Brand vs Company: A Guide On How They Differ In The Business World
It may not be obvious that there’s a difference between a brand vs company. Creating a company legally may happen quickly, but a brand is built over time. There are some simple ways to tell the difference between a brand and a company. Some say a brand is what people say when you are not around. The brand is about what you stand for, who you serve and what you offer. It’s what people think of when they think of you.
An example is the Nike shoe revolution. A company is a business that sells products or services that doesn’t tie to a mission or meaning. They typically don’t have a story that is connected to what they offer. People want to buy more from brands with a meaning and a mission. Keep reading to learn how a brand is different from a company.
Brand vs Company
How do you know the difference between a brand and a company? Do you know what you are building?
Knowing the difference is important so you know how to present and promote your business. Some questions to think about include what would your largest customer say about you, your influence, and innovation? It’s asking does your business have a unique culture. Would your customers simply say what services you offer?
Brand building starts with the story and company culture.
From this base of brand building, you focus on setting the foundation of what you offer. Culture development is important in every way. Founders start with a mission and a vision. They think about who they are serving and how. With a company, the business owner thinks about what they are offering and to whom. The mission, vision, and culture are typically missing with a business that is not a brand.
Highlights of a Company
A company is formed when a name, logo, and legal filing takes place. This is where some business owners choose to stop. They determine products and services to offer. Often, they may make money with sound business principles. That is where the similarities end with a brand. The company is not tied to a mission and vision. The owner does not share a story or a deeper “why”. The culture of the company is not focused on. There is no innovation taking place. The company exists more on the day to day basis. A company will include:
- Website building and pages
- Social media channels
- Products and services
- Promotions and offers
If you treat your business like a company, that is what it will stay. If you want to build a brand, there are important elements to consider.
Building a Brand
Brand building starts before the logo and website are done. The founders get clear on the mission and vision of the brand. Who do they want to serve?
What impact do they want to make in the world? These factors influence the logo, website, and social presence. The founders ask what culture is being created online and live. There is innovation around how culture and community are demonstrated with everything the brand does.
Some questions asked include where does your tribe hang out, how do you talk to them, and how do you make offers?
What kind of feeling do you want your tribe to have with your brand?
There is much more going into who you are talking to with a brand. Building a brand involves a media and communication strategy. The colors, communication style, and photography all connect to building a brand.
When people talk about your brand, they talk about your mission, vision, and community. The products and services are secondary. Whether you’re building a brand, or want to do business with brands only, it’s important to know the difference. A brand will include:
- A company that is mission and vision-based
- Colors, visuals, and copy tied to the mission
- A community based on values that drive the business
- Media, events, and promotions tied to mission and community
People want to do business with brands because they feel part of something bigger. By including your story and vision, it builds trust with people. Ironically, when the story is combined with the promotions, this increases sales over time. If you want to build a brand, evaluate your mission and vision. Are you communicating them with your community both online and in-person? Here is where you take a look at your online presence and recent activities.
Is there consistency in communicating mission and vision?
Do people find clarity no matter where they interact with your business? What happens online? How is a live experience with your business?
What changes could you make to increase clarity?
Start thinking of your brand story and how you could share it. Consider ways to combine your story with what you offer. Determine how you want your community to feel. Ask yourself who you want in your community. These are all important factors to think about if you want to transition to building a brand.
Building a brand is different from starting a company.
It means getting clear on the story, vision, and the community. It’s an evolving journey. The iconic brands of the world built their brands with vision and innovation. They focus relentlessly on the brand and customer experience. If you are happy with having just a company, there is much less focus on story and culture. To build a brand, the focus on community and innovation never stops.
Now that you know the differences between brand vs. company, what are you building…a company or a brand? For more information and business tips, check out the rest of our site.
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