we’d love to talk with you about our logo and visual identity offerings. Finally, implement strategies to see your brand identity come through.
Remember, a brand and brand identity are very distinctive yet don’t neglect the fact they should complement one another! This is what will give your business an aesthetically pleasing look, feel, and message. Tell your brand story through your logo, colors and patterns, allowing your business to establish both the brand and identity.
It can feel challenging at times to distinguish the two and then put them together to create a cohesive feel and experience, but that’s why we are here! We’d love to help you work through your brand questions and establish a brand identity for your business. We want to take the heavy load off your hands and see your business flourish.
If you have more questions about brand vs brand identity or want to know your first steps, contact us, we look forward to chatting! What challenges is your business facing with your brand and identity?
Remember: your brand and brand identity define your business. What are they saying about yours?
B&M Design Co is a boutique design studio from Dayton, OH. We design authentic brands for business owners to flourish. 🌿 We specialize in logo design, visual brand identity, web design and other design services. We know building a brand is not a simple task, so we want to extend an olive branch, a symbol of peace and victory to allow your brand to flourish.