Corporate Identity vs Branding – What’s the Difference?

Logos, brands, branding, brand image, brand identity, corporate identity? What do these phrases mean? All they all the same thing or completely different ideas? And what is all the confusion about? Today, we are looking at the differences between corporate identity and branding – what are they, what’s the difference, and why you should care.

What is Corporate Identity?

Firstly, it is important to establish what exactly these two main concepts are. Corporate Identity is everything that encompasses the visual side of your business’s presence. This includes everything from the logo design, website design, emails, social media, print ads, product design, uniforms, and signage. These are all tied together via the logo, various logo lockups, the colour palette, typeface, and consistent style. While the business as a whole might have various smaller brand identities within it, with their own differing branding, the corporate identity is what ties together the overall look and feel of the entire business.

Establishing a recognisable corporate identity is crucial in terms of developing an image or imagery that is associated with your brand, allowing it to stand out from others.

What is Branding?

Branding, on the other hand, refers to the relationship between consumers and your brand. It is a process which includes the building of brand awareness and customer loyalty. Branding comprises every person’s experience with your brand. It is what the consumer thinks about and feels when they see your logo, based on their experience with it in the past. In fact, it can be said that your brand is formed by the customer – based on their perception of your ethics, marketing, and brand behaviour. The goal of branding is to create a brand name that evokes trust in the customer who recognises it as a reliable brand.

Why are they Important?

Though branding and corporate identity are different concepts, they go hand in hand with one another when it comes to creating a successful business with loyal customers. A brand is more than just a custom logo or a unique colour palate, a good brand is something that delivers on a promise to customers – it shows them what your business stands for, and why they should trust you above others. It is incredibly important to invest time into forming a corporate identity that has longevity and the ability to evolve with your business as it grows over time. You need to make sure that your corporate identity or the visual perception of your brand, and your branding or how you are perceived are aligned with one another. And, most importantly, you need to make sure that the way that you are perceived by your customers aligns with how you want to be perceived.

By taking the time to consider what perception of your company is being put out into the world, and being consistent in your approach to brand identity, it is possible to use your branding in order to get ahead of your competition, attract your ideal target market, and keep your customers invested in and loyal to your business.

Interested in what it takes to build a successful corporate identity? Watch out for an upcoming blog post on how we recommend starting this process.

Photo by Patrik Michalicka on Unsplash