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Defining Brand, Brand Identity, and Branding
The main goal of this guide is to provide resources and guidelines for use of the Libraries’ brand identity.
The Libraries’ brand and the process of branding are larger concepts than brand identity.
All three of these concepts are explained briefly below.
What is a Brand?
It’s an intangible, emotional relationship between a person and an organization:
The cognitive and affective space where institutional identity and individual identity encounter and converse with each other.
The collection of experiences that forms a perception in the mind of those who encounter an organization.
A brand is more than a logo or tagline. It’s the promise we make to our communities, the way we fulfill that promise, and the various ways we communicate including the messages we emphasize, the experiences we create, and more. We all contribute to the brand in the work we do every day.
What is a Brand Identity?
A “brand identity” is the part of the brand that you can see or touch — the design elements, including the logos, fonts, written words, social media images, photographs, and more. This is sometimes called a “style” or a “brand style.” The main goal of this guide is to provide resources and guidelines so that the elements that comprise our brand identity can used by anyone in the Libraries in a consistent manner. A consistent message helps us tell our story effectively.
What is Branding?
Branding is the ongoing process of creating the brand and comprises many steps, including (but not limited to) conducting research; setting strategy; designing identity; creating experiences, services, spaces, and other touchpoints; managing brand assets; conducting more research; and so on. The scope of this guide does not include the process of branding.
Further Reading and Sources
- JMU Libraries Branding Task Force report, April 2018
- JMU Libraries Branding Task Force final presentation, April 2018
- “The Basics: Brand vs. Branding vs. Identity” from Ebaqdesign
- JMU Brand Guide