A brand is the intersection of customers’ expectation and their experience.
Do we really know the actual difference between Brand and Branding?
To start with, let’s find the basic definitions of brand. Here are some of the standard definitions that mislead people.
- The American Marketing Association defines brand as “A name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.”
- The Webster Dictionary says, “A class of goods identified by name as the product of a single firm or manufacturer.”
- The Wikipedia echoes the voice of American Marketing Association.
Think again. Is it what brand is? Do you buy an insurance policy just because the color and design of the company logo is attractive and appealing? Or do you buy a smart phone just because of its manufacturer’s name appearing with a half-bitten fruit on it?
These definitions might sound technically correct, however, far from reality. At the best, this could be your identity but definitely not brand.
A brand is a feeling—an attribute your customers and users can easily relate to. It may be anything—their level of satisfaction with a unique experience, expectation of service, assurance of trust and quality. It’s the satisfaction and unique experience of customers that they find in you or in your product distinctively and not with other manufacturers. Now this, what I call a brand is.
A Brand is an impression you create on your customers. In the conflict of self and personality, as per social psychology, self is the idea or the understanding about your-‘self’, whereas personality is your brand and how people see or perceive or know you.
Now your approach and understanding towards your-‘self’ (i.e. your identity) is nothing but branding. It’s nothing but presenting what and who you are. Sometimes you are right in that approach and sometimes not. To put it in simple words, branding is the representation of your personality i.e. your brand.
If your brand identity is not in sync with customers’ expectation, they will have a bitter experience of your brand. They will be deceived as their expectation that was created by your identity did not meet. So, creating your identity so that customers can get what they expect is nothing but branding.
And if you can deliver to or exceed your customers’ expectations, you do a Business. It is important for all branding professionals, corporate houses and marketing team to understand that branding is beyond the identity of your company. It is in fact the consistency, level of satisfaction, and a unique experience in your marketplace.
If you think I’ve missed something, feel free to fill that gap with your comments.