What is brand image? What is brand identity? And how do they each impact brand and customer behavior? Understanding the difference between these two terms can help you better serve your clients and bring in new customers.
Your brand identity, simply put, is the way you hope your company looks on the outside. Your brand identity encompasses everything related to your business, from advertising to logos and content.
The personality of your company comes through in your brand identity. Creating the correct impression is crucial. It comes about through conscious decision making about your organization’s image over time. It’s normal for this to be worked and reworked as your business expands and evolves.
A successful brand identity sets your company apart from others. It also informs your internal corporate culture. Things like your internal communications plan are part of that identity. Your staff engagement and happiness affect your brand identity too.
Staying focused on your ideal brand identity is wise. This way, you can correct things that might have taken your brand off track.
For your customers, your brand identity is your pledge. It tells them who you are, what you do, and what standards you promise to meet. Upholding that promise is important!
Your brand image, on the other hand, is the experience of your customers and staff. Where brand identity is the ideal goal, brand image is the reality. You could say that it’s the public counterpart to your private business decisions.
If you find that your brand image and your brand identity are at odds, take it as a clear signal that something needs to change. Perhaps you need to work harder on having your brand and its products and services recognized. Or, maybe you need to work harder on addressing complaints and unhappy customers so that more people walk away with positive feelings about your brand image.
One of the best things you can do for your brand image is to ensure consistency in your communications. Make sure that this applies to both your internal and external communications.
Strong strategic business communication plans stress dependability, in your messaging, your branding, and your customer service. If you can ensure that your company is behaving consistently, in everything it does, you will create a more recognizable image with your customers and staff.