Visual Identity vs Branding: What’s the Difference?

Visual Identity vs Branding_What's the Difference? from Shelten, LLC at

If you’re just starting out in the world of marketing, you may have heard the terms visual identity vs branding thrown around interchangeably. However, despite their similarities, these two concepts are not the same thing. 

In fact, understanding the distinction between them is crucial to creating a strong and cohesive marketing strategy.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the differences between your company’s visual identity and branding and why they’re important.

So, let’s dive in and take a closer look!

Visual Identity: What Is It and Why Is It Important

When it comes to branding your business, one of the key elements you need to consider is visual identity. But what exactly is visual identity, and why is it so important?

In short, the term “visual identity” encompasses all of the visual elements that represent your brand, such as your logo design, typography, color palette, and imagery. 

And more recently, visual identity also translates to social media imagery. With social media, you can develop your visual representation through graphic elements such as avatars and cover images. 

Overall, these elements work together to create a consistent look and feel for your corporate identity and to help communicate your brand values and personality to your audience.

The Importance of Visual Identity

So, why is visual identity so important? For starters, a good visual identity can help your brand to stand out in a crowded marketplace. By creating a distinctive and recognizable visual identity, you can make your brand more memorable to potential customers.

Moreover, a well-designed visual identity can help to create a sense of professionalism and credibility for your brand. By investing in high-quality visual identity design and branding, you can demonstrate to your audience that you take your business seriously and are committed to providing a high level of service.

In addition, a consistent visual brand identity can help to build trust with your target audience.

Customers are more likely to do business with a solid brand they trust. And a cohesive brand image can help to create that trust. Also, a strong visual identity can also help to reinforce your brand’s messaging and values by communicating them more effectively to your audience.

Related: How to Increase Brand Awareness for Small Business

15+ Brilliant Brand Awareness Advertising Examples from Shelten, LLC at

Branding: What Is It and Why Is It Important

Your business’s marketing campaigns should place importance on branding. But what is branding, and what’s so important about it? 

First, branding encompasses all of the elements that make up your brand’s personality and identity, including your visual identity, messaging, values, and overall tone. It’s how your brand communicates with and is perceived by your audience.

The Importance of Branding

So, what’s the importance of branding for small businesses? To start, a strong branding strategy can help to differentiate your business from different brands. By establishing a unique and memorable brand identity overall, rather than just visually, business owners can stand out in a crowded marketplace and capture the attention of their ideal customers.

Likewise, a great brand strategy can help to create an emotional connection with your audience. By communicating your brand’s mission statement, values, and personality consistently through your messaging, tone, and visual identity, you can build trust and loyalty with your customers over time.

Related: How Many Logos Should a Brand Have?

​Visual Identity vs Branding: The Difference

To break it down simply, branding is an intangible concept that encompasses what people associate with your business and what comes to mind when they think of your brand. 

The Branding Journal mentions that the branding process allows a company’s target group of customers “to quickly identify and experience their brand.” In other words, it’s an experience that’s shaped by various factors, including your messaging, values, overall tone of voice, and yes – your brand’s visual identity.

In short, your company’s visual identity is a tangible component of your branding marketing efforts, representing the face of your business. Your visual identity can be described as what customers see on your website, business cards, other marketing materials, and your company’s products. 

In essence, it’s the design elements of your brand. It encompasses all of the visual language that makes your brand unique, such as your company logo, text, brand colors, and imagery. These elements should be incorporated into your brand style guide to ensure consistency in your brand’s visual identity. This can help promote brand recognition and set your business apart from the competition. 

Related: How Much Do Social Media Ads Cost?


While often used interchangeably, visual identity and branding are actually distinct concepts that are both essential components of a successful marketing strategy. Each has an essential role to play in establishing the foundation of your brand.

By investing in both visual identity and branding, you can create a strong and cohesive brand image that sets your business apart from the competition and drives growth and success over the long term.

If you have any questions about building your brand’s visual identity or branding in general, click here to contact us to schedule a free consultation with a brand awareness expert from Shelten LLC.


What Is Branding? from The Branding Journal


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