The Difference Between Branding And Marketing And How They Work Together
Have you ever contemplated the difference between branding and marketing? If so, you are not alone. While the two are undoubtedly connected, there are minute differences between them.
As a business owner, it is essential that you understand branding and marketing in great detail so that you can effectively utilize them together.
Marketing and branding overlap, but business owners should clearly distinguish branding and marketing to integrate them successfully in an overarching digital strategy.
Marketing and branding are equally important, but forming your brand naturally precedes promoting it. You must create a brand identity and develop your message before communicating it through marketing. Using this understanding of marketing and branding and learning how they work together builds a strong foundation for your company’s future marketing activities.
So, what exactly is branding? What’s marketing? What are the differences between the two—and how can you use both to build a successful, impactful business? In this article, we’ll break it down for you.
Understanding Branding and Marketing
Branding provides more clarity and direction to your marketing activities. With branding and marketing on your side, it’s easier to figure out the specific steps you need to take to lead your business to success.
Let’s define what branding is and what marketing is in simple terms, how any good branding and marketing company would.
What is Branding?
Branding is about defining your company.
First things first, branding is all about defining who you are as a company. That’s why “brand” is often used interchangeably with “company.” Crazy, right?
It’s also why, when we talk about branding, we’re talking about who you are as a company:
- What are your core values?
- What is your company culture like?
- What is your mission statement?
- How do you choose to communicate with your audience?
- What makes you different from the other companies selling the same thing?
When you think of brands, you probably think of big companies like Coca-Cola, Apple, Nike, and Samsung. But what about the small businesses around you? Every business, no matter how small, has a brand. Your brand is what people remember about your company – it’s your reputation, your image, and how people see you.
Your brand is much more than just your logo or the color scheme of your website. It’s the overall feeling people get when they think of your company. It sets you apart from your competitors and makes people want to do business with you instead of them.
Branding is what decides how your audience feels about your company. It’s the core tenant of a brand or company loyalty. A great promotion or marketing campaign may be enough to get a new customer through the door, but how that customer feels about the brand determines whether or not they’ll return. 59 percent of buyers prefer to buy a new product from a brand they trust instead of an unfamiliar one. So creating a rock-solid brand and understanding your brand identity is the first step in the ongoing communication you plan to build your audience.
In short, Branding is the practice of shaping a business’s brand identity. When you create a brand identity, you give your business character and provide a complete narrative on what you offer, why you do it, and where it leads. It’s also about whom you’re speaking to (your target audience), how you choose to communicate with them, and providing meaning to their experience with you. Part of your brand identity is represented visually through branding elements such as your logo, color palette, and fonts. But it’s very much about the overall experience you provide your customers.
Branding is what comes before and what is underlying all your marketing efforts.
What is marketing?
Marketing is about driving that message.
By its simplest definition, marketing is the tools you use to communicate your brand’s message and grow your audience. Your marketing tactics attract new customers and convert leads into sales. And there are plenty of marketing methods, from traditional mediums to digital marketing online.
Marketing is vast. It can be heartfelt, funny, or serious. It can be any mix of text, keywords, photos, charts, graphs, and videos. Marketing will be performed by a variety of online and offline methods—some of the most common being:
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Pay Per Click Marketing
- Mobile Marketing
- Print Campaigns
Again, these are all tactics to getting your brand in front of the right eye and, if done right, help you convert leads and make sales. A great way to think about this is that marketing is the vehicle you use to travel to your audience, and your branding is who or what’s inside.
Of course, the marketing campaigns that you design will be heavily impacted by the brand that you’ve created. Everything from written copy to visuals used in a campaign has to remain on brand or on the message to be successful for your company.
Branding comes before marketing
Your brand identity is the foundation of all your marketing plans. Without a meaningful logo, you can’t make an ad. Without a brand persona, you can’t have a unified tone of voice in your social media captions. It’s natural for people to want a reason to pay attention to you, so the emotional value of your branding comes before the actual value of the product or service. Your brand identity is like a toolbox your marketing team takes from, depending on the objective.
Marketing increases sales, while branding builds customer loyalty.
Marketing strategies are expected to deliver on short-term sales goals. For instance, Olympics-related ads would be an excellent way to grab attention and spike sales around the Olympics. But what your brand and your company stand for doesn’t change – whether it’s the Olympics or not. Your marketing campaign gets people to purchase, but your values and how your message resonates with them keep them loyal.
Marketing grabs your audience’s attention, and branding keeps it.
Your customer might discover you through an ad campaign, but they need a reason to trust you. A branding agency uses branding principles to build a connection with your customers and create your story. In contrast, a marketing agency piques their interest and gets more people to listen to you. A good branding and marketing company crafts strategies around a long-term business plan to keep your brand relevant for generations.
Again, it’s not about branding vs marketing because they don’t compete. The main difference between marketing and branding is that branding answers the questions of “who” and “why,” and marketing answers the question of “how” – different but equally necessary answers.
Marketing strategies come and go—but branding is forever.
Don’t get us wrong—as long as you’re trying to build a successful business, you will need to market that business actively. But the strategies you use to market your business are temporary; each marketing tactic will have a clear beginning, middle, and end.
Branding is different. No matter where you are in your business, you’re always working on defining whom you are as a company, shaping your brand’s perception with your audience, and fostering a deeper, more meaningful relationship with your customers. As your company grows and evolves, you’ll need to grow and evolve your branding right along with it.
Bottom line: marketing strategies will come and go (as they should!) But branding? Branding is forever.
How Marketing And Branding Work Together
Everyone’s understanding of branding used to be limited to the design elements such as the company logo, color palette, and more. But recent years have emphasized the importance of the customer experience – what they feel is just as important as what they see. Branding is integral to being memorable, connecting with your audience, being unique, and inspiring customer retention.
The two most important ways marketing and branding work together:
- Connecting With Your Audience
If your customers support your business, they probably have shared values. Branding naturally brings together a community this way, but marketing is what nurtures that connection. One of the most important tasks of a branding and marketing company is finding out what your target audience values and the best channels to reach them.
2. Balancing Your Priorities
You won’t be growing your business effectively if either branding or marketing gets left behind. For instance, your marketing campaign could be wasting money if it doesn’t align with what your brand stands for, but you also don’t want to be held back from marketing opportunities when your target audience’s values start to change. A continuous effort to balance branding and marketing priorities brings you toward the ultimate goal of growing your business.
Although branding and marketing work hand in hand, differentiating between the two enhances brand loyalty and reputation and drives product sales. Branding involves creating a memorable and distinct image, name, sign, logo, slogan, or mark to represent business products or services. On the other hand, marketing is the process of bringing together a company and the consumers to exchange products and services. For a brand to grow, aggressive and effective marketing should be carried out.