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Brand vs Branding: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to starting a business and doing marketing and advertising, the terms “brand” and “branding” are often used interchangeably. 

However, they don’t actually mean the same thing and there are some distinct differences between the two.  Brand vs branding: what’s the difference?

Understanding the difference between a brand and branding can help as you start your business, create your branding basics, develop an effective marketing strategy and build a strong brand identity.

Let’s start with a couple of definitions.

What is a brand?

A brand is the overall perception people have of your business. It’s your reputation, how you treat people, and generally, how people remember you. It’s how you make people FEEL.

Your brand includes everything from your logo, colors, fonts and visual identity to your messaging, voice, reputation, values, and overall customer experience. 

A strong brand is one that is easily recognizable, memorable, and resonates with your target audience. It helps build trust and loyalty among your customers and differentiates you from your competitors. Your brand helps people connect to you in an emotional way.

Think of it this way: your brand is the essence of your business. It’s a combination of your values, mission, personality, and promises. It’s the perception and reputation that consumers hold about your product or service. 

Your brand represents the emotional and psychological relationship your customers have with you. This is built over time through interactions, experiences, and communication. Your brand is part of your unique identity that sets your business apart from all your competitors.

(Listen to this podcast episode where I talk about “Unleashing Your Authentic Brand”)

What is branding?

Branding is the process of creating and managing a brand. 

It involves developing a brand strategy, designing visual elements such as a logo and choosing fonts and a color palette. Branding also includes crafting your messaging and communication to align with your values and resonate with your target audience. 

Branding is an ongoing process of creating and shaping your brand. It is a deliberate set of actions to establish your brand identity in the market and shape the perceptions of your target audience. 

Branding encompasses various elements, such as your logo, tagline, visual design, tone of voice, and overall messaging. It is the tangible manifestation of the brand designed to evoke specific emotions and recognition with your consumers.

In short – your brand is the result, and branding is the set of actions taken to get you there.

Brand vs. Branding – A real life example…

Let’s use a life coaching business to better understand the difference between a brand and branding. Imagine you’re starting your own life coaching business called “Inspired Life Coaching.”

  1. Essence vs. Execution: Your brand, “Inspired Life Coaching,” represents the core qualities and values of your business. It’s all about empowering and guiding individuals to achieve their goals and live their best lives.

    Branding, on the other hand, is the creative execution of those qualities. It’s how you visually and verbally express your brand through elements like your logo, website design, fonts, colors, and the words you use to communicate with your clients.

  2. Perception vs. Presentation: Your brand, “Inspired Life Coaching,” lives in the minds of your clients. It’s the impression they have of your coaching services based on their experiences and interactions with your business.

    Branding, however, is the intentional presentation of your brand to shape and influence that perception positively. It’s how you showcase your expertise through a professional website, testimonials from satisfied clients, and compelling social media content that conveys your message effectively.

  3. Longevity vs. Flexibility: Your brand, “Inspired Life Coaching,” is built to stand the test of time. It represents the lasting identity and values of your coaching business. It evolves gradually as you gain more experience and insights in your field.

    Branding, on the other hand, has a flexible nature. It allows you to adapt to new coaching techniques, trends in the industry, or changes in your target audience’s preferences. It ensures your brand remains relevant and connects with your clients effectively.

  4. Emotional Connection vs. Tactical Tools: Your brand, “Inspired Life Coaching,” is all about building a deep emotional connection with your clients. It’s about understanding their desires, fears, and aspirations and guiding them towards positive transformations.

    Branding supports this emotional connection through tactical tools such as your logo, brand colors, and the language you use in your coaching sessions and marketing materials. These tools help reinforce the emotional bond and create a cohesive and memorable experience for your clients.

Choosing your branding basics (logo, colors, fonts) can have a huge impact on how people FEEL when they first encounter your business and the message you are sending (even subconsciously).

For example, the colors you choose can give people certain feelings as they interact with your business. In addition, different fonts can evoke different feelings. Round fonts give a softer feel and fonts with straighter lines give a more corporate or business feel.

Understanding the difference between a brand and branding is crucial for your life coaching business’s success. Your brand represents the essence of your business, while your branding is the way you present and express that essence to your clients. 

Complete Branding Essentials Kit
Get your Branding Essentials Kit today… and start creating YOUR brand!

By developing a strong and authentic brand and utilizing effective branding strategies, you can create a meaningful and impactful coaching experience that resonates with your clients, sets you apart from competitors, and helps individuals achieve their goals and dreams. 

So, get ready to inspire and make a positive difference with your own unique brand and branding approach today!

If you want help getting your branding basics done, check out the Complete Branding Essentials Kits! Curated specifically for life coaches. Get all your branding basics done for you based on your desired brand personality and tone.

Then, continue developing your brand as you move your business forward and interact with clients.

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