A brand and a company, while used interchangeably, are not the same. A company is the name of an organization that engages in business activities, like producing and selling products. A brand, however, is about how people perceive your company through identifying brand attributes like your logo, name, and products. To remember the difference, think of it this way: a business owner, founder, and/or CEO owns a company whereas the people own a brand. While there’s significant influence coming from whoever’s in charge, the people are the ones who derive meaning from what you have to offer.
Starting a company can be as easy as setting up a great e-commerce website and selling products. However, creating a great brand isn’t quite as easy to do. Setting up your company website is a great first step because it forces you to figure out the essentials needed to run a business. If you’re just creating a business, it’s easy to go on from there by designing your website, adding your products, and advertising said products. A brand, however, also requires a vision and mission statement. A mission statement tells people where your company currently stands and what it does. A vision statement is more aspirational and tells people where you want to see the company go in the future.
After creating your mission and vision statements, it’s time to determine your brand’s values. This is what you want your business to stand for. More importantly, this is what you want your business to be known for. Truly successful brands keep all of those in mind in every experience a customer has with them. Look at Coca-Cola, one of the world’s most successful brands. But it isn’t based on the product alone. Coca-Cola’s brand is about refreshing the world in a way that makes a difference. While their drink is known to be refreshing worldwide, Coca-Cola also actively works toward its commitment to making the world a better place. And this can be seen through multiple sustainability efforts by the brand.
Lastly, with so many other small businesses out there, it’s important to consider who your competitors are and what makes your business different. To succeed, your business needs to be different in a way that’s attractive to your target market. And creating customer persona to figure that out will help immensely. After figuring all that out, then come all the recognizable elements of a brand like designing a logo and determining a color palette. While developing a brand can be a lengthy process, it’s not impossible. And great brands tend to change and evolve, so just remember that when trying to create your own.
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