Why You Need a Brand, Not a Business

Jenna Kutcher 

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June 21, 2017


Far too often these days we see people taking a passion and launching a business, it’s exciting, you want to make money, and so suddenly you become a walking, talking billboard allll about your offer. We have all seen this from getting added to Facebook groups we didn’t want to be a part of to random friend requests from strangers quickly followed up with a message about some product that we might not be interested in. Lately, I’ve been really focusing on the importance of why we need to build brands and not just businesses.

A business is just an organization that markets a product/service/opportunity. Now a brand on the other hand is: the image and personality the business applies to it’s offers. Think with me now: why do brands hire celebrities as spokes people? Because they KNOW that they can’t just sell a product and see results, they have to give the product or service an image, a personality.

They have to build trust, build rapport, and create connection. If your feed is only business and marketing messages, you’re likely alienating anyone that isn’t CURRENTLY interested in the offer – therefore reaching a way more narrow audience that has no reason to follow you if not isn’t the right time for them.

When people hear “brand” we immediately think of the visual components: logos, colors, fonts, and websites, but when you dig really deep into what a brand truly is, it’s more about the vision, the voice, the personality behind what your offer is.

Brands can PIVOT

How many of you can without a shadow of a doubt tell me that you’re going to be doing the same exact thing you are a year from now, five years from now, ten years from now? Building a brand allows you to pivot. How else could a wedding photographer from small town Wisconsin teach courses, launch a podcast, sell watercolor prints, partner with brands, and heck, even book out a Hawaiian condo. People care about ME and not just what I’m selling.

When I first started out as a photographer, I wanted to be the right photographer for every single engaged couple. I spoke to engaged couples generically, I bent my brand to fit their needs, and I molded myself into what they needed… when I started to realize I only needed to be the right photographer for 20 couples a year is when everything changed. I knew that if I was only marketing to engaged Wisconsin brides still needing a photographer, I’d only be speaking to a very small audience. I needed to reach their friends, past clients, future clients and beyond and the way to do that is through a true brand.

Brands can make an IMPACT

When you have a brand, it’s multi dimensional, your brand can make a bigger impact than just a business because it has a heart and personality behind it. When you have a mission or a vision, it’s easier to share it because your brand voice resonates with people and creates a deeper meaning to behind your work.

If you have a personality and a voice and a true beating heart to your brand, not only will you make a greater impact but you will invite people to be a part of that impact. So many businesses rely on donating a portion of their proceeds (which is amazing) but they never invite the consumer to see the loop being closed or to see the true impact that is being made. When you have a brand, you have the ability to more personally invite people in an impactful way that takes them on the journey and grows your cause even more.

Brands earn their ability to SELL

When a true brand is built, you can absolutely adopt the jab, jab, jab right hook method that allows you to unapologetically sell when the time comes. Why? Because the content you are sharing and serving with the majority of the time gives you the right and opportunity to sell due to the fact that you’re speaking to the right audience without alienating those not currently ready or interested in your offer.

If you’re a business, you’re marketing every single day with ads and marketing messages that will only translate for those who are ready to hit “purchase” but if you’re a brand you’re building a relationship through serving, serving, serving every day so that when the time comes to SELL, your audience is eager to take part in your offer.

Far too many entrepreneurs focus on building a business and not a brand, but hopefully today’s episode shows you the power in true branding beyond just the visual. When you partner a strong visual presence with a clear voice, a beating heart, and a true recognizable personality, you will truly make a greater impact and see bigger results!


Create an Unforgettable Brand with THIS Brand Interview Guide

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  1. Thank you Jenna for giving me a fresh perspective on how to make my business work for me. I was feeling really bogged down by everything it takes to be a successful entrepreneur and you have helped me realize that most of those things were holding me back from being successful. It feels like each episode of your podcast hits right at home with a struggle I am working through in my budding business. Your inspiring words and innovative ideas have helped me reset my thinking and become more intentional in the time I spend developing my brand. I can’t thank you enough! In such a short amount of time you have helped me regain confidence that this IS something worth all of the time and effort I am devoting. And most importantly, why it is crucial to keep myself filled with what it takes to move forward personally and professionally.

  2. Love this podcast!!! Thank you for all the nuggets of wisdom you have shared!!

  3. Andrea Reyes says:

    Jenna, I totally loved what you teach in this podcast. It was an eye opener for me starting as a solopreneur. I will defenitly apply this to my brand to truly connect with people and help them grow awesome brands too.
    Continue helping us to become goal diggers as you !! 🙂

  4. […] and providers. They purchase relations, tales and magic.” Decide totally different aspects of your brand story and share them in a means that enables folks to know, like, and belief you. You may earn extra […]

  5. […] items and providers. They purchase relations, tales and magic.” Decide totally different sides of your brand story and share them in a method that enables individuals to know, like, and belief you. You may earn […]

  6. Loved, loved, loved listening to this!!!! My brand is not just my logo or my website, but it’s who I am, and why I do what I do, and what I can do for others!! THANKS Jenna xo

  7. Ting says:

    Hi Jenna, I love your podcast. I listen to them whenever I need a liitle boost in my spirit or my business. Thank you for sharing your knowledge, your soul and all the goodness in you. You are a true inspiration!

  8. Stivaly Friedman says:

    How do you start a brand? Do you have a pod cast for that?

  9. Maggie McDonald says:

    This episode of Goal digger was really inspiring, its awesome to know the importance of the relationships and your individual character that are important in your brand. I often feel helpless and like I can’t compete with all the big businesses out there but this podcast reminds me that often the big businesses don’t have the relationships and character that I can have as an Individual person! Thank you so much!

  10. Tracey says:

    Incredible! Thank you for this podcast, this was so so good – eye opening and game changing.

  11. Kelly Butler says:

    Jenna, thank you so much for this inspiring podcast. My business is so new that it’s still being baked in the conceptual phase, and your messaging helps me to know I need to develop the vision for my brand now – before I even launch…and stay true to that personal brand and voice. Though extroverted, I struggle with a tendency towards privacy on social media and sometimes I miss sharing sides of me that others can relate to and know me (and my future brand) better! With your help, I can keep an eye on that and work to stay true to myself. Thank you! Kelly

  12. Sam says:

    Thank you! This is the first Jenna podcast I have listened to. I am trying to work out how to position my website as I plan to overhaul it and that made me think of you so I came over here for some inspiration. I listened carefully and took notes. It always comes back to the same thing for me. The successful people have such charisma and personality. What do you recommend for those of us for whom that part is a struggle. I am never going to be bubbly and effervescent that way. I certainly don’t want to use that as an excuse and I know personalities are all different which is OK, but I do find it tricky to convince myself that my personality is of the type that naturally lends itself to success. I hope to solve this puzzle. As you say – I’ve got to be me, rather than trying to mold services to what I think other people might want from me. OK, deep breath, I’m going to start work on another angle, thanks for the suggestions.

  13. Yvonne Johns says:

    Thanks so much! You have clarified the difference between business and brand very nicely, building on what I’ve been learning from so many other sources.
    You are a great encouragement to me. Super!

  14. maudy says:

    Very helpful! I am starting to post other stuff than just my art today!

  15. Jessica says:

    Girl! I have to say…I’ve tried to listen back to all of your old podcasts. YOU ARE SPEAKING TO ME so much! Thank you! Thank you!

  16. […] Podcast recommendation – Jenna Kutcher “Goal Digger” episode 059. […]

  17. GioCasadei says:

    Very interesting tips. Thank you for your sharing!


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Before you get any further... Hi! I'm Jenna Kutcher!

A small town Minnesota photographer, podcaster, educator and puppy rescuer, my happiest days are spent behind my computer screen sharing my secrets with the world. I'm glad you're here.

I’m an expert at online marketing, a nerd when it comes to the numbers, and my obsession is teaching others how to make a living doing what they love (without it taking over their life). 

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