4.10.20

The Difference Between Brand, Brand Identity, and Branding.



If you took a guess, what brand comes to mind first from the image above? You probably guessed it. Coca Cola. Their brand is one of the largest, most iconic brands in the world and they can be easily recognized from just a simple letter. So let’s talk branding.

Your brand and your visual identity are both critical to your business but they are two different things and both terms have been used loosely in the past years in terms of what they stand for.

These are some of the most common ways project requests that come our way start with:

“We need to update our brand”

“We need to update our brand identity”

Most often, after a brief chat to understand the project at hand, typically they are referring to their logo or website. However, your logo and website is not your brand.‍

Defining “Brand”.

In the simplest form, your brand is the way someone feels about you. A deep down gut feeling. It is the emotional connection your customer has towards you. Every time your customer interacts with your brand, they build up a perception of how they feel and think about you as a business. If you think about your last experience with any brand that was negative, do you trust them as much anymore? Probably not. Over time, your customers will create a set of expectations on how each experience with you should be, and how they feel about you. Those thoughts and memories are what builds long term trust and loyalty. That’s what you want. That’s gold.

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The Brand Gap by Marty Neumeier

Your brand has three primary functions:

1. It Builds Trust

The more trust you build, the more loyal your customers become. You become irreplaceable in their eyes and there is an unbreakable connection between you and your customer. They will choose you over a competitor.

2. It Creates Distinction

You should stand apart from your competition, not blend in. The more distinctive you are from everyone else, the more noticeable you become.

3. It Increases Value

From a service, product, and a business you become more valuable. Additionally ー if your products or services are meant to be luxury, and you do not exude that feeling as a brand people will be hesitant to pay that higher price point. They will not see the value. Take Peloton for example; when they raised their bike prices they actually sold more bikes. Many people believed that because the bike was cheaper that it must not be a quality machine.

Peloton is also a great example of building a valuable brand over time. They empower people to connect, be inspired, and grow stronger together. They are the leader in their segment and while their products are expensive, they have built trust and differentiated themselves from others in a way people believe in and connect with, which has fueled their success. After only launching in 2012 they are now worth 4 billion dollars.

Defining “Brand Identity”

Your identity is all of the different touchpoints someone may interact with your business. It is an entire system put together that people can see, touch, hear and feel. This is everything from your logo to emails, customer services, and even the way you speak to people. This is how you influence the perception of your brand. Changing how people think about you, can change their behavior, which will increase your bottom line performance.

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Brand Identity Touchpoints

Your logo is only one piece of the puzzle, and while most often it’s the first step when creating your identity, it is not the last. A good logo surrounded by a frustrating website experience, un-unified collateral and marketing is a recipe for failure. Every touchpoint matters.

Your identity has three primary functions:

1. Identify Your Business

The visual look and feel that your company encompasses should separate you from the competition. Over time, your customers can immediately look at something and have a sense of feeling for that brand.

2. Communicate Your Message Clearly

It should communicate to the desired customer you are trying to attract. This is key. Your identity cannot always speak to everyone. Some brands target the average individual looking to stay fit, other brands target suburban moms who want to learn how to cook authentic asian cuisines. By understanding who is your ideal customer profile you can design for them, not for yourself.

3. Create Visual Consistency

Your identity takes separate elements, and makes them whole by staying consistent through design and messaging. Every part of your brand should be consistent. The moment something is different from the rest, you risk mis-communicating to your audience. This breaks trust.

The Branding Process

Branding is the ongoing process of developing, or re-developing your overall strategy and touchpoints within your identity. This could be redeveloping your website, logo, collateral, messaging and your color system. It’s an investment that can help position you for success and growth. There’s several key reasons when the process of branding is necessary.

New Company or Product

  • You have started a new business, or have a new product
  • You need to raise venture capital, even though you have no customers

Revitalization

  • You need a facelift
  • Your product or service is great, but you look behind the times
  • Your packaging is not distinctive

Consistency

  • Everyone creates and does their own marketing
  • All of your marketing looks like it comes from different companies and you lack consistency

Reposition

  • You are not attracting your desired customers
  • You want to appeal to a new customers
  • Nobody knows who you are
  • You need to communicate more clearly who you are

Name Change

  • Your name no longer fits the business you are in
  • Your name needs change due to trademark conflicts
  • Your name misleads customers‍

You have Merged

  • Two companies have merged into one
  • You need a new name
  • You want to build on the equity of one brand

Starting the Branding Process

The branding process is essential for any business that wishes to differentiate and get ahead of their competition. It’s also a process you shouldn’t rush. While the investment is long term, it can pay off in growth of your business. The overall process consists of four systematic stages that vary from business to business.

Strategy

This gathers all necessary information from research to organized brand strategy workshops.

Design

The development of all visuals and assets

Implementation

The rollout of the new visual identity

Build

Adapt and pivot where necessary and grow your brand over time.

Why Branding is Worth The Investment

In the end, the long term rewards of the branding process building trust, distinction and value pay off big. It creates years of competitiveness for your business. However, in today’s business world everything moves at lightning speed. That makes it easy to get caught into quick fixes such as a fast logo or website redesign on websites such as Fiverr and UpWork which can be risky. The strategy and development process typically takes several weeks to a few months depending on the scale of the project at hand. Rushing this process will not provide the results you are looking for.

                                         ***

Free Branding Workbook

Want to try yourself? We’ve put together a free brand strategy workbook. While it’s not the same as professionally run workshops, it’s a great foundation for you to work from.

Download The Workbook

The Startup

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The first thing you think of when you envision most businesses is their logo and branding. Building the brand is one of the most important parts of building a business of any kind. Whether you want to open a coffee shop or run an influencer account, the way that you brand yourself will play a large role in your success. It is important for showing off who you are to potential customers so that they have a reason to choose you. 

For major companies, branding is known for playing an even more influential role than product identity in a lot of cases. It can also speak to the quality of products or the vibe customers experience. Plain and simple, people love a good brand. Now, let’s discuss how to build one and how to make it successful.

People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.

The goal is not to do business with everybody that needs what you have.

The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.

– Simon Sinek

Brand Origin

The most important thing your brand should have is a story of its origin that explains why you exist, what problems and pain points you will address or solve, what makes you different and why should people care about your brand. This will serve as the foundation and undertones throughout all of your branding. Your passion for your company should assist you with the who, what, why, and how to distinguish your company from others.

Branding: How It Looks

A big part of branding that people recognize is the actual appearance of a brand. A good brand has a few core colors, a distinct visual appearance, and a logo. These visual elements like color, typography or font, and images make it easy for you to identify a brand just by looking at it. In the same way that we all recognize the white box from Apple or a red can of Coke, a good brand should have a completely original look.

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Branding: Building An Identity

Beyond mere physical elements, a lot of other choices go into making a brand. The two most prominent factors are voice and tone. Your brand voice will be the voice that you use to address your customers. It can be found in the way that you write on your website and the kind of language you use. More often than not, the tone will play an important role in branding because it governs how your voice comes out. Are you being casual? Professional? What does that look like for your company? Nike, for instance, gives an intense, competitive voice in a calm, serious tone. Nike provokes its customer with its strong voice and tone to “Just Do It.” A strong brand always includes a strong voice.

Branding: Know Your Customers

Your customers should always come first, which is why you must keep them in mind with branding. You don’t want to build a brand with no potential customer or without having the market of your potential consumers in mind. Really take a moment and think about the type of customers you want to attract. Find out who your target audience is so that you know how to catch their eye, hold their interest, and address their pain. Narrowing down the pain points of your customers that you will address specifically will help maintain your brand consistency. It will help a lot when it comes to making the most of your brand decisions. Let your audience guide your brand and they will respond in kind.

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Increase Your Facebook Ads ROAS With targeting ideas, and secondary metrics

 You can grow your business like crazy if you know how to increase your Return-On-Ad-Spend with Facebook Ads.

My experience


1) Use Lookalike Audiences Instead of Cold Targeting


2) Target Worldwide


3) Test All Placements

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Facebook Placements

4) Test All Ages & Genders


5) Start a Conversion and a PPE Ad at the Same Time


6) Improve Your “Positive Feedback” Score


7) Only Keep the Profitable Ads


8) Create Stronger Retargeting


9) Improve Your Landing Page Design


10) Understand the ABT of Facebook Ads


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