1-2-1 brand advice for startups, entrepreneurs and small businesses

Do you know the difference between your brand and your branding?

If the answer to the above question is ’no’, don’t beat yourself up. There are many within our industry that don’t seem to either. I have lost count of the amount of websites I have visited where someone is offering to design your brand. Brands can’t be designed. They can be created, extracted or defined, but not designed.

Here’s my attempt at distinguishing between your brand and your branding.

Your Brand

Your brand isn’t the nice logo and pretty colours that the term is often, incorrectly, associated with. Your brand is about creating a personality for your business.

Your brand should become part of the DNA of your business. It should be present in everything you do. From your brand identity to the way you answer the phone. From the stories you tell on your website, in brochures and tweets, to how you deal with a complaint.

Creating a successful brand is about creating an emotional connection with your consumer. This is done by defining what your brand is. The values, personality and stories the brand lives by.

But your brand is more that what you think and say. Your brand is also what others think and say about you.

It is only once your business has a personality that customers can decide whether or not they like it. If your business can portray a personality that complements theirs, they might just let you become their friend.

Scientists back this theory up. The latest catchphrase in the pursuit of getting ‘buy in’ from your target audience is ‘neuromarketing’. Over the last decade or so, neuroscience research has shown that emotions play a much more important role in decision making than most people have thought.

Our brains process much of their sensory input subconsciously, generating affection toward or against objects. Signals that don’t generate positive or negative emotions are filtered out (seen as unimportant) and never reach our conscious mind.

So, for your brand to get attention, it has to trigger an emotion.

Your Branding

Your branding is the visual side of creating a brand.

This is the brand identity, which includes the logo, colours, typefaces and imagery your brand uses to tell your brand story. Branding is the tone of voice you use in your communications. Branding is everything you do that your customers will see.

These all need to complement the brand and be consistently used.

Branding consistency has one huge advantage – recognition. With recognition comes familiarity. With familiarity comes trust and confidence.

If done correctly, consistency brings clarity and purpose, which consumers will buy into.

Do you have a brand?

So, now that you have a better understanding of the difference between your brand and your branding, can I ask you one question? Do you have a brand?

BRANDS START HERE’s Stage 1: 1-2-1 BRAND CREATION PACKAGE will help you create a brand for your business. We will identify unique values, traits and stories behind the business that, when branded and communicated, will help you make that emotional connection with your customers.