People often mix up branding and marketing and use the terms interchangeably. You can’t compare apples and oranges, they’re just not the same thing and either is branding and marketing. As a business owner, it is essential that you understand branding and marketing both in great detail, so that you can effectively utilize them together. Below is a closer look at the distinction between marketing and branding.
Branding is why — Marketing is how
Branding is who you are — Marketing is how you attract consumer attention
Branding creates value — Marketing extracts value
Branding defines trajectory — Marketing defines tactics
Branding is strategic — Marketing is tactical
Branding builds loyalty — Marketing builds familiarity
Branding drives reputation — Marketing drives sales
WHAT IS BRANDING?
At it’s core, branding is who you are—and marketing is how you build awareness. Branding is your strategy, while marketing encompasses your tactical goals. In order to determine who your brand is, you need to ask yourself several questions. Questions that go beyond industry generalizations, and services or products offered and also questions to determine who you are as a company, and more importantly, who you are as a brand. The questions are just a small sample of what I ask my clients to consider before I begin to position there brand:
What are your core principles and values?
What is your mission statement?
What inspired you to build your business?
Why do you want to offer your products or services to your target audience?
What makes you unique?
What do you want to come to mind when someone hears your business name?
How do you want people to feel when they think of your business?
How do you want customers to describe you as a company?
Answering the questions above helps your Brand Strategist | Brand Designer bring your competitive positioning to life as we position you as “the only one” in the mind of your prospects and customers. By clearly defining who you are, your Brand Strategy can then be created and utilized to precede and underlie your marketing efforts—both today and for years to come.
Branding is what also makes your audience interested in your message and prevents you from having to reinvent the wheel every time you develop marketing content. This difference is important to define both terms as well as to figure out what you plan to accomplish with each. There are many ways to create you own marketing. But if really seeking a ROI- Branding must come first.
WHAT IS MARKETING?
Marketing is vast and wide. It can be funny, serious or heartfelt. It can be any mix of text, keywords, photos, graphics, charts, graphs, and videos. Marketing will be performed by a variety of online and offline methods—some of the most common being:
Social Media Platforms | Posts
Posters | Signs
Car Wraps…The list goes on and on.
While the methods will evolve, and respond to current industry and cultural trends—you unique branding remains the same. Even if you make adjustments to your brand, they will typically be in response to your growth or expanded services offered—but is rarely an overhaul of your core principals, mission, values or visual identity system.
Also, keep in mind that branding is something you and your team must do on a daily basis, and with every transaction processed, with every phone call received, and email responded to. However, your marketing is most often partially or fully outsourced to marketing professionals. When speaking of branding vs. marketing, branding is who you are—while marketing is how you attract consumer attention. Also, think of branding as the way you keep current clients and marketing as how you attract new clients.
WHERE BRANDING AND MARKETING OVERLAP
While branding and marketing are distinctly different, there is one area where they overlap. When selecting imagery to be utilized on an ongoing basis, branding and marketing become one in the same. As the saying goes “A picture speaks a thousand words.” With that in mind, when you choose your company colors, graphics, and logo—remember that they must first represent your brand—but that they will also play a substantial role in your ongoing marketing campaign.
THE IMPORTANCE OF BRANDING VS MARKETING
If the difference between marketing and branding are now clear, but you are still unsure of the importance of understanding the two—it all comes down to competition. Competition is fierce, and the fact of the matter is that there are businesses that offer comparable products and services—or even the exact same products and services that you offer. It is your branding that will keep you in their minds and hearts. It is your branding that builds loyalty and trust. It is your branding that will keep your customers returning for more. It is your branding that makes you unique. While you could create your marketing strategies with nothing other than posting to social media everyday, and the most effective marketing methods within your industry—your conversions will be lower if your consumers are not connected to you as a brand.
Without branding, you may achieve success, but with branding, your success will be far more substantial, no matter who else shows up in your market.