Image vs Identity
When going through the Branding process it is very important to know the difference between Brand Identity and Brand Image.
A brand in essence should take on it’s own personality, or be viewed much like a person. Just like President Obama has a completely different persona from, let’s say Johnny Carson or Tony Hawk, so should your Brand stand out.
The Brand Identity is what the Brand stands for. What music is associated, style of art, causes, activities? What does your Brand ultimately stand for and represent? Much like you may have a certain belief system or rules/code of ethics, so should a strong Brand. You can see it in all of the Green Companies that have started with their mantras about saving the environment.
The Brand Image is a reflection of the Brand Identity. For example a punk rocker may have a Mowhawk to reflect their anti-establishment M.O. or a Hip-Hopper may wear baggy pants and a baseball cap twisted to the side to reflect their urban roots, so should a brand be reflective of who they are, where they come from and what they represent.
A good example would be Mark Ecko. He’s always served his customer with the Urban look and feel that they’ve sought after. And even though guys like Ecko and Sean John started producing high end products, their Brands Identity never swayed, because ultimately we know who they are and where they were coming from.
Also, important to note, you can’t just make something up and say that’s what your brand is. I mean, you can, but ultimately it will look contrived and you’ll have an uphill battle trying to create a long-term loyal customer. We’ve all seen it… the brand with big bucks trying to buy their way in only to disappear shortly after.
So take a good look at your brand and ensure that you are who you say you are…