The difference between a brand and a label

Brands and labels are two concepts that are often used interchangeably. This is because they both act as proper nouns that identify a business which sells branded/labelled products. For example, Nike may be referred to as both a brand and a label; while this use of the terms is culturally correct, these two words have different meanings entirely.

 

What is a brand?

The word ‘brand’ is used to describe a business that sells products and/or services which resonate with the business’ persona. A brand is less what a business says it is and more what the consumer thinks it is. It’s how a company’s target markets perceives the business through its offerings, interactions, and associations. Thus, a brand is a promise made to its market.

What is a label?

A label on the other hand has both a literal and figurative meaning. The figurative meaning acts as a synonym for brand in that it is a proper noun for a business that sells goods and services. The literal meaning however is that labels are pieces of material that are stuck/sewed onto a brand’s products to identify those products as belonging to that specific brand.

How do they work together?

Brands that sell products and goods such as food or clothes rely heavily on labels to differentiate them from other goods. Without labels, brands wouldn’t find much value in their marketing efforts because their consumers wouldn’t know which products to purchase in the first place. Brands can’t survive without labels, just as labels are useless without brands – both need one another to fulfil their purposes.

 

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