What is a Brand, Branding & Brand Identity

Branding is a big world, any actions you take to shape your brand is considered branding. Let's explore in detail what brand, branding, and brand identity are, why it's important, and how you can build a strong brand.

September 5, 2022
Shahid Khan
What is a Brand, Branding & Brand Identity

What is the meaning of a Brand?

A brand is a customer's gut feeling about the product, service, or organization - Marty Neumeier from The Brand Gap.

A brand is NOT:

Just your Logo

Just your packaging

Just your Product

It simply is a customer's perception of your product, service, or organization. A brand is how they feel and think about you. It's an emotional game. It's an idea or a promise made to its target audience. 

A brand is the result of Branding which means that it's an ongoing process of using a variety of strategies and techniques. 

It helps to build trust and a strong connection between you and your target audience. That's why we often buy products from the brands we connect with. Consumers want comfort, happiness, and satisfaction in their lives, and they get it in part through the products they buy.

If the brands they use consistently deliver a positive experience, consumers form an opinion that the brand is trustworthy, which gives them peace of mind when buying.

Brand, Branding and brand identity explained

What is Branding?

So, now let's discuss what Branding is and why it matters. 

Branding has been around since 350 A.D. and is derived from the word 'Brandr', meaning to burn in the Ancient Norse language. By the 1500s, it had come to mean the mark that ranchers burned on cattle to signify ownership - a precursor of the modern logo.

Yet branding today is much more than just a look or a logo. It has come to signify the emotional "gut feeling" reaction a company can elicit from its customers.

It is a big world. Any actions you take to shape your brand is considered branding. It can include various elements like: 

  • Brand Strategy
  • Brand Identity
  • Creative Direction
  • Voice and visuals
  • Brand Positioning, etc.

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Let's assume you designed a logo for your business, it will help the consumers to identify you as a brand. Sometimes, we don't remember the name of the brand but we do remember their logos. Because 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. Visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than other boring texts. So, your logo becomes a part of branding because it helps the consumer connect with your brand.

You developed a brand voice - that's part of branding. You get together with your marketing team to brainstorm an ad campaign - that's part of branding.

Brand, Branding and brand identity explained

Why Branding is important:

  • Branding is important because it sets you apart from your competition and gives your customer a reason to buy from you. Consistent, strategic branding leads to strong brand equity. Your branding tells your story and why you are in business. 
  • It can transform first-time buyers into lifetime customers. 
  • With good branding, you can give your brand a more human side, which your customers can relate to more than a company that's strictly all business. In many ways, you can appeal to people's emotions through branding and make them feel more connected to your company.

What is Brand Identity?

Brand identity is the face of your brand. A Brand is an emotional concept while brand identity is the visual component of a brand that represents those ideas. Branding is emotional whereas identity is visual. It helps the consumers to identify you as a brand. The process of creating a brand identity is called brand identity design. 

Brand, Branding and brand identity explained

How to build a strong Brand Identity System?

Being distinctive and consistent is what makes your brand identity stronger. It will help you to be and look different and it will become easier for the customer to pick you out from the crowd. 

Here is a Brand Identity Design Checklist for small and medium-sized businesses

☑️ Logo Design

Logo design helps the consumers to identify you as a brand. Your logo should be simple, memorable, distinctive, and appropriate for your brand. It's good if your logo has a story. 

Brand, Branding and brand identity explained

☑️ Typography

Select the right fonts for your brand and develop a typography guide. You can choose 2 or 3 font families and be consistent with typography. You can use those selected fonts for prints and on websites.

Brand, Branding and brand identity explained

☑️ Color Palette

Colors are very important, colors have meanings and they should be appropriate for your brand. Select a color palette that represents your brand values to increase your recognizability. 

Brand, Branding and brand identity explained

☑️ Textures/Patterns

Create specific patterns and textures for your brand. You will be using them on bags, posters, business cards, and other graphics.

Brand, Branding and brand identity explained

☑️ Website

Create an outstanding website for your business. It should be effective and SEO optimized so that you can get more reach. If your business has a physical or digital product, consider building an e-commerce website. Whether it's a landing page, static website, or an e-commerce website, you can build a custom website using the no-code tool Webflow.

Brand, Branding and brand identity explained

☑️ Packaging Design

Design packaging if you have a physical product and stay consistent. Your packaging should stand out so that it can grab customers' attention.

Brand, Branding and brand identity explained

☑️ Illustrations

Select an effective illustration style for your brand. The shapes and colors should be similar, as it ensures consistency. 

Brand, Branding and brand identity explained

☑️ Photography

Select an appropriate photography style that represents the emotions your brand wants to convey. Photography represents your brand visually, you can stand out using different tones, sets, props, colors, and more.

Brand, Branding and brand identity explained

☑️ Iconography

Choose a powerful icon style for your brand. Icons are often used on websites, prints, and social media. You can select a solid style, line icon style, or mixed style.

Brand, Branding and brand identity explained

☑️ Layout

Create a strong brand layout. It's the process of arranging visual elements - like text, images, and shapes - on a given page. Layout design is important for any project that conveys a message through eye-catching visuals, like magazine layouts, website design, and advertisements.

Brand, Branding and brand identity explained

☑️ Tone of Voice

Define a tone of voice for your brand. It will help you stand out from the competitors. It's the mood or emotion you convey in messages to your audience through specific word choices and writing styles. Essentially, it's how you express your brand voice.

Brand, Branding and brand identity explained

☑️ Brand Guidelines

Create brand guidelines to ensure consistency. It should represent guidelines on all the brand elements. It should also demonstrate what the company is, what it does, and what it stands for.

Brand guidelines image

Be consistent with what you create for your brand, it should be professionally designed and should work for your brand.

Thank you for reading till here!

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Graphic & Brand Designer

Shahid Khan is a graphic & brand designer. He designs timeless brand identity systems for startups and small and medium-sized businesses. And he is helping creatives and designers through powerful design content. Connect!


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