PART 2 Branding Terms: the differences between logos, visual identities, corporate identities and branding.
What is branding?
Depending on the level of exposure, people associate branding with different things. Sometimes people think that Branding just consists of a Logo, the Visual Identity, or even a Corporate Identity. All of these beliefs are correct but are limited in the true scope of what branding actually is.
A Logo is a quick visual way to identify a company. The design is usually based on the characters of a company, store, product or organization’s name or a symbol that represents their vision or philosophy. A Logo is a pure graphic element.
The Visual Identity embodies the essence of a brand visually. It ecompasses all the visual representations of a company, store, product or organization. A logo is one of the main elements of a visual identity. But it is only a part of a complete system, alongside any other graphic elements, typography, color palette, illustrations, photography, layouts or any other visual aids such as moodboards.
For those with a design background, Corporate Identity is most frequently confused with branding. Corporate Identity is a marketing concept that began in the United States in the 1930s. It is a system of communication that allows management-related matters such as corporate philosophy, characteristics, business content, and policies to be disseminated from the perspective of the company and shared with society. The goal is “to convey the message of the company”. So not only does this include the visual identity, but also the copy necessary for communication other than visuals.
Branding goes even deeper! It creates value by drawing out the uniqueness of a product or service. It comprises every experience a person has with that company, person, product or service. Each touchpoint is strategically crafted to enhance their interaction.
The ultimate goal of branding is to improve “corporate value” and earn customer loyalty. We want our client’s customers to trust them and become fans of the company. Until recently, it made more sense to improve the real value (products, services, quality, performance, etc.) and disseminate it in an easy-to-understand form (corporate identity) from the perspective of the company. In an era where markets are close to saturated, it is difficult to differentiate. There would be a bloody battle to improve quality and lower prices. Instead, creatively drawing out the individuality and characteristics of the company adds a new value- an emotional one.
The real thrill of branding is to differentiate yourself from other companies by looking at your products and services from a holistic perspective and convey the true essence of who you are, what you stand for and the real value to your customers. Adding this emotional value, sets you apart from any competitors and empowers you to do business your way.
[Photo and styling by Hitomi Watanabe Deluca]