Branding and Design Illustration Concept

Seth Godin - What Is the Difference Between a Logo and a Brand?

If you ask a consumer to define the difference between a logo and a brand, they'll probably say they're the same thing.

If you ask a marketer the same question, the answers will be vastly different. To be honest, I don't think most marketers understand the distinction, and I'm not criticizing. I used to have no idea, too, because it's confusing unless someone breaks it down for you – not with some B.S. marketing-ese taught in school, but with a real-world answer.

So I turned to a video clip of Seth Godin explaining the difference, and while his explanation isn't particularly brief, I believe it explains the difference in a way that we can all understand AND use to build a REAL business that makes SIGNIFICANT money.

Seth has the following to say:

"Companies devote far too much time to their logo." If Nike opened a hotel, I think we'd have a pretty good idea of what it'd be like. We'd have no idea if Hyatt released sneakers because the company doesn't have a brand. They've got a logo.

"If I switched the signs on a hotel at that price point, you couldn't tell if you were at a Marriott, a Hilton, or a Hyatt because there is no brand."

"Having a brand means you've made a promise to people." They have certain expectations. They are aware of what to expect the next time. And if that's the case, you've earned something. If it's not clear, admit you make a commodity and are trying to charge a little more for peace of mind.

"The issue that Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott, and the others face is 'sort by price.' When I search for a hotel online, I now sort by price. Why would I pay $200 more to travel a block away? I don't think so.

"So, what is the worth of a brand?" The value of a brand is determined by how much more I pay over the substitute. And you don't have a brand if I'm not paying extra."

Let's take a look at this in more detail. When you go to the store and look at laundry detergents, you'll notice that there are a lot of very similar items with very similar prices. Yes, you might always reach for the Tide with Bleach, but let's be honest: almost any other laundry detergent will do the job just as well. Those products have logos rather than brands.

Let's take a look at chocolates now. For about $3, you can get an entire bag of foil-wrapped chocolate Easter eggs. If you taste one of those eggs, you'll notice that chocolate isn't one of the first ingredients. Who is responsible for this lousy stuff? I'm not even sure what to say.

Then there are items such as Hershey's Chocolate Bar. While it's far superior to those 'chocolate' eggs, it's not significantly different from many other chocolates available at comparable prices. I can get 3.5 pounds of Hershey Bars for $39 with Prime shipping from Amazon. Other candy and chocolate bars are priced similarly.

But what do you get if you search Amazon for Godiva Chocolates? A half-pound costs $40. That means it's more than seven times the price of Hershey's.

Seven times!!!

Is Godiva really seven times better than Hershey's? To be honest, I don't think so. However, their brand name is well-known. Just say "Godiva Chocolates" in someone's ear, and they'll melt. If you say "Hershey Bar," they'll look at you as if you're someone to avoid.

Do you have a logo? Or a brand name?

How can you make your business look, sound, and feel so different from anything else that doesn't compete directly? Remember, from Godiva's standpoint, Hershey isn't even in the same industry.

However, Tide, All, Gain, Era, Arm and Hammer, and other brands are so similar that most people would not notice the difference if you substituted one for another. They are all up against stiff competition because they have no clear way of distinguishing themselves.

Being unique is unquestionably more difficult in some industries. To differentiate yourself, you may need to change the way you do business rather than the product itself. For example (and completely off the top of my head), if I owned a laundry detergent, I'd target mothers and fathers. My favorite is the laundry detergent that not only cleans children's clothes without using chemicals, but also includes a free book with each box of detergent to help children develop a love of reading.

If I were to start a chocolate business, I would know that the low-cost chocolate market is saturated. There is still room for organic chocolates to enter the market. And people enjoy trying new, strange, and exotic things. People also love pets. That's why my chocolate company would be 100 percent organic, use unusual flavor combinations (chocolate, banana, walnut, anyone? ), and feature adorable, limited edition pet artwork on the labels. All proceeds from the sale of the original artwork will be donated to animal shelters. Or something along those lines.

Again, that's just off the top of my head, so I'm sure you can do better with some thought.

Questions to consider:

What distinguishes your product or service from the competition?

And how will this distinction enable you to command a higher price than your closest competitors?

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About Kavi

I've been living the online solopreneur lifestyle for over 20 years. I began as a freelancer back in 2000 and have since created my own software company, hosting service, produced information products, and engaged in affiliate marketing.

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