Understanding The Difference Between Your Brand and Reputation

Let’s face it; we are in the midst of an ever-changing and saturated industry when it comes to consumerism, where standing out in your industry is more important than ever before.

The question then becomes how do you answer this challenge while also reaching new heights in your business?

To that we would say, steer your focus towards branding and rely less on the power of reputation to carry your business forward.

The difference between reputation and branding can commonly become convoluted and sometimes even misunderstood as the same concept. It’s important to become familiar with how reputation affects your business and how branding affects your business, but it’s even more important to understand how both affect each other.

Brand vs. Reputation… What’s The Difference?

A brand extends beyond merely just aesthetics. It is the identity, voice, and visual representation of your business. Your brand also encapsulates the values, promises, and emotions associated with your service or product. Branding is how we can manufacture the perception of your business to your target audience, in hopes that throughout your brand identity and the story you are portraying to the world, it resonates deeply with their own values. 

Reputation on the other hand is the collective opinion held about a business’s character based merely on past experiences, actions, and overall performance of the brand. It is the credibility you’ve built over time that inherently influences new and returning customers

Reputation Is Only a Small Part Of The Puzzle 

Many brands have indeed become successful merely because they had a stellar reputation and didn’t need to invest too deeply into their brand identity to still have a profitable business. So you’re probably wondering, “How necessary is intentional and strong branding?”.

Businesses with a solid reputation still have much to gain by steering their attention and efforts toward creating or building a more intentional and robust brand. Your reputation may open doors, but what keeps people coming back is what your brand means to them.

Brands are not static, they are alive.

In a competitive market, a good reputation alone may not be enough to differentiate your business. Relying on reputation means you are depending more on external perceptions, which are defined by others and can shift due to factors beyond your control.

The Power of Intentional Branding

Brands are living entities in the marketplace. They evolve with customer expectations and industry standards, which begs the need for active attention and authentic cultivation of your brand identity and messaging. But, that’s a good thing! 

We want to have control over the identity and messaging because that is the foundation for building a strong brand. A strong brand means a distinctive identity that goes beyond logos and color schemes. Distinctive brand identities require consistency in every touchpoint of the business. 

Effective branding evokes emotions and creates connections with the audience. It makes a brand relatable and memorable, which fosters loyalty and trust among consumers of your brand. People are far more likely to engage with a brand that they feel emotionally connected to. 

Consumers are not the only ones that apply to this form of thinking, it also applies to anyone having an interaction with the brand such as investors, suppliers, and prospective hires. Without strong branding to communicate what you are all about, they will have to rely on what they can find about you from 3rd parties – this is your reputation.

Remember! Use Branding As A Strategic Tool

Branding should be utilized as a strategic, intentional tool that helps actively manage your business’s overall public perception. By investing in your brand you’re actively engaging directly with your customers and target audience, instead of letting the opinions of others shape the perception of how your brand is perceived amongst the general public.