Brand Identity: What It Is and How To Build One – Investopedia


Brand identity encompasses the visual elements, personality, and essence of a brand. Developing a strong brand identity attracts customers, builds loyalty, and differentiates from competitors.

What Is Brand Identity?

Brand identity refers to the visible elements that identify and distinguish a brand in the minds of consumers. It includes things like logo, color palette, typography, imagery, packaging, and messaging that comprise a brand’s visual style and personality.

Elements of Brand Identity

Core elements that make up a company’s brand identity include:

  • Logo – Unique symbol and styled name representing the brand
  • Color palette – Colors used consistently across visual assets
  • Font & typography – Branded selection of fonts and text treatments
  • Imagery – Photos, illustrations, and graphics reflecting brand style
  • Packaging – Consistent look and feel of product packaging
  • Tone of voice – Distinct brand messaging style and personality

Aligning these visual and written elements creates an identifiable brand image and builds equity over time.

Importance of Brand Identity

A strong brand identity offers many benefits:

  • Differentiates from competitors
  • Communicates core values and personality
  • Establishes visual recognition and awareness
  • Connects emotionally with target audience
  • Provides consistency across touchpoints
  • Guides marketing, advertising, packaging

Maintaining a consistent identity builds trust and loyalty among customers.

Developing a Brand Identity

Steps to create a brand identity include:

  1. Conduct competitor analysis
  2. Define brand mission, values, personality
  3. Select logo, color palette, fonts, imagery
  4. Create visual identity guidelines
  5. Apply brand identity across assets and channels
  6. Monitor for consistency over time

The brand identity should evolve while retaining equity and recognition. Periodic refreshment keeps a brand relevant.


Here is a list of the benefits and the drawbacks to consider.

  • Differentiates brand
  • Builds recognition and loyalty
  • Communicates personality
  • Guides marketing and packaging
  • Cost and effort to develop and maintain
  • Risk of alienating customers with changes
  • Difficulty balancing consistency with freshness
  • Design costs for periodic updates

Key Takeaways

  • Brand identity includes visuals, personality, and essence of a brand.
  • It differentiates from competitors and builds recognition.
  • Maintaining consistency is key, but periodic updates add freshness.
  • Aligning identity across touchpoints strengthens brand equity.
View Article Sources
  1. Brand Basics – USPTO
  2. Brand Identity – AICPA
  3. Brand Identity – European Commission