The difference between brand and branding

< 1 Minute Read

We understand the confusion. The words sound like one is the activity of another. Like run and running.

But in actuality…

If your brand was a cake, then branding is the frosting.

Your Brand is the gut response people have when they think of you. It’s what you’re known for. It’s their experience with you and your team.

Your Branding is the visual representation of your brand through elements like logo, fonts, style guides, images, taglines, and color palettes. It’s the distinctive design elements you want people to associate with your organization.

If that still feels cloudy to you, let’s carry this over to cattle. Owners would create a unique symbol that represented their farm or family, and branding was the action of marking their livestock with their identifier via a branding iron. The mark meant something because it carried the weight of that farm’s reputation and ownership (their brand) behind it.

It’s the same for us and our organizations today. Branding identifiers are valuable, as they bring consistency to your design and make it recognizable. But visual or content branding is only part of the whole.

Branding: visual & content identifiers
brand: overarching identity

Brand incorporates:

  • Branding identifiers (visual and content)
  • Offerings
  • User experience
  • Values
  • Key differentiators

As you can see, creating a logo and selecting a primary brand color only scratch the surface of all that your brand entails. It plays its part for sure—who eats a cake with no frosting?!—but is a far cry from being the whole deal. That’s why it’s so valuable to develop brand clarity, so you connect and provide the decadent masterpiece your community deserves.

Could you use help developing branding or brand clarity for your team? We’re here for it! Let’s connect!


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