Understanding Branding and Visual Identity

by Marie-Mathilde Baraer on 17/05/2021

Updated at 27/01/2023

What are visual identity and branding?

In reality, the two are often associated and used as synonyms even though they seem to be slightly different.

Visual identity, also called brand identity, is the graphic representation of a company. It expresses the company's values, activities and ambitions through its own graphic style and is expressed through signs, colors, shapes, texts, and layouts. Visual identity in the field of business, in particular, makes it possible to recognize that it is one company rather than another.

Branding is broader than visual identity. Branding encompasses visual identity. It is the management of the visual identity. Visual identity simply contains tangible representations of the brand, whereas branding encompasses strategy, objectives, and control of the visual identity.

The different parts of branding and visual identity:

There are different elements to each that deserve to be defined to better understand their roles and importance.


-Value, must be communicated and represented by all elements that are accessible to customers. It is necessary to have a brand image in accordance with the products or services offered.

-The strategy is a detailed plan of actions to be taken to achieve the objectives set. With an elaborated business strategy, it is easier to know where the brand needs to make improvements, but it is also a way to have a global image in line with what the company needs to communicate.

-The visual identity, which gathers the design and the logo for example, is vital to a company to communicate to the customers its values and its positioning in the market, helping them to differentiate brands.

-Marketing, is a crucial element that allows to research the market and customer profiles to match products or services with their needs. By analyzing as much data as possible, companies are able to adapt and innovate to meet the expectations of their segments.

-Promotion, is obviously the biggest part of communication towards the customer to promote on all occasions the products or services of the brand. A promotion must respect the strategy as well as the brand image to be the most effective.

-The customer service, is important to give the best impression of your company to your customers but also allows to build customer loyalty, get valuable feedback, communicate values ...

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The visual identity:

-The logo is the first thing that differentiates you from the competition and it is also important to take its time when designing it because it must be kept as long as possible. It must represent the brand in the best and most timeless way.

-The colors are a way to maintain the image of the brand on all formats communicating with customers.

-The typographies are as important as the colors, they follow the image of the brand and represent it on all the communicative formats.

-The shapes and signs, for example images, are also a different way to represent your brand without adding the logo. They are there to communicate more like your values or illustrate the products.

-The layout, depending on the formats you choose (t-shirts, cards, advertisements...), the same image of the brand should be represented regardless of the medium.

What are the advantages of branding and visual identity?

First of all, branding and visual identity allow you to hold the attention of customers and attract them. Moreover, they give you a certain credibility, both with your partners and the market. With the advancement of digitalization, it is easier to communicate brand values on different platforms with little resources. By having a unique brand image, you will stand out from the competition, and will have less difficulty to retain your customers. You seize the opportunity to match your products or services to your customers' needs by properly communicating your offerings. Good branding adds value to your business on many levels. Having a strategy and a built visual identity makes it easier to create the right communications materials. Thanks to all this work, customers will remember the visual aspects that differentiate you from others and you will gain market share. This is obviously an opportunity to seduce the targeted customers quickly.

Statistics prove the importance of branding:

  1. 89% of shoppers stay loyal to brands that share their values. That's why it's so smart for a brand to communicate those values to its audience on a regular basis.
  2. Presenting a brand consistently across all platforms can increase revenue by up to 23%. With a visual identity you can present your brand to the audience in an identical and consistent way. This will increase your sales.
  3. 73% of consumers like a brand because of its helpful customer service. Part of branding is setting up customer service, which has a major importance in retaining customers. Retention itself increases your revenue compared to your investment.
  4. Color improves brand recognition by up to 80%. The very choice of color of your brand matters based on the feeling it gives to your users. But also, by keeping the same color on all your platforms and media you get recognized without even needing your logo.
  5. It takes 5 to 7 impressions for people to remember a brand. Again, the more media you have that matches your brand's image the better chance you have of getting noticed quickly by the public.

Oshara's advice:

Oshara, the Montreal based web agency advises you to stay authentic, know your product and your market inside and out to build a strategy that makes sense and can grow your business where you want it to. Care about your customers, stay human, test new methods to analyze their reactions and perfect your branding.

We recommend you to read about UX Design to implement a better visual strategy.

If you have any questions about branding and visual identity, we invite you to contact Oshara Inc.

Frequently Asked Questions

We consider branding to be a broader term than visual identity. We can say that visual identity is part of branding.

It is the management of visual identity. Branding encompasses strategy, objectives, and control of visual identity.

It is the graphic representation of a company. It expresses the company's values, activities and ambitions through its own graphic style and is expressed through signs, colors, shapes, texts, and layouts.

Marie-Mathilde Baraer

Marie-Mathilde is a marketing assistant at Oshara Inc. She likes to write about what she is learning in digital marketing, the industry and the different technologies.

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