PBL Trigger 2 – Brand identity and brand symbolism

1. What is brand identity vs. brand image?

Brand identity is the way how the firm itself wants to be perceived as. It is also how they develop their brand by name, logo, colors, shapes, promotions and languages so their customers can recognize their Brand image as a recognizable firm. In conclusion, Brand image is the result of firm’s Brand identity.

Image result for brand identity and brand image

2. Compare different brand identity models.

There are a few famous brand identity models found: De chernatony, aaker, kapferer

a) De chernatony

Image result for de chernatony brand identity model

According to the model, Brand identity consists of four aspects: Personality, Positioning, Vision& Culture and Relationship. All aspects influence each other, however the brand’s vision and culture is the core aspect which determine and drive the brand’s desired positioning, personality and the subsequent relationships.The Brand identity is passed on to stakeholders that reflect and interpret the identity as a presentation (DeChernatony, 1999). As previously stated in the introduction, Brand image is presented as the consumer’s perception of the brand. This definition is well suited even for this model, however De Chernatony adds that aspirations and self-images are the main influences for stakeholders’ Brand image. The created Brand image thereafter causes stakeholders to forms opinions of the brand which De Chernatony refer to as reputation. The reputation can either be positive or negative and has a direct influence on the brand. Overall, the model highlights the importance of brand managements’ task of managing the brand, especially when negative brand images and reputations of the brand occur. This process of influence is seen as circular and ongoing,which is also reflected in the model (De Chernatony, 1999). Each aspect of Brand identity in De Chernatony’s model will be further discussed in the following sections.

b) Aaker

Image result for brand identity aaker

In Aaker model, brand identity is divided into 3 layers which are Brand Essence, Core and Extended. There are also 4 elements of the brand: product, organization, person and symbol. And in each of these, they have different categories that need to be focused on. After focusing on each of these categories, it can be said that Aaker model started creating Brand Core and Brand Essence. Essence can be said as the soul of firm.

c) Kapferer

A diagram of Kepferer's Brand Identity Prism

Jean-Noel Kapferer’s Brand Identity Prism is a model that helps businesses build strong, enduring brand identities that reflect their core values. It proposes that a brand’s success is driven by a company-wide utilization of the following elements:

  • Physique

The physical characteristics and iconography of your brand. Think of the dynamic Nike swoosh, the sleek styling of Apple or the bold orange pantone of easyJet. Kapferer said the physique should be considered the basis of the brand; it is the clearest visual representation of your brand’s aspirations and how you wish it to be perceived.

In determining your brand’s physique you should consider what your products or services look like, what emotions they inspire and how that might look like in their physical form.

  • Personality

How a brand communicates with the outside world, which is expressed through its tone of voice, its design and its copywriting. Coca-Cola’s happy and playful persona is expressed through its bold colour choices, scripted font and brand messaging that centres on having a great time with friends and family.

A brand needs to define its tone of voice and its design assets and then integrate this into all communication touchpoints: website, apps, direct mail, emails, internal comms and so on.

  • Culture

The value system and the principles on which a brand bases its behaviour. Tesla’s culture, for example, encourages its workforce to innovate and throw in ideas to keep the brand at the forefront of technological change. Google’s culture, recently voted as the best in the tech industry, promotes flexibility, creativity and a fun environment – all things that it wants to be known for outside of its colourful and inspirational offices.

  • Relationship

The relationship between the brand and its customers, and what the customer hopes they are getting from the brand beyond the actual product or service. John Lewis are famed for their product warranties and after-sales service, which has helped them foster a relationship of trust and mutual respect between buyer and seller.

  • Reflection

The stereotypical user of the brand. A brand is likely to have several buyer personas but they will have a go-to subset of their target market that they use in their messaging. Apple, for example, appeal to all kinds, but associate their products with vibrant, adventurous and energetic people, irrespective of age, weight, race, etc.

  • Self-image

How the customer sees their ideal self. By understanding a customer’s ‘ideal identity’ – how they want to look and behave; what they aspire to – brands can target their messaging accordingly. Is your customer’s ideal self outgoing, intellectual, extroverted, refined, cheap-and-cheerful, rich-and-also-cheerful-on-account-of-how-rich-they-are? Work out what your customer wants to look like and make your brand’s aspirations reflect theirs.

3. How is the visual identity based on the brand identity?

“A visual identity is the visual aspect of branding that businesses create in order to evoke the certain feelings and experiences with the brand.”

As knowing your audience is such an important thing, how the customers look at you will be such an important thing. It feels like high school when they actually look at you in a way and then talk about you in a way, but basically that’s how customers are. The reasons are that you are not something so important that they need to tell you what is wrong with your brand, that’s why the pictures always come first and you have to find them first to actually know what they want. But in a way, your images, logos, ads, etc. suppose to reflect what your business is selling or just your characteristics.

4. Analyze the brand identity of a chosen company with a suitable model.


5. Analyze (or design) the visual identity of a chosen company.

Tarte Cosmetics


Investopedia 2018. Brand Identity. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/brand-identity.asp. Accessed 3 September 2018.

Mahdi, Z. & Mobarakabadi, H. & Hamidi, K. 2015. Brand Identity and Its models. http://amiemt-journal.com/test2/vol2-no4/17.pdf. Accessed 3 September 2018.

Investopedia 2018. How does brand image and marketing affect market share? https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/032615/how-does-brand-image-and-marketing-affect-market-share.asp. Accessed 3 September 2018.

Thimothy, S. 2016. Why Brand Image Matters More Than You Think. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2016/10/31/why-brand-image-matters-more-than-you-think/#5ec147db10b8. Accessed 3 September 2018.

Srivastava, A. 2018. Aaker Model – Defining Brand Identity (Philip Kotler Summary). https://marketinglessons.in/aaker-model-defining-brand-identity/. Accessed 3 September 2018.

Atmaja, B. S. 2016. Brand identity structure. https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Brand-identity-structure-Aaker-Joachimsthaler-2000-From-Figure-1-we-can-see-that_fig1_305394430. Accessed 3 September 2018.

Woven Agency 2018. What is The Kapferer Brand Identity Prism? https://blog.woven.agency/2018/04/06/what-is-the-brand-identity-prism/. Accessed 3 September 2018.

Crawford, A. 2017. What’s In A Brand? How To Define Your Visual Identity. https://www.cmo.com/features/articles/2017/10/12/whats-in-a-brand-how-to-define-your-visual-identity-.html#gs.0Vx7kiY. Accessed 3 September 2018.

Cullop, J. 2016. The Difference Between Visual Identity And Branding. https://blog.jcimarketing.com/business-marketing/the-difference-between-visual-identity-and-branding. Accessed 3 September 2018.

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