Brand vs. Branding?

What is a brand? How is it different from branding?

We’ve worked with a lot of brands here at Ideas On Purpose — here’s a good overview of the difference.

Your brand is… you

Your brand emanates from the very core of what your organization does and what its values are. Your brand encompasses:

And, of course —

A good brand starts from within, from your purpose and your goals. A start-up is a brand before launch — Coca-Cola made a carbonated beverage long before it became a “brand.” Legally, a brand is a trademark or trade name.

That said, a successful organization communicates their brand early and often… through strategic, thoughtful and well-executed branding.

Branding is a marketing and communications tool

More than a name or symbol, a brand is derived from your brand essence. Your organization’s branding is a marketing tool, a tool that does some heavy lifting to communicate — in images and words — what you’re all about.

Effective branding helps organically and authentically convey to others the answers to some big, important questions for your business or organization:

Branding your organization involves expert strategy, story and design

While you can answer many of the questions about your organization and the benefits of working with you, communicating those things efficiently and effectively takes:

Strategy, storytelling and design all have their own sets of principles and best practices — not for the amateur.

Rebranding is branding, too

Times change, businesses evolve — and after some years design trends can become overused or tired. Rebranding — or doing a “brand refresh” — can help bring more current sensibilities — and a new audience — to your organization.

Branding your business takes investment — but the effort will pay many dividends — and can help support your organization in surprising ways.

Do you need a new brand or a brand refresh? Contact Ideas On Purpose and learn what we can do for you.


Defining Branding isn’t easy, it can mean different things to different people. Here are a few definitions we found, for your reference: