The world of business can be incredibly competitive, and not knowing your stuff when it comes to marketing can put you behind other companies. Working towards mastery of marketing can be difficult but well worth it for anyone working towards a successful enterprise.
What are some of the most essential things to know?
First, any novice business owner should work on attempting to get their terms and definitions aligned in their mind. One of the distinctions that are often hard for a brand new business owner to understand? The distinction between brand vs branding.
Even though these terms are incredibly similar, the difference between their meaning and application is essential to know no matter what industry you’re attempting to break into.
What do you need to understand about the difference between a brand and branding? Read our branding guide below to learn more.
What is a Brand?
Let’s get the basic definitions out of the way first. A brand is one of the most key terms to understand if you plan on successfully marketing any sort of business.
The brand is the absolute, most essential thing about your business. To put it succinctly, your brand is your business’ identity. It’s the very core of your business: your values, your aesthetics, your history, and your story.
When a customer thinks of your business, the elements of your brand are what will come to mind. If you think of the kinds of businesses that you frequent, you likely can call to mind what each of their brands is and what specific details add up to that overall brand image.
Your brand is everything that exists around your product or service. It’s the packaging (both literally and metaphorically) that makes your business special and helps you stand out from the crowd.
A brand is essential because it’s the basis of your relationship with your customers.
People go to Chick-Fil-A because they love the prices and the product. But the brand is also a big part of the appeal to people – there are traditions, values, practices, and visual aesthetics that appeal to the customers of that business.
This is why they are one of the most successful businesses out there.
This is true for all businesses. A brand is an incredibly important and powerful tool, and you won’t be able to run a successful business without considering your brand and how you can convey it to a wide audience.
What is Branding?
If a brand is everything that has to do with your business identity, how can you then define the practice of branding?
Branding refers to all actions, practices, and attempts to convey your brand to a potential audience. If a brand is a list of all those elements we mentioned before – taste, story, values, and so forth – branding is the art of conveying these elements to customers.
Effective branding puts a wide number of answers and information about your business into the heads of potential consumers. Strong branding will tell a potential customers why they should trust you, do business with you, and what sorts of benefits they can come to expect.
It will let a customer know who you are, where you’re coming from, and why they should sympathize with and support your overall mission with their dollar.
There are an infinite number of ways to go about the work of branding. Commercials, copywriting, logo design, customer outreach, and workplace traditions – are all just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to corporate branding strategies.
Determining Best Branding Strategies
Today, much branding is done via social media. Different web applications like Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook provide businesses numerous opportunities to get their brand out directly to consumers new and old.
Branding can be done in so many ways and across so many channels that you’ll need to take the time to determine which methodologies will make the most sense for your business.
Television commercials will be right for some businesses and wrong for others. The same goes for social media advertising, billboards, radio ads, and direct outreach. You’ll need to analyze your own business, your target audience, and your budget and determine what the best practice will actually be for you.
The Relationship of Brand vs Branding
So how do these two terms overlap in ways that will be relevant to a business like yours? The easiest way to think about it might be with a visual example.
Think about the brand of your business. Make a list on paper of all the elements you might want a consumer to associate with your business.
It could be the kind of class values you espouse (budget vs. luxury, for example), the history and background you come from, or the voice and tone in which you carry yourself.
You could likely create quite a long list of elements that add up and work together to create a consistent brand image.
On the other side of the same piece of paper, you could write out all the various ways you attempt to get these elements across to potential customers and consumers. You may produce commercial work that explains the history of the business and conveys your values.
You may do some sort of business-associated charity work, or donate proceeds to organizations that have similar values to those that you espouse.
You may train your employees to interact with customers in certain ways or deploy copy in advertisements that help to get across the ‘voice’ of your business.
Seeing It From Above
Take a step back and look over this piece of paper. Everything you have on the left side of the page refers to your brand, and everything you’ve written on the right side refers to your branding.
Seeing it in this way might be the clearest way to see the distinction between these two sides of the same coin. Understanding this relationship can help you break down your marketing attempts in a more clear-headed way.
You can think of one trait on the left side of the paper, and think of the method on the right that will be the most effective in communicating it to an audience.
The relationship between brand and branding is essential when coming up with strong and memorable marketing strategies.
Importance of Brand and Branding
Brand identity and branding strategies are some of the most important elements of your business you can focus on during the lead-up to launching your new enterprise.
They also tend to be among the most difficult for novice business owners, which is why many turn to brand-oriented companies like Avenue 25 for help and aid.
These businesses do a lot more than provide simple brand tips – they help companies design memorable brands and branding strategies from the ground up.
The reason many companies invest in this kind of help? Strong branding is often a make-or-break element when it comes to running a business. The benefits of strong branding cannot be overstated.
Strong branding helps your business to stand out from the competition in your area. Opening a tax accounting business in your area? Your branding might be the thing that separates you from all the other similar businesses.
If the other tax services position their brands as highly professional, uptight, and corporate, you might be able to pull in more business by positioning yourself as the more ‘casual, cool, and hip’ tax accounting company.
You might be surprised about how effective this kind of counter-branding can be!
More Benefits of Strong Branding
Why else might a strong branding strategy benefit your business? For one, it will curate a highly consistent experience for your customers.
More and more, consumers are looking to be provided exactly what they expect when they interact with a business. Consistency is important to them. When you have strong branding, you can help to set up expectations and stay true to them.
This is a great way to build brand loyalty and create repeat customers. As you grow your customer base, this element will become more and more important.
When your branding is strong, you’ll be able to maintain customers even as you expand and grow in other ways.
Brand, Branding, and Your Business
Looking to make your next business idea a big success?
You’ll need to get familiar with the basics of marketing, and that includes understanding brand vs branding. The above information can help you to distinguish the difference and the overall between these two much-discussed terms.
Understanding how brand and branding work can help you better set up your own business for success.
Need more advice and info on running a small business? Keep scrolling our blog for more.