Difference between Brand and Product

Key difference: A brand is the personality of a business or a service in the consumer’s eye. It is the perception, expectation, and experiences of the customers whereas the product is a physical or non-physical helpful thing that is sold and bought.  

Difference between brand and productThe primary difference between a brand and a product is that a brand is the image of a specific company or a producer of products that are helpful to the consumers in some way. Brands have a persona and uniqueness terms of “value” that the consumers find in them. The image produced by brands is responsible for brand recall and brand recognition (See Brand Recall Vs. Brand Recognition).

The brand name, it's design and its physical appearance give it an “identity” that in combination with the quality of the product or service creates an image in the consumers that influences them to appreciate it to extent of buying the products and services again and again with loyalty. A product is the actual physical (eg. Shoes) or non-physical thing (eg. software) that people buy under the influence of the brand. The product itself cannot be called as a brand because the brand has a wider image and deeper perception that the product. The usefulness or product may not be seen in the product in isolation. For example, if someone says “Nike is the best shoe brand,” they are referring to the experience with the brand as a whole rather than just the comfort of the shoes. Consumers not only like the brand because of products. They like it because of the brand design, its appearance, social proof and way of communication.  

Difference between brand and products can be known from the marketing perspective. When companies market their products to gain profits they don’t market products, they market their brand. In the beginning, brands are marketed more to create a buzz around the products to sell (See Advertising Vs. Marketing). This is deliberately done to embed an impacting image in the heads of the consumers and influence their decisions to buy their product. The brand name is used to attract consumers and not product name because many similar products exist in the market and only brand names are the impacting differentiators. Therefore it is very important to note that “people actually buy brands and not products and services.” The product is a mere a physical manifestation or medium of the brand that helps the brand take shape.

Difference between brand and productAnother difference between brand and product can be understood from the product design and product marketing perspective. Product design refers to designing a product that serves a purpose with ease and provides additional comfort which may not be provided by other brands. This difference in the product is experienced as uniqueness and is perceived as brand value by masses. As aforesaid, a brand is an experience that the product gives. Sooner or later the consumers associate the experience with the name of the brand and the brand image takes shape in their minds. 

Difference between brand and product






What is it exactly?

A perception, an experience that distinguishes a product from other products

An item that is sold in exchange for money

Consumers point of view

It is what customers want

It is what customers need

How it takes form?

Created by consumers in their mind

Produced by manufacturers

Its place

Cannot be replaced

Can easily be replaced

Its form

A brand is intangible

Product is tangible



A brand offers value

Product performs specific functions

What is permanent?


Brand remains forever

A product can be replaced or improved with time

Also see: Brand Name Vs. Company Name 

Image credits: http://nbaplayoffs.co

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