Growing a Business Versus Growing a Brand Shoreline Media

Growing a Business Versus Growing a Brand

If you own your own business, you have almost certainly had someone tell you that you need to focus on growing your brand.  Did you know what they meant?  If you did not, you were not alone.  Many people believe that if they grow their business, it will naturally grow their brand.  While the concepts of brand and business are inextricably intertwined, they are not exactly the same thing.  Understanding the difference between the two can help you focus on growing your brand and growing your business, and Shoreline Media Marketing can help you accomplish both of those goals.

The difference between a brand and a business

To understand the difference between a brand and a business, think of the brand as being something bigger than the business.  The brand helps express your values and ideals, while the business focuses on selling your products or services to your customers.  The focus of your business should be on sales, even if you are a socially responsible company you have to make the sales in order to have the revenue to do anything else.  Your brand should not be focused on sales, but on establishing a reputation and building relationships within the community.  The brand helps you build both goodwill and recognition.

Of course, goodwill and recognition are useful when helping people choose between competing products by different businesses.  If you have a good reputation, people are more likely to do business with you.   Conversely, if you engage in shady behavior or sell faulty products or services, you can damage your brand. That is why, even though business and brand are distinct concepts, they are definitely related to each other.

Many people love to use Coca-Cola as an example of a highly branded product and this is true.  It is a soda and yet people collect Coca-Cola memorabilia and associate very happy feelings with the product.  Other highly branded companies include Disney and Subaru; they have been branded in a way that makes you associate their brand with feelings, not just with their products.  One of the best examples of modern branding is Wendy’s.  They have a vibrant social media presence that rarely promotes their products, but instead has established itself as a sassy persona that regularly roasts other businesses on Twitter.

Establishing a brand

Establishing a brand can be important because the brand goes beyond any products or services that you might be selling.  Ford began by selling affordable automobiles to the American people and provided limited customization options in an effort to keep them affordable.  They were also well-known for paying their employees a living wage.  This brand goodwill has endured, even though the modern business model for Ford varies substantially from its initial model. If you have to switch the focus of your business, which can be a natural part of the evolution of any business venture, establishing a strong brand means that you can take that goodwill and name recognition with you into new ventures.

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This post was written by Chris Matthias