What distinguishes a business from a brand? How many locations are there? What is the revenue? Is it something that can be quantified by hashtags and retweets? What must be done before someone declares, “We’re not a brand, but a business?” At its best, the concept of a brand is muddled. A brand is described as “the name, word, design, symbol, or any other attribute that distinguishes one seller’s goods or service from that of other sellers”.
For some brand managers, a brand is described as “anything your prospect thinks of when someone hears your brand name”. To put it another way, your brand is your reputation.
What is a Business?
Your foundation and the items or services you provide are your business. It is your business plan. There is nothing to a brand if there is no business, which is why, before you can build a brand, you must first define your business.
Work in your business
Where do You begin? It is usually best and preferable to begin by providing one-on-one services. Working one-on-one with clients allows you to learn about their specific problem issues and how you can assist them.
Many developments occur within the first 18 months of a company’s existence. Your ideal clients change, and so does the way you support them because what you imagined you’d do at the outset of a firm may seem very different after 18 months.
Branding will not build your firm on its own
Branding alone will not help your firm grow. A clear business strategy, marketing strategy, and visibility plan, as well as a clearly defined brand identity, will help your business develop. After you’ve worked on your business for a while, you’ll have a better idea of who you want to serve and how you want to serve them. That is when you begin to build a brand.
What is a Brand?
A brand connects with its consumers on an emotional level. A brand has a distinct personality.
Your brand is what distinguishes your company from the others, as it distinguishes you from all other businesses that do what you do. There is no competition when you have a brand. When your business is the same as everyone else’s, competition becomes an issue. Having a distinct brand removes the need to compete purely on pricing. Only when your audience has a greater connection to your brand than to your competitors will they choose your items or services over others.
Brand vs Business by Definitions
Branding is a perplexing idea in and of itself. It goes beyond the firm name, design, symbol, and other aspects that set one seller’s services apart from others.
Brand managers may argue that it is your company’s reputation, whilst consumers may argue that it is consistency in quality.
For example, you may identify a brand with names such as Starbucks and Apple, both of which have demonstrated consistent quality time and again. It may not be totally true, however, consider the following definitions:
A business is an operational organization, or a group of individuals, that provides products or services to customers while remaining within its industry.
A brand is an image or identity that a company projects when it interacts with customers.
In other words, that is how the general public perceives the company, with emotions and needs playing a role.
Fundamentally, a brand emerges when a company has become so large that it serves a larger purpose that extends beyond its identity.
Are you creating a business or a brand?
Building a firm usually entails broadening your scope and providing extra goods or services to your clients. However, creating your brand often entails focusing your efforts on a single concept that will come to represent your company. The two are not mutually exclusive; it is possible to run a lucrative business while still having a strong, easily recognizable brand name, but this does not happen by chance. Building your brand alongside your business requires a concerted effort, and you must be willing to make compromises and concessions when necessary to balance the two.
Unfortunately, organizations all too often fixate on one while ignoring the other, resulting in either a loss of profitability or a dilution of the brand identity. Consider Dell Computer Corp.
Dell Computer had a niche when it initially began. They were a company that sold personal computers to other businesses directly. Dell was the world leader in personal computers (in both sales and earnings) in the first quarter of 2001, and their name was synonymous with “business personal computer specialists.”
Naturally, the next step was to start the company. Dell, on the other hand, did it with complete disdain for its brand. They expanded into the consumer market, which meant they were no longer “business” personal computer specialists. Then they broadened their scope to include consumer electronics, which meant they were no longer “personal computer” specialists. Finally, they entered the retail distribution market, which meant they were no longer “direct.”
They had even changed their name by 2003 to reflect this new business approach. Dell Inc. was the new name for Dell Computer Corp.
There’s no arguing that these modifications were beneficial to the company. From $31.9 billion in 2000 to $61.1 billion in 2007, sales climbed gradually. However, as the business grew, the brand’s worth fell. In 2007, they slipped behind Hewlett-market Packard’s share and never recovered.
So, what should Dell have done in this situation? It’s all too easy to play Monday morning quarterback, but the apparent explanation is that they should have spent as much time and effort managing their identity as they did increase their firm.
“That’s how it is in business America now,” wrote Al Ries in 2009. “Everyone is seeking new ways to grow their firms by diversifying into new markets. Their true strategies should be to dominate their respective segments in order to establish their brands. And, in many cases, the greatest way to accomplish so is to contract their brands so that they stand for something.”
So the solution is to expand your business in the short term while keeping your brand identity in mind in the long run. Although it is easier said than done, it is not impossible. Just ask Apple, Samsung, Google, Microsoft, Walmart, IBM, GE, Amazon.com, Coca-Cola, Volkswagen, Shell, Disney, Target, and Nestle…
Building your firm will produce instant results, but without a brand to hang it on, your success will be transient. Building your brand may gain you consumer devotion and adoration, but they will be few and far between if you allow your business to suffer.