Branding and marketing are two of the most essential business management aspects. However, new business owners and marketers often confuse these two. To use them effectively, it’s crucial to know their differences. Let’s dive in.
What is Branding?
The process of creating an identity for your business to distinguish it from the competition is what’s known as branding. You need to give your business a brand identity by shaping it using assets to attract and maintain your targeted audience. These comprise logos, fonts, color schemes, writing voice and style, and your company’s story.
Branding will give you insights about your business through the following:
- What are your values and core principles?
- What is your company’s mission?
- What inspired you to build this business?
- What makes your business unique?
- How do you want people to see you as a company?
To sum it up, branding will tell your customers what they can expect from you. It will define who you are and what traits you have for them to choose you over all the others. Below are a few elements of branding you need to know about if you’re still unsure:
Guidelines: this is the set of rules the team follows to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Logo: a visual representation of your company that your customers will identify you with.
Image: this is your customers’ impression of your personality, typically developed through marketing campaigns.
Unique Positioning: this is your business appearance that will separate you from everyone else.
Purpose: these are the values that will connect you emotionally with your target audience.
What is Marketing?
While branding is concerned with creating a persona for a business, marketing is all about plunging deep into the psychology of your target audience. It is concerned with finding out what your potential customers want and need and encouraging them to buy from you. Marketing is about communicating your brand identity to drive interest, engagement, and, ultimately, revenues.
Marketing is the process of educating people about your brand, why you need it, and how your products or services will make a difference in their lives. Of course, it is what every business owner’s goal is, which is to boost sales. Without marketing, no one would know about your brand.
You can execute marketing in a variety of traditional and digital methods. The following are the most commonly used:
- SEO/SEM (Search Engine Optimization/Search Engine Marketing)
- Social Media Marketing
- Content Marketing
- Mobile Marketing
- PPC (Pay-Per-Click) Marketing
- Native Advertising
- Email Marketing
- OOH (Out-of-Home) Advertising
- Print Campaigns
- Event Marketing
Which Should Come First: Branding or Marketing?
This may be a giveaway question, but to make it clear, you need to craft a branding before you can do any marketing. Branding is your business’s values, commitment, and message. It is your dedication to answering a specific pain point of your target market. It is the basis of every transaction and interaction with your customers.
On the other hand, marketing is a level above branding. It is about crafting targeted activities and campaigns that run for shorter periods, such as social media or native ad campaigns. There are also long-term marketing endeavors, such as SEO, which take months to achieve positive results.
Marketing methods constantly evolve and will change depending on industry and cultural trends. Meanwhile, branding is constant. Though it can still succumb to change, it is rarely because of an overhaul of your company values, mission, or principles.
Key Differences Between Branding and Marketing
Below are the critical differences between branding and marketing:
- Marketing is what gets your customer’s attention, while branding is your way to keep their attention.
- Branding is what builds value, loyalty, and community, while marketing aims to boost sales.
- Marketing strategies come and go, but branding is constant.
- The outcome of branding is relationship and connection, while marketing is need. Branding creates a fanbase for the product or company, think iPhones. In contrast, marketing establishes a desire for your product or brand.
- Branding is to get people to know your company, while marketing is how you get to know your customers.
- Branding and marketing differ in basic principles. Branding understands the company’s purpose and then creates strategies to bring consistency, loyalty, and emotion through awareness of the competition and the involvement of your employees. Marketing, on the other hand, understands your product and its value. Then, it defines the price and develops a plan for promoting it at the right place, time, and audience.
- Branding comes first, marketing second. There is nothing to market when you don’t have an identity.
- Branding aims to create a long-term effect on consumers, while marketing is limited to targeting the right people and increasing sales.
- Branding is making the company popular so that everyone knows about it. Marketing is getting consumers to purchase.
- The value of branding comes from building it, while marketing uses this value to earn money.
- Branding is for customers, while marketing is for the business.
Similarities Between Branding and Marketing
While there are plenty of differences between branding and marketing, there are also a few similarities that you need to know about. First, the tools and skills you use to deliver both of their messages.
This includes SEO and social media, which you can use to reach your target audience where they are. Both also require skills in communication, active listening, and even humor to get your message across to consumers.
Secondly, branding and marketing use the same imagery. Your logo will appear in your product packaging, newsletters, and website, among many others. This helps build a consistent and cohesive image of your business, making it easy to recognize.
Lastly, branding and marketing use strategies to reach your objectives, although the focus differs. Marketing aims to drive sales, while branding aims to increase recognizability and loyalty.
Branding and marketing have so many differences, but the bottom line is you need both to see your company succeed. They complement each other, and your business would not grow if you lacked any of them. Knowing what makes them different helps in knowing how to use each effectively.
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