IDENTITY VS. BRAND
Often times people use the words “identity” and “brand interchangeably when talking about logos or perhaps comparing companies within the same space. For entrepreneurs knowing that distinction is critical to understanding the interplay between identity and how it affects consumer behavior.
Identity is comprised of a select set of sensory elements, typically visual in the business world, which differentiate a company from its competitor. It can be a color palette such as the red and white circles from Target, typographical combinations, or the scent coming out of a soap retailer. When channeled repetitiously to the target audience, identity begins to gain traction by way of recognition and association. Every time consumers see that red and white Target palette, it becomes a differentiating identity of that company.
A brand is the emotional connection a consumer develops to that company. Mind you it’s not created by the company, but by the consumer’s interaction and perception of the company. As much as we’d like to think we’re masters of our own minds, brands are subtle but powerful undertones. Think about how people line up outside certain stores when a new electronic gadget is announced.
In effect, identity is the mark of a company that evokes those emotive responses within the consumer (brand). When channeled consistently through various touchpoints of the consumer’s journey with your company you are establishing a powerful assurance or authority over your intended message.