What is the difference between a brand and branding?
Your brand is the story, your branding is the storytelling mechanism. Your brand is the promise, your branding is the whisper of the promise. Your brand is the what, your branding is the how.
Let’s unpack this.
In the moment when you decided you wanted to start a small business, you had a spark of passion. You had a PURPOSE for choosing to dive into a certain industry.
Maybe you experienced incredible joy planning your own wedding and you realized you want to create this same joy for others. Maybe you struggled through financial hardship and found your way out, and you want to coach others to financial freedom.
THIS is the ideal root of your brand. BUT, here’s the kicker: you don’t have full control over your brand. In fact, your consumers, your clients, your followers are the true deciders of what your brand is.
Your audience consumes the content you create, hears the stories you tell and considers the products/services you provide and determines what your brand is & what your value is. Afterall, a house is only worth what someone will pay for it, right?
Thankfully, there is a way you can influence this perception of your brand. And that is through your branding! Read on…
The branding of your business is all about HOW you convey the message that is burning in your heart. How do you reach your people? How do you align your brand with their needs? How do you STAMP all of your touchpoints with the STORY of your brand?
“Branding is the art of aligning what you want people to think about your company with what people actually do think about your company.”
– Jay Baer, Convince & Convert.
It’s an art and it’s not easy.
It requires some real digging. It may require you to completely uproot what you already planted and start over.
There are two pillars of branding, which I am going to walk you through over the coming weeks: Brand Voice & Brand Visuals.
In order to align your branding with the brand you hope to build, you will need to establish an authentic brand voice and create brand visuals that stop your ideal client in her tracks.
Stay plugged in to learn more about how to do that over the coming weeks!
Think about and reflect on the following questions:
- Which 3-5 words would you use to describe the brand you are trying to build?
- What causes & topics do you care deeply about that drive your work?
- What problem do you solve? What hole does your product/service fill in others’ lives?
Now, send these questions to at least 10 people who follow your business closely. I recommend asking people who follow you on social media or have worked with you in the past, but don’t know you personally. You want their answers to be mostly based off the content you put into the world rather than social or personal interactions with you. You may even consider sharing with strangers and simply asking them to guess based on your website/social media.
- Describe me/my brand in 3-5 words
- What topics/causes do I care the most about?
- What am I BEST at?
After you receive and compile the responses, compare YOUR answers to THEIR answers. Are they aligned? Are you already doing a great job communicating your message? Or is there a disconnect?
This diagnostic test is the first step to identifying your course of action and building your brand properly.
So, let’s recap! Brand vs Branding: What’s the difference? The difference is that your brand is your business’s identity while your branding is the collection hundreds of touch points that make up that identity.
Comment below and tell me what your 3-5 words are!