To the frustration of brand designers everywhere, the terms ‘brand’ and ‘branding’ are often used interchangeably, leaving founders and senior leadership teams puzzled about their true meanings.
But brand and branding are two distinct concepts. Recognising their unique roles is fundamental when crafting a resilient and compelling B2B identity.
Your brand is the essence of your business—an identity that’s rooted in the perceptions, emotions, and experiences your audience associates with your company.
Your brand captures your company's purpose, values, mission, and promise, encapsulating:
IBM stands tall as an exemplary B2B brand. With more than a century of history, IBM has continuously redefined itself, aligning with the evolving technological landscape. From hardware to software and now AI and cloud computing, they remain synonymous with innovation, reliability, and expertise.
While brand is a collective perception, branding is the strategic process of curating and crafting your brand's image, aligning it with your core values, and communicating it consistently across all touchpoints.
It's the deliberate effort to mold perceptions, create trust, and define your distinct position in the market.
Effective branding involves the use of visuals, messaging, storytelling, and experiences to leave a lasting mark on your audience.
A great example of effective branding in the B2B realm is Salesforce. This CRM powerhouse has positioned itself as the front-runner in cloud-based solutions. Their brand reflects innovation, customer-centricity, and integration. Their consistent branding efforts have solidified this perception, enabling them to dominate the CRM space.
If it helps, think of your brand and branding as symbiotic.
Your brand defines the core principles and values that steer your company, while branding propels your brand into the market in a way that resonates with your target audience, placing you firmly at the forefront of your industry.
If your B2B start-up needs an assist in doing just that, we’d thoroughly recommend signing up for an LVB brand session.
Steve, our founder and brand design expert, will help you get clear on your business identity, and construct a brand that’s lovable, viable, and believable.