Product and brand are two commonly encountered terms in marketing. You might get confused between the two, but the difference is very simple. A product is an item that is available for sale in the market. A brand is one which distinguishes a product from another.
What is a product?
A product is a service or good or a combination of both which is made by the manufacturers or producers. It can be physical and non-physical. It is an object/item that is ready to sell. A product is a need and this need can be satisfied by any product.
A product can be copied by different companies. Like say, there are many companies that make toothpaste. The brands might be different but the product remains the same, eg. Colgate, pepsodent, Himalaya, etc. all these companies make toothpaste but the product remains the same.
Every product has a size, shape, colour, texture, brand name, packaging features and much more, which are only physiologically or quality wise different. Companies take advantage of this fact and try to persuade the customers. They will produce similar products to confuse the target audience. Therefore, unless you experience the product and see its performance you cannot trust it.
A product usually has a limited life. With the changing time, it might expire soon. Once it is expired it becomes outmoded. In such a case, when a product expires, the company might re-launch the product; re-introduce it to the target audience. This is why companies do re-branding of a product.
What is a brand?
A brand is the preferred identity of a product. It is when you can connect yourself with the brand, and choose to buy a product of that particular brand. It identifies a particular product from a pool of similar products. It has a personal touch, an emotional connection with the customer, which makes them chose that brand over and over. It is like forming a relationship, trusting and getting attached to the product via brand. In simple words, a brand is made by the people.
If seen clearly, a brand can only be felt, it cannot be touched. It is wider than a product and is not made easily. It takes years to build a brand and once it is built, it just grows with time. Once a brand earns trust then it stays in the market on its goodwill.
Take Google for example, when it was launched, people took some time to experience it, like it and trust it. It is because of the trust & experience that people rely on Google more than themselves. Today if Google launches any new product or makes enhancement in any of its products, people would blindly trust it. This is because Google is a famous and well-accepted brand. It will only grow with time and its brand fame needs no change.
A brand never dies it only dwells with time, on the other hand, the product might keep changing.
Connecting dots between a brand and product
A brand truly emerges from a product. They both are different but cannot survive without each other. A product might be available in the market, but only a brand builds its value over time. A brand is made with experience, benefits, relation, and trust, while a product is made with performance, experience and benefits. Now you see the thin line between the two? They both go hand in hand with each other.
How similarly different they are!
Talking about the similarities, there are a few points that separate a brand from a product. A product can be replaced but a brand cannot be. Once an image is established of a brand no matter what products may come and go the brand will not change. This is the beauty of a brand it never dies while a product might. Having said this, we can also say that a brand is unique while a product might not be.
They might seem the same but if you look at the differences then you will know the real difference between them how similarly different they actually are. A product is a single identity & there can be various products under a single brand. This makes the brand a wider term than a product. A brand truly exists because there is a product.
Speaking about the differences, a brand cannot be copied while a product can be. A brand is connected with mind and a product is connected with the brand. A brand, on the other hand, offers value and a product offers solutions. A product is what you need and a brand is what you want.
I hope this article has helped you to clear your thoughts, for detailed information about the current trends, stay tuned.
Quotes to highlight in the article: ‘product is what you need & brand is what you want’
‘Product can be copied but a brand is unique’
‘Product is ephemeral, brand live forever’