Brand vs Branding?

Shortest article ever on this website.
Just to get clear on this. People are still confusing branding with a brand.

A brand is…

A Brand is a name supported by a vision and specific values that gives the company a face towards users and a clear proposition of what you can expect.

Branding is…

Branding is the execution of your brand, the values to achieve your goals / vision.

Need some examples?

Some examples

Nike

Nike makes shoes and sportswear. That’s the product to make money.
Nothing special about that.

Their vision: To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world.
*If you have a body, you are an athlete.

Branding: do everything to support that vision

  • Make awesome shoes
  • Nike Fuel Band
  • Develop a platform for athletes

Google

Google tries to provide all the information in the world and serve it to the people.
Not sure that’s the exact statement, but it sums up what they do. They have found a way to monetize on search ads but are solving a problem with Adwords too. So… it fits their vision.

Branding: build products that help people to get that information in any way in any format

  • Gmail: send mails and get info from other through e-mail
  • Search engine: straightforward searching information
  • Adwords: in a way, also an answer to very specific needs (buyer intent)
  • Building robots: a way to learn more about machine learning to extract more information in the long run
  • Google maps: the world in a map at your fingertips

Lego

Vision: invent the future of play

Branding:

  • Legoland
  • Build a platform to let people suggest new products/packages
  • Bring an interactive retail concept

How to define a vision

There are two ways to do this.

Gut feeling

Go with your gut feeling. The most and best businesses start off out of frustration because something is missing or is crap. So they make it ten times better. Your vision will be set from the start, probably with a product focus at first, but when going into the market and selling more products, opportunities will be spotted and a vision will start to emerge automatically.

With data

You can do a lot of things with data. _a lot_!
Most of the C-level people know this, although often, they don’t necessarily start this way. Most of them have a specific goal. Not the build out a company’s vision. Just get the numbers. That’s good, although they’re missing the focus in the long run and that’s the vision of the company.

If you want data to show you, you need to dive deep and get all your data together.
Not the web analytics data. The data below line. That’s where the real insights are. From that data and the right questions being asked, you’ll will find a few key insights that will show you on what to focus.

Those insights, will help you form your vision.

Example

Let’s say your a shoe store.

Selling shoes is your main goal. That’s good.
After an analysis, the data shows you that people tend to buy your shoes because for special occasions because they’re so special, beautiful and good quality as well.

Factors: occasions, beauty, quality.

A possible vision: Define the future of a First impression

It might seem a bit far off. Yet, it leaves you a big open field to build a brand.
First impression is everything. You happen to make shoes, now. In the future? Maybe organize fashion shows with a own fashion label that focusses on first impression for several thematic occasions: dating, business meetings, etc…

The best part: you can create as much content if you want to support those brand values.
For example: if you’re starting a business clothing line, you could even go as far as giving tips on first impressions in a meeting, how to make slideshows that impress people and even, allow me to think big, start a business school to teach people how to act, walk, talk and dress.

Look around you.
Every big brand is doing it.
You’re just didn’t notice, until now ;)

Thank me later.