The Key Differences Between Visual Identity and Branding


A lot of businesses these days try to develop a brand. After all, branding is a powerful and quite an effective marketing strategy that can not only elevate your business on the market but also help it gain recognition and credibility among consumers. However, even though the majority of businesses try to develop a brand, not too many are, in fact, successful.

The main reason is that they oftentimes confuse what branding actually is with a brand’s visual identity. In other words, branding is much more than just a logo. There are many elements that define a brand to be able to put it all in a single sentence and visual identity is just one of those elements. A logo may be a banner that makes your brand more recognizable on the market but it certainly doesn’t define it. That being said, here are a few of the key differences between visual identity and branding.

What exactly is branding?

As mentioned before, branding is a marketing strategy designed to help businesses be prominent on the market and differentiate themselves from competitors. However, you cannot say that branding is simply a marketing strategy and leave it at that. As a matter of fact, branding is an ongoing process of redesigning a business in every way so that it will be more unique and thus more appealing to customers. As an example, you establish a brand by defining your company’s mission, core values, a brand’s promise and other factors to form a brand identity. You give that identity a personality by creating a visual identity and giving it a tone of voice. What’s more, you add value by determining your unique selling proposition that will differentiate your brand from others. This will help customers form a brand image of your company or define how they perceive you as a brand.

The role of visual identity

A brand’s visual identity is just a single, yet important element of a branding process. Its purpose is to spark an emotional response in customers and encourage them to relate to your brand. Simply put, you can say that a visual identity is something that customers can actually see and recognize. The elements of a visual identity include a company logo, a color scheme, fonts, images, videos and any other visual element you include in your branding process. What’s more, the tone of voice can also be included into visual identity, especially since it’s your brand’s unique way of communicating with customers through articles, social media posts, emails and so on. The important thing to understand is that you develop both your branding strategy and your visual identity based on customer preferences and not your own. That way, your brand can actually be appealing to consumers and encourage them to not just relate but also to become loyal to it.

Visual identity complements your brand

An essential aspect of a brand is how you communicate with your customers. Tailoring your messages the right way and sending them at the right time is crucial. Furthermore, your visual identity can complement and emphasize your messages. A good example is branded merchandise. By handing out promotional items, you improve your messaging by adding visuals to it. For instance, experts for graphic design from Eastwood can help you design your promotional items if you’re organizing or sponsoring an event in Australia. That way, you can improve brand recognition through effective messaging, which is the essence of a relationship between your brand and its visual identity. The fact of the matter is that 84% of consumers claim that promotional items help improve their brand awareness. What’s more, 94% of consumers are more likely to remember a brand whose gift they received.

Brand recognition

One of the key differences between branding and its visual identity is recognition. Your branding strategy is designed to define what your brand is and what it represents as a corporate image while a visual identity is designed to help consumers recognize your brand in the crowd of many others. A visual identity combined with a brand personality humanizes the brand and helps customers see it as if it was an actual person. That way, they can actually relate to it, as well as establish an emotional relationship with it that fosters trust, engagement and loyalty.

In order to develop a successful brand, companies must work hard on developing the right strategy that will encompass every element of a brand. That’s why it’s important to distinguish what branding is and what a visual identity represents. Although they’re the two sides of the same coin, branding and visual identity portray a brand in very different ways.