Are Branding and Positioning inter-changeable?

Are Branding and Positioning interchangeable?


A recent suggestion by a colleague that Positioning and Branding were interchangeable interested me, as someone who does get involved with internal branding of corporates, so I looked through the thesaurus in search of other alternate words to Branding. It was pretty enlightening. Compare the associations with the following two words:

Brand: Classification, badge, identification, signature, symbol, emblem, stamp, label

Self: Being, essence, personality, substance, texture, distinctiveness, singularity, essential nature

Brand is associated with external 'label' words, whereas self digs deeper into essence. And essence is the true heart of a brand.

Self is used as a modifier and also has many other meanings: self-important, self-confident, self-respect, self-control, self-centred, selfish. It's a great reminder that brand (self) can have positive or negative connotations, and that self-perception may be completely different from how others perceive you.

"What is your branding ~ or positioning ~ or self?"  A potentially provocative question!

Then on further reflection I wonder if semantics is actually the real problem. Each term may well mean different things to different people and in any conversation, brief or proposal, you can never be sure that everyone means the same thing when they use words like "Brand" and "Positioning"

What do they each mean to you?

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