The common misconception in branding is that your brand and branding your company are the same thing. They are definitely related, but they are definitely not the same thing. When you can grasp the fundamental difference between the two, you can leverage your brand more effectively. Confusion between the two can lead to problems establishing your brand because you might overlook something very important.
First, in their most basic sense, a brand is a concept and branding is communicating a brand concept. Did you catch it? A brand in an idea and branding is implementing that idea. To use an analogy, the brand is the bullet and branding is the gun. Branding applies the brand to your target market just like firing a gun at an intended target.
Let us define what a brand is. Essentially it is a concept developed in the consumer?s head about your company as a result of their experience with your company. Now this concept can just occur naturally without any purpose or brand development from you, which could be a huge liability, or you can be proactive in creating and developing your brand concept that you want the consumer to have.
Now let us look at branding. It is the transmission of the brand concept to the consumer through the use of brand elements and brand signals. Branding will happen even if it is intentional or not. Proper branding will be successful in transmitting the brand concept to the consumer without losing the integrity of the brand concept.