Woman standing in front of blackboard with thought bubbles drawn on it

Branding seeks to develop a unique identifying feature, such as a symbol, slogan, or design, that differentiates one seller’s goods or services from those of another seller. Branding seeks to develop positive associations between the consumer and the product or service, in an attempt to persuade the consumer that the given product or service is superior to any other comparable product or service on the market. Certain concepts, such as cancer awareness, have been promoted in a brand-like manner in an effort to inform the population about public health concerns, as well as to increase charitable donations.


A brand owner creates the notion of a brand ‘identity’ through all outward interaction with the buying public, through the creation and use of a logo or slogan, communication strategies, and advertising campaigns. These combined efforts attempt to create a notion of the brand in the mind of the consumer that the brand is somehow superior to any competitor, and that the brand owner is a trustworthy producer of high-quality or aspirational products. This can have a knock-on effect, whereby a brand introduces a new product line and uses the attitude of goodwill inherent in its existing brand to market the newer product line. The connection between the personality or identity of the brand and the consumer is psychological, and brand owners often attempt to market a product based not on the qualities of the product itself, but on aspirational or positive feelings that the brand owner has tried very carefully to evoke.

Visual Identity

A brand relies on its visual identity to ensure consumers know the origins of a product. In a marketplace filled with competing products, a visual brand marker, or logo, is of paramount importance. To be effective, a brand should make consistent use of distinctive visual elements, such as color, shape, and other graphic elements, such as specific fonts. Establishing a strong visual identity can allow certain products to become ‘top-of-mind’ to consumers– that is, they are the first brand a consumer can identify in a given category. A logo that can be instantly identified, isolated from any contextual clues, is a strong sign of primacy within a category. Often these visual strategies extend beyond a logo into the packaging and presentation of a product or service, through distinctive shape, color, or construction. Service providers with multiple physical locations often attempt to consistently incorporate distinctive architectural themes or elements into each location, to create a consistent sense of the brand, regardless of where the location and consumer may be.


As the association between a brand and a consumer is often so heavily psychological, brand owners make major efforts to ensure that a sense of trust exists in the brand. Trust in a brand creates consumers that do not just consume, but who support and promote the brand as well. For a brand owner, consumers who are also supporters of a brand identity are more likely to accept and consume extensions of the brand or new products associated with the brand. Furthermore, should a brand owner have temporary problems with product quality, this trust creates a form of elasticity that causes consumers to return to the brand sooner than they might otherwise have, were they not already strong supporters. Brand identities which engender a strong sense of trust often become aspirational or ‘identity’ brands, where the consumer does not simply trust the brand– they identify with it, and treat it as a sign of self-expression. These consumers are the most likely to purchase further extensions of a brand’s product line, making them highly sought-after by brand owners.