From posting an image of your product or service on Facebook and Twitter to curating an Instagram feed and sending an email newsletter, your branding efforts can’t take off unless you pursue your marketing efforts with a plan and conviction. In this article we discuss What Is The Difference Between Branding & Marketing?
In recent times, branding has become a breeding ground for designers, agencies, enterprises, startups and businesses of all sizes to build or reimagine a visual brand, but can branding ascertain marketing? It’s Yes and No.
Because, marketing and branding both are closely connected to each other, although, they look different.
Most often, it’s hard to understand — When one ends and where another one starts? Do we need branding strategy in place to succeed at our marketing endeavors? How can marketing help branding to achieve help a business achieve desired goals.
These are the inevitable, lucrative questions that every business regardless of niche should ponder over. To help you find easy answers of most complex questions, here I’m sharing with detailed information on key differences between branding and marketing, with in-depth view on why your business or company needs both of them.
What does it mean by ‘Branding’?
Seeming a simple question but a majority of businesses perturbs in answering: What is branding? Definitely, a brand depends upon numerous visual elements ranging from logos, fonts and typography to color palettes. But, it does depend on other intangible things i.e. brand voice, purpose and personality.
Seth Godin, A legendary branding expert and author of many best-sellers, puts it quite simply:- “ A brand is the set of expectations, stories, memories and relationships, taken together, account for a consumer’s decisions to pick one product or service over another.”
To better understand how a business can shape these expectations and memories, let’s explore a few key aspects of brand development: personality, purpose, guidelines and experience.
Well, are you desperate to know how a business can shape up these expectations and memories?
Let’s dive into a few key aspects of brand development: Purpose, Personality, experience and guidelines.
A brand purpose clarifies what your brand believes in, why it exists and what are the reasons that customers need to get on board. In a world where companies and businesses vie for getting consumer attention, a brand purpose connects a business with its future customers on an emotional level.
The best way to establish a clear and defining purpose runs through defining core values of a brand.
Let’s suppose, a brand is an ABC person, his core values would represent his personal, political and moral beliefs – Isn’t it? Similarly, a brand’s values determine who it works with, how it acts, and what selections it makes. Well-defined and meaning brand values are actionable, memorable and highly relatable.
That’s why; relatable brand values create empathy and emotional connection with end-users on a personal level. Consequently, they’re more likely to build trust and this trust develops loyal connection and this connection takes brands’ ROI to next-level.
Interestingly, brand’s core values are not just constrained to building credibility, they help set the brand’s mission statement. Right from drafting a new marketing campaign to selecting a strategic brand partner; a mission statement works to guide business owners and startups about important decisions.
When applied consistently, a mission statement lets brands define their unique value propositions and individuality to help customers count on them.
User-centric, professional, crafty and strong brands have user-centric, professional, reliable and credible personality and they build it with end-users in mind.
A brand’s personality consists of emotions and ideas associated with it.
A personality and brand both are indispensable for one another. A brand with personality defines customers how they interact with and feel about a brand.
In fact, brand personalities vary as they depend on the niche, industry and available audience.
For an inquisitive mind, searching for an answer of “What is a brand personality?” –
It is a personification of brand.
Yes, when we attribute human-like traits or characteristics i.e. Caring, Unique, Effective to brands; it develops a brand personality.
You are unlikely to go far in creating top-notch, awe-inspiring, attention-grabbing brand personality, if you’re missing on two key pieces of puzzles: 1) Branding Strategies, 2) Marketing Activities.
A product or service is doomed to fail without communicating its core values. It can’t move from point A to point B with incorporating branding strategies and marketing activities. Because a good brand personality reflects creativity and individuality and here come branding strategies i.e. Fonts, Logos, Color Palettes etc. into play to help a product or service stand out. Whereas marketing activities such as billboards, newsletters, email marketing and catchy taglines work to improve brand personality.
Brand experience doesn’t just communicate, it helps connect with consumers. For a brand to have a successful and user-centric brand experience, time is an essence. Timing is what that curates brand experience.
Expecting a brand to have viable effects on the minds of end-users without call-to-action is fallacy and a big mistake. You can’t move your customers without stimulating their emotions and prompting them for certain actions.
A consistent approach to branding has a deep influence on the brand experience. It’s a purpose coupled with a brand’s personality that set sentiments of trust and reliability amongst customers.
Believe it — a powerful and consistent brand experience helps you create a battalion of brand loyalists: Loyal customers with undivided support for brand. They prove to be reliable sources of revenue. Branding is like an investment, but returns exceed the costs significantly. Certainly, time and plans together is the key for the creation of a consistent, powerful and trustworthy brand identity which customers can count on.
A brand must get hold of a detailed set of brand standards. These guidelines help all stakeholders involved i.e. community managers, marketers, design specialists and all departments to stay on the same page. And, they are anticipated to present a unique and unified vision of the brand to the public.
Well, when creating a brand guidelines, always keep ‘rules’ of visual image of a brand in mind. And, these rules include logo placement, brand colors and appearance etc.
Consider the example of Shazam ( Music Discovery App ) here. It comes with Shazam Brand Guidelines: A handy booklet telling all users accurately how Shazam and its logo should be used. It comes with explicit directions about how this brand should & could NOT be used. These kinds of guidelines are indispensable for ensuring that everybody is using this brand (a music discovery application) correctly and carefully.
Because, A brand’s misuse can lead to a damage to the brand’s integrity and explicit guidelines make sure that music lovers or anybody is using the brand in the correct way.
What is Marketing?
Branding defines what is your company and why it exists. It awards an actual identity to your brand, all ideas, emotions and beliefs associated with it. In simple terms, marketing is about spreading awareness about your products and services by sharing your brand’s mission and values in an authentic fashion to boost sales.
As per the definition by the American Marketing Association,marketing is “the activity, set of institutions, processes for creating, communicating, delivering and exchanging offering that have value for customers, clients, partners and society at large.”
Marketing is the big world where you can excel with strategy, planning, ideation and expertise. So, if you want to leverage from the potent force of marketing for better branding, you will have to understand and lay concrete foundation of marketing, and it will help you achieve your branding targets in no time.
So, following are the three key goals of marketing and they improve your brands visual presence across all channels:
Marketing is all about informing your targeted audience about your brand. Either you market a product or service, you have to tell people what are the key solutions your brand can offer.
Take an example of content marketing here. According to HubSpot; Content marketing isn’t all about making your brand successful in terms of money. All it does is to inform, educate and inspire people. It follows through a disciplined linear process in which visitor becomes a prospect, this prospect then becomes a lead, and this lead gets converted into a client. Throughout the marketing process, it’s a responsibility of a business or a brand to put its informational side on limelight.
Inform, educate and convert; this methodology will help your targeted audience find quick solutions to their problems.
Well, a thing which is pertinent in this regard — Don’t sell benefits, sell solutions and your clients will never leave you.
If you can’t inspire, you can’t build your brand. People notice what stands out; they want inspiration and they want to feel inspired. Branding is all about getting noticed.
So, can you expect to get into the eyes of consumers with mediocrity?
It’s a magic of marketing which adds curiosity, creativity and individuality into a brand’s online and offline presence to escalates certainty of reaching to the threshold of millions of users worldwide. In essence, when you market your product or service; you mean to show your professionalism, experience and expertise.
That’s why; it’s inevitable for a brand owner or a company to be very careful of marketing strategy. Because, while marketing, a minor mistake can cost a fortune and your castle of hopes for quick ROI will collapse like a wall of clay.
Marketing inspires people to believe in your brand. It tells your targeted audience why your brand is worth consideration and it defines what can clients get out of their invested money.
Intelligent Marketing Inspires People.
Marketing opens up new streams of profitability and increased revenue for brands and services.
Are you wondering – How?
Let’s say, there is a business named ‘XYZ’ with years of experience in residential furniture and cabinetry inside California: The US state best known as ‘The Ideal place for Woodworking Business’, but here is a catch – That XYZ business is confined inside in its own shell and is not taking benefit of marketing. So, what do you expect, will it be able to escalate its sales?
If marketing is about educating your targeted audience, on the other hand, it works to turn your visitors into your permanent and loyal customers.
Plain simply, marketing drives more and more sales for your businesses and brands. Unlike branding, marketing works for a long-term relationship. It isn’t One-Time fix. Marketing enhances customer engagement and helps people find true solutions to their key problems.
Why Branding Matters for Marketing
Marketing and branding are what someone comes across as a brand. These are initial customer touch-points are crucial for brand awareness. If done properly, these messages reflect a brand’s messages; branding coupled with marketing help people discover what brands are looking for.
If marketing is nimble and quick fox, then branding is the wise and steady owl. Well, marketing messages do change in response to seasonal trends and customer needs. Although brands evolve over time, they have to remain rooted in the same mission and morals. As a result, it helps the ever-changing world of marketing a rock-solid and memorable foundation to establish customer-friendly and revenue-generating brands.
Final Thoughts: Marketing and Branding in Conformity
Marketing is an essential tool for building brand awareness, garnering sales funnels and improving online presence. It helps a brand to achieve its sales goals. Well, for consistent, relatable and actionable messages, marketing should be in conformity with branding to stand out in the competition.
It’s inevitable to understand differences between marketing and branding. Because, this understanding helps business to design brand-driven marketing strategies to drive more sales and ROI.
We hope that now after reading this article you will have a better understand of What Is The Difference Between Branding & Marketing?
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I am John Lawson, Head of operations at Golpik Inc. It’s a technology company that excels in Web development, App development, Ecommerce development and much more. I manage overall marketing activity for the company. I am proficient at developing technical content in various styles for several platforms. I write creative content that engages audiences with a wonderful experience.
Also published on Medium.