I have experienced/observed that business professionals who are not familiar with the nuisances of marketing get confused between the Brand and Branding. I have found myself explaining the difference multiple times over the last few months, so here is how I think about it and explain it. You may find it useful if you ever need to explain the differences yourself.
Your brand is who you are, an internal facing belief system; branding is how your brand manifests itself outward toward your customers, your market, the world at large.
You cannot do branding without first being crystal clear about your brand. Getting clear on your brand is a profoundly unique discovery process that is at your or your products core and comes from your or your products history. It is the most authentic aspect of your company or product. If you are a new company, it may be a confluence of the founders’ personal histories.
Many companies /products have a name, a logo, a color preference, etc. These are all representations of your brand. If the outward expression of your brand is inconsistent with the brand, then your customers will be confused.
Having an understanding of the difference between the brand and branding, take a minute to reflect on the recent McDonalds attempt at deluxe burgers. Custom made to order specialty burgers. When they announce this program, it was crystal clear that they were moving outside of their core value, their brand. McDonald’s is known for and was created from, a belief that customers wanted a quick, convenient, consistent meal that had good taste.
So they based their success on location, consistency of product, and a standardized menu. For decades that is what the golden arches stood for. They have just recently announced that they are discontinuing the specialty burger menu option.
Changing your brand is a challenge; it is tantamount to changing history, changing who you are.
Living into your Brand
Do you have to perfect in your branding on day one? No. However, you do have to be crystal clear on your brand.
Look deep within to discover or reveal your brand, first.
“Experience is what you get, right after you need it most.”
Make it a great day,
Tim Walker is the Principal consultant for The Experia Group. A firm that specializes in providing experience and expertise during critical device commercialization phases to increase the probability of success. www.theexperiagroup.com. Contact The Experia Group for a free 30-minute consultation to determine if 30-years of experience can contribute to your success.
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