In the marketing world, many people use the words ‘brand’ and ‘identity’ interchangeably. Even the best of the best in marketing do this on occasion, but is there actually a difference? Yes.
This blog will be the first in a series of blogs titled, “Taking the Next Step.” If you’re not having success in your marketing, follow us for ideas on how to proceed…
First, let’s discuss your brand. Is there anyone sitting around you right now that is familiar with your brand? If so, ask them (seriously – ask them right now) what words and/or emotions come to mind when they think of your brand? Take notes and really listen without interrupting (even if you disagree). This is your brand. Now, ask yourself, what stories come to my mind when you think about your brand? What about memories? This is your brand. Think about the relationships you have because of your business. This, too, is your brand.
A brand is the specific perception created in the minds of customers about a company’s products and/or services. It is how customers connect and relate to your company. When a marketeer asks about your brand, they want to know what it says about you. Many people understand this concept, but don’t get how their brand relates to the rest of their marketing…
A brand is like the brain. A brand is the driving force behind the marketing in a company, just like the
brain is the driving force behind many functions in our bodies. A company’s identity is like one of those functions. A company’s identity consists of all the visual devices that are used to communicate, symbolize, portray, and even reinforce a company’s brand. Think about your stationary, business cards, Website, key words, mission statement, colors, and even fonts. These are your company’s identity.
So the bottomline is that you brand is your company’s overall personality, while your company identity is all about the visuals that represent your personality.
How does this help you with a next step? Many customers call us and tell us they need to “rebrand,” but what they really need is help with their identity – collateral materials, Website, positioning. Others call us and tell us they need a new logo. Yet, when we ask them about their brand, it is all over the map and there is no consistent message. They need to start with a branding strategy. Hopefully this blog will help you determine what it is that your company really needs to move forward with a successful marketing plan.
Check back next Tuesday for the second blog in this series…What Comes First the Logo or the Company?