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Define Brand, Identity, And Branding
10/9/2005 at 4:41 AM ET
Looking for a clear and concise definition (and delineation) between identity, brand, and branding. In the end, is brand and identity one and the same?
10/9/2005 at 8:50 AM
Your BRAND IMAGE, or BRAND IDENTITY, is the way people in your target audience percieve the product or company and how they feel [emotionally] about it. It'a a result of all their experience with the product/company, the communication they've seen/heard, and every element of interaction with it, including any third-party references or rumors.
The BRAND is simply the entity whose BRAND IMAGE we're talking about. If I said GREGOR'S IMAGE, I'd mean the image of the brand GREGOR.
BRANDING is the term used to describe all the things a marketer does/can do to affect the brand image, and hopefully create the associations and experiences that will make the BRAND IMAGE a strong one. Of course, there's only so much a marketer can do to communicate the essence of a brand. It's in the customers' minds, and only the customers control that.
Understood this way, a BRAND is a promise -- a promise of an important benefit, delivered the same way, time-after-time. It's not something the marketer says or does. It's what the target audience sees, hears, experiences, and believes to be true.
BRAND and BRAND IDENTITY and BRAND IMAGE are very close in meaning. You use BRAND when you're talking about the product or company itself, and you use BRAND IDENTITY or BRAND IMAGE when you're talking about the way people perceive the product or company.
10/9/2005 at 10:30 PM
Michael is correct. I have one further way to illuminate brand identity vs. brand image.
Identity = reality... that is, what your brand actually is. This is what you attribute to your brand, what you, as the company, decide to portray the brand as and the messages you determine it represents and conveys.
Image = perception... that is, what your customers believe your brand to be (or represent) after taking in all the visual, verbal, and messaging cues they receive from you and other secondary sources.
10/13/2005 at 2:57 PM
Mgoodman is right on all counts but one. Brand Image and Brand Identity are not the same thing. brand Identity is the intended brand image in the corporation's mind or the brand manager's documents.
But brand image is what a brand achieves in the consumer's perception (as mgoodman has written above) as a result of branding efforts
for example a brand manager intends the brand to have a witty brand personality, therefore the advertising that gets done is smart but if the joke in the advertising falls flat due to poor execution then the brand image will not have association of 'witty' in consumer's mind.
for confirmation and explanantion kindly refer to building strong brands, a book written by david aaker
10/14/2005 at 2:52 AM
Thanks crew! All good answers, and all three of you really helped me cement the symantics on this. And deedee really hit the final nail on the head.
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