The Difference Between Brand & Branding and Why It Matters

Today’s guest is Jena Rodriguez of and this interview is a ‘must-listen-to’ because it tackles the foundational mistake that a lot of new entrepreneurs make in their business. A lot of people confuse the “branding” with “the brand” and the first thing that people do when they start their business is they get a logo and they get a business card, and they get a website, but without really spending the time to think about who it is THEY are in their business, what they really offer and who they serve. Jena gives some amazing hints about how to create that brand in your business even if you are at the very beginning and don’t have a lot of money.

Doc - Jan 31, 2015, 10-34 PM

My husband and I ran a web design and grphics company together for a long time and one of the things I noticed with a lot of the clients we were serving that there was a need to help them understand who they are in their business before they ever get to the logo design. Because oif our service-delivery business model where we were providing websites and logos and business cards – everything that is absolutely necessary to run a successful business – but I was getting dissatisfied with that and wanted to brand myself more as an expert in branding and brand strategy, and be that person who would help you understand what your business is about and be that entrepreneurial sounding board. In the way that we were running our business it just wasn’t connecting with the marketplace that way.

So towards the end of 2012 I faced a pretty hard decision It was causing some turmoil in our partnership (not the marriage) and the disconnect and lack of enthusiam was beginning to affect everything. It took me about a year before I understood what I had to do about it. In the end I asked him what it would be like for him to pursue the business that he wanted to pursue, which was his muisic (he is a very talented musician), and let me pursue something different and more aligned with what I was all about. It was a tough conversation, because we had gotten pretty comfortable with the way things were but, in the end, we agreed that I would take over the business and he would pursue his music.

With that came a name change and a difference in how I was branding myself – a website change, a color change, an expression change. But there was a disinct difference between ‘being my brand’ and ‘branding’ it. And that was the turning point of my business taking a whole new shift, and a whole new trajectory in my results as a result. I ended my first year with a 55% increase in business over the previous year. And I attribute that to making the hard decision – number one, and number two, realizing that branding was not all what I was about, but that’s all people heard. And so to help both myself and the people who I was serving I started to make a very clear distinction between what ‘brand’ is and what ‘branding’ is.

The brand is who you are and what you stand for. Its the essence of the business. Its the essence of you.

And ‘branding’ is the process of expressing it. Its all of the touchpoints we put out that expresses the brand that we are.

So I knew that my brand wasn’t being expressed fully. I knew I was showing my brand but people weren’t connecting to it because my branding was not connected. So that was the shift, not only for my own life and my business, and for my husband’s business, but I was also able to impact the clients I was serving because of that distinction.

When we get clear on the who-we-are of our brand, then the decisions we make about our branding gets a lot easier. And that’s what I started to experience in my own business and, of course, it impacted the bottom line in a positive way. And then I started to see that in the business of my clients.

Favorite Book:  The E-Myth by Michael Gerber

Favorite Resources: Infusionsoft; Evernote; Imapct v Input Graph


Want to get a free audiobook version of the book recommended by this week’s guest?  Click here to download it.


Jena RodriguezJena Rodriguez – Brand and Business Strategist

Jena is passionate about transforming businesses from so-so to WOW with brand clarity, strategy, and profit enhancement expertise. She is founder of Brand With Jena, a business coaching company that educates, elevates, and inspires entrepreneurs internationally, supporting them in getting their BRAVE ON!

“Entrepreneurship is NOT the easy way, it is the BRAVE way!”

Jena shows entrepreneurs what it takes to work with clients they LOVE and make the money they TRULY desire by elevating their perceived value so they can charge what they’re worth. By doing so, she’s helped clients surpass the 6-figure mark with increases of 600% + in their business. How big is YOUR BRAVE?

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