Branding vs. Brand Strategy: What’s the Difference?

January 15, 2022

Wanna know the 5 words that cause a designer physical pain?! “I just need a logo.”  This is the BIGGEST misconception when it comes to branding. You guys- branding is not just a logo, fonts, and pretty colors.   When it comes to our brand’s color scheme and overall visual identity, it’s important to take other factors beyond our personal preference into consideration.


These factors are called your “brand strategy” and they are so useful for building your business and brand. 


Your Brand is More than a Logo. 


A brand is a feeling. It’s how your business is perceived. And when you think about the biggest brands you may think about their logo, but you think MORE about how that brand makes you feel.

✨When you think about Apple. Sure you think of the apple logo. But with Apple you think sleek technology, user friendly, intuitive, creative.


✨When you think about JEEP, you think about their sense of adventure and rugged sensibility. You think about value (because even a used Jeep is a higher price point because they hold their value).


✨When you think about Coca Cola you immediately think about happiness. Summer vibes. Sunshine. Friendship. And maybe you envision the glass bottle or the red color palette.


✨ When you think about Disney, you think about magic and fun…and that trademarked whimsical font. 


🚫THAT FEELING that those brands have created DID NOT come from the logo, fonts, color scheme alone.


It came from their well-crafted messaging.

It came from their values.

It came from the quality of their product.

It came from their consistency.

It came from the copy they use.

It came from the overall visual direction.

All of these things are their BRAND IDENTITY. ⠀⠀⠀


These classic brands were not designed simply for aesthetics.  All of these factors are part of these companies’ brand identities and they use that data to decide their branding choices. So much research goes into design and color psychology and using that information is so helpful when considering your branding. 


When sitting down to build YOUR brand identity, it’s helpful to think about the core of your business..  What are your goals?  What do you value?  How does your product/service help your customer?  Who is your customer?   Once those questions are answered, you can look at those answers and determine what color schemes and fonts will help push your business in that direction.  If you’re opening a weight lifting gym, you want your brand to feel strong and reliable. You wouldn’t choose a dainty, scripted font to represent your gym even if you happened to LOVE that font.   If you are building a brand that is fun and exciting, you would likely use vibrant colors instead of all neutral and white tones.  These are just two small examples of why digging deep and determining your brand values is so important!  


Determine your Brand Identity:

Step 1: Make a list of adjectives that you feel describe your brand. Ask yourself what vibe you’re trying to create.

This is best done in a brain dump format! Set a timer for yourself for 5 minutes and write down all the words you can think of that you want your brand to feel like for your ideal customer. Once you’ve written all your words down, go through and circle your top 5-8 words that you feel MOST represent your brand.  ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀


Step 2: Think about your ideal client and what they are drawn to. 

What is their personality? Where do they shop? What do they read? What websites do they visit? What’s their life like? What problems do they have on an everyday basis? When it comes to our clients, it helps to put ourselves in their shoes so we can get inside our clients heads and understand what’s important for them, and what problems they are facing. From there, we can create a brand that solves our customers’ pain points and truly becomes a solution for them. 


Step 3: Use color psychology to help you choose colors that represent the feeling you’re trying to create.

There is power in color and when it comes to color, it’s very important to make sure the colors you are using psychologically communicate the message you are trying to convey. Here’s a breakdown of some of the feelings that certain colors can create: 

According to color psychology: ⠀⠀⠀⠀

Red=power, passion, and stimulates hunger⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Yellow=Optimism and happiness⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Green=Natural, peaceful⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Orange=Friendly, Playful⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Purple=Royal, Creative⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Blue=Trustworthy, Strong⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Black=Elegant, Luxurious⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Pink=Feminine, Sweet⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

White=Pure, Innocent⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Grey=Balanced, Neutral⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Step 4: Choose your main colors based on the mood you’re trying to create and what your clients will be drawn to and use Pinterest to search color schemes that include your main color to help you build out your full color palette. 

When it comes to color palettes I like to start with 4 darker, more saturated colors, and from there then use those colors to create 4 lighter versions of those same colors. This way, you have a lot of flexibility in your color palette, everything coordinates well, and you aren’t backed into a corner with only 3 colors to use. Also, it’s important to include colors that can be used as a neutral whether that’s as a background or as text. 


If you find these tips helpful and want to dig even deeper into your brand identity, click here to download our Discovering Your Dream Client Workbook! The first step towards creating effective branding is understanding who you’re creating for! 


Ready to nail your brand strategy and create a magnetic brand that attracts your dream clients? Let’s work together. Click here to inquire with us. 

comments +

  1. […] exercise for you to start planning out what your brand could look like. Once you develop your brand identity, you can use those ideas to start selecting colors and fonts that fit your brand identity. To start […]

  2. Andrew V Gonzales says:

    This is such a well-written and authoritative source! I love the real-world examples you used to convey the deeper meaning of branding. 👍👍

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