Brand Identity for Beginners: A Starter or Refresher

Brand Identity for Beginners

Marketing vs. Branding

We get the question a lot. Is it marketing vs. branding? To start, marketing and branding are two completely separate focuses in the realm of business strategy. Moreover, it is not one versus the other. It is a cycle of both to establish a brand identity to both be recognizable and trusted. Let’s break the definitions down.

  • Marketing is the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.
  • Branding is the promotion of a particular product or company by means of advertising and distinctive design. 

Realistically, once you are established and branded, there must be a continuous cycle of branding and marketing intermixed.  Maintaining returning customers as well as enticing new clients to give you a shot is very important.  In short, marketing is what gets people there in the first place; branding is what keeps them coming back for more. Before you start advertising, you need to establish your brand identity and meaning.

Brand Identity

Creating a brand identity should be your first step in realizing who you are as a company. 

According to 99 designs,  brand identity is “the collection of all elements that a company creates to portray the right image to its consumer. Brand identity is different from “brand image” and “branding,” even though these terms are sometimes treated as interchangeable.”

Brand identity is what your brand says by way of its values and beliefs. It’s what you, as a company, uphold to be honorable and necessary to function. When creating a brand identity, you should have in mind who your target market is and why you are in business in the first place. Essentially, your brand identity is the personality of your business.  The reevaluated question is now. How does branding play a role in marketing? OR, Are you letting it play a role at all currently?

The Impact of Brand Identity

Creating a brand identity that is clear and communicated can be instrumental in a company’s success. Chick-fil-A is one of the most outspoken and well-known brands that has created a brand identity that goes against the grain but is familiar and recognizable. Being closed on Sundays, having a prominent stance on the LGBTQ+ movement has been communicated to the public. Chick-fil-A has undoubtedly lost business because of the brand identity they have created. They described their brand in their marketing, and people continue to fork over cash for the craved chicken sandwiches. Not to mention the anti-followers who turn their noses at the mention of the name. For better or worse, they stick to their brand.

Of course, there are other things to take into account why some brands do well compared to others. Nevertheless, a clear depiction of the brand identity seems to be a sign of a brand’s success or failure.

Rule of Thumb

Eighty – Twenty is the magic zone.

Jaron Thompson

We believe that there should be roughly 70-80 percent of a marketing budget spent on marketing, and the other 20-30 percent spent on branding. Again, you must drive the sale before making the brand loyal. The phrase “paying your dues” has never been more relevant until now. A client will never asks you if your perceived value is the same as your actual value. Each client and customer is different and their perceived value will be drastically different.

Be Authentic

One of the biggest things you must remember when building or creating a brand is to be authentic. No one wants to feel like they are talking or interacting with a robot. Make your brand and your marketing personable and relatable.

"Authentic is EVERYTHING" 
Image/Gif about being authentic 
Brand Identity

Keep in mind that branding is something that is established internally. You and your team must brand your company through day-to-day business transactions. Additionally, your marketing is an outsourced message that is typically promoting or supporting your branding—plastered for people to see. Branding BUILDS loyalty and trust; marketing is what DRIVES loyalty and fosters trust. Consider branding your tree trunk and marketing the branches that help you grow.


Identifying your brand is not an easy step. Without knowing who your company is and what is essential, you will plateau and hit a dead end. When creating your message, think about why you started your business.  Take yourself back to your roots and remember what your intentions were. Include details such as how you operate or do business every day. Then add your personality. Make your business human!

Next Step for Brand Identity

Have you created a brand that isn’t suited to your style? Have you let your brand fall off the deep end? Did you mistake branding or marketing? Are you still confused? We would love to chat to help you better grasp and see how Draft Marketing can help brand and market you and your business. Click here for a consultation.

Follow us on social media to learn more about branding. @Draft.KC

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