What’s The Difference Between Your Brand And Your Identity?

01 December 2022By Michelle

“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”

– Jeff Bezos, Amazon

Never a truer word spoken, Jeff. And Jeff was also on the money when he said:

“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well”.

There are endless brand and identity quotes in the world. None of which typically help separate the two. So, let’s gain some clarity here – we’re going to take a deep-dive into how branding and identity are two very different marketing elements.

“In a survey of 720 executives, companies that were seen as having a stronger identity outperformed others by 25%”.

Let’s begin with identity…

“Identity is cause; brand is effect, and the strength of the former influences the strength of the latter”
— Larry Ackerman

Brand supremo Larry Ackerman has cleared something up here. In this one sentence, he’s shown us how identity should come before branding – that it should be your company’s ‘Why’.

He also goes further, to explain that your identity should be “your uniqueness and the potential it holds. Clarifying one’s core identity is the foundation for creating value and being rewarded for it in return”.

As you figure out your identity, you need to think about three core areas…

1. The value proposition you offer your customers
2. The system that allows you to deliver that value
3. The products and services that harness those capabilities and delivers against your value proposition


I’ll cut to the chase – a brand is not a logo nor a corporate colour scheme. In fact, it’s not anything tangible in anyway at all.
A brand is the relationship you have with your customers – it’s an emotional connection and the gut feeling that people get from the way your company presents itself. In short, a brand is whatever a person thinks or says about your company.

When developing your brand, the key question to ask is “what do I promise my customers?”.
Let’s take some real-world examples of brand promises…

Coors Light: “The World’s Most Refreshing Beer”
Nike: “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.”
Apple: “Think different”
BMW – “The ultimate driving machine”
Starbucks: “To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time.”
Nationwide Insurance – “Nationwide Is On Your Side”
Tesla: “To accelerate the advent of sustainable transport by bringing compelling mass market electric cars to market”

At Lead Social, we clear up concepts that otherwise confuse (and cut out the buzz words and jargon entirely).
Now that you know how your brand and identity is different, we’re here to shout about yours on social (or support you in shaping them, if you’re yet to get out of the marketing starting blocks).

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