Branding Vs. Marketing: What Is The Difference
Marketing and branding are both excellent tools for making your business stand out.
You need a brand to differentiate yourself from the competition. Your marketing helps to demonstrate your “USPs” (Unique Selling Points) to your audience. There’s some overlap between these two concepts. However, marketing and branding aren’t the same.
In a nutshell, branding is who you are and marketing is how you sell your products and services. If you want to impress your customers with a deeper insight into your company, you need to learn how to master both marketing and branding.
Let’s take a closer look at the difference between marketing and branding.
What is Branding? 📝
Let’s start by defining your brand.
Your brand is your identity as a business. It highlights who you are and what you stand for to your audience. With the right brand, you build a reputation that your customer resonates with.
For instance, Coca-Cola is a popular drinks company. However, what makes the business stand out is its associations with joy, refreshment, fun, happiness and sharing.
Everything from the font in Coca-Cola’s logo, to the funky tunes in its advertising content, contribute to the “brand”.
To determine what your own brand is, think about:
· Core values and principles: What matters to your company? Are you all about saving the world with eco-friendly strategies? Are you committed to equality for all customers?
· What’s your mission statement? What do you want to accomplish with your business (besides making money)?
· What kind of feelings do you want to inspire? When your customers interact with you, do you want them to feel passionate, inspired, or comforted?
· What makes you unique? How can you deliver something different to your competitors?
· What can people associate your brand or business name with? How are you going to highlight the right ideas?
· What is your brand’s personality? Is it playful and fun or is intelligent and creative? How do you speak to you audience, what type of language are you using?
For instance, the Innocent Smoothies company wants to showcase a brand that’s friendly and playful. On Twitter, the company uses a unique tone of voice to convey those characteristics.
Then again, brands that want to create a feeling of trustworthiness may use more conservative and professional language, like in this example high net worth wealth advisors Endura Private Wealth brand themselves much more conservative to appeal to their target customers.
Your brand strategy shows customers what they can expect from your business, and what they will get when they use your services or products. The more you define who you are, the more your branding will resonate with your audience. Consumers are even willing to pay more for brands with clear purpose.
Branding is not only used externally, but also internally, within the companies to guide day to day operations. Branding underpins a company’s culture, working conditions, compensation, perks and benefits.
Employees often choose companies and are motivated to work for companies that share a common purpose and goals. When employees are aligned, and inspired by a brand’s mission, they will be more engaged, happier and productive.
Additionally, strong brand values attract top talent which ultimately pushes company growth and competitive advantages which further help make a company’s overall brand stronger.
One great example is Starbucks, they even have their own dedicated Instagram page for job seekers. First thing you see is a tagline “connect with something bigger”, which already tells potential applicants that a job at Starbucks is not just a regular job. On top of that, they refer to their employees as partners and have a clear communication strategy to attract top talent. This is one of the several ways they make their brand stand out.
What is Marketing? 🤔
So, now you know the basics of branding, let’s look at how marketing differs.
Marketing refers to the tools and strategies companies use to deliver your brands message and ultimately sell products and services profitably.
Marketing defines audience to whom to sell company’s products or services and it determents price and identifies where and how to promote products and service. Unlike branding, marketing strategy is very tactical and can be easily measured.
One significant difference between branding and marketing is that one stays the same, and the other doesn’t. Your brand identity should be consistent throughout the years. It’s an opportunity for you to build a long-lasting relationship with your clients, based on your knowledge of their needs.
However, marketing trends and methodologies are constantly evolving. Depending on your brand, you may consider traditional marketing avenues such as billboards and TV commercials or implement digital marketing strategies. Most businesses have a combination of online and offline marketing strategies depending on the company's target audience.
Types of marketing include:
· Print campaigns and direct mail
· Pay per click advertising
· Search engine optimization (SEO)
· Content marketing
· Social media marketing
· Email marketing
· Radio and podcasts
· Television and video
· Mobile marketing
These are just a couple of examples of the most common marketing methods, these can be however, broken down to several types of marketing channels. To understand what marketing plan a business needs, you could ask the following questions:
· What do you want your business to achieve now and in the future? This can include a specific sales figure or amount or visitors coming to your website.
· Who is your target audience? What are their wants and needs?
· Where do they hang out? What type of media are they using e.g. social media, TV, magazines?
· What are your competitors doing? How are they selling their products and services? What is their price? Do they offer coupons or discounts and any special offers?
Now you can compare these questions to the questions that you would ask about branding. Branding and marketing questions are both different but very important to achieve long term success for your company.
Blending Marketing and Branding Methods 👏🏼
Branding is the identity or reputation of your company. It’s how you demonstrate what your company is to the world, and build a community based on the crucial things that you stand for.
Marketing helps businesses to share their distinct message with their community and comes with online and offline strategies, automated email marketing as well as a range of testing options to track your success.
Because both branding and marketing help to drive information to your customer and influence relationships, they do have some overlap. For instance, all of the marketing that you do needs to keep your branding in mind.
When you’re designing content for your SEO strategy, you need to ensure that you’re using the right brand personality.
When you’re targeting customers on Facebook, you should check that your messages contain the right language, imagery and colors to make your brand identity shine through.
If you are interacting with your target audience on social media, make sure you are using your brand’s language consistently.
Some crucial ways to combine marketing and branding include:
Using brand voice in your messaging 🗣
Your tone of voice highlights the personality of your company. You use this voice in everything from your online ads to the messages you share on social media. Even call to actions need to be consistent with your brand. Make sure that all of your marketing and sales team understand what kind of terminology to use with customers. Every message that your customer sees or hears should sound like it comes from your company.
Enhancing brand image 🤩
Whether you’re posting content on social media or sending email marketing campaigns to your audience, your image needs to be consistent. Think about what kind of typography you need to use, which colors are unique to your brand, and how often you should use your logo in your marketing methods. Even better, create branding guidelines for your company so your employees and contractors can use the company's visual branding consistently across all channels.
Finding the right target 🏹
A great brand comes from a deep understanding of your target audience. You build your voice and image based on what you know your customers will respond to. Using your brand, you can determine what kind of audience you might want to target with your various campaigns. You can also invest into assessment tools to help you with things like building a subscriber list or increasing the engagement on your website.
What Comes First? Marketing or Branding? 🧐
So, marketing and branding aren’t the same thing. However, they do work together very closely. You can’t have a good marketing strategy without knowing your brand. In the same way, it’s hard to complete your branding strategy without an idea of what you’re going to do with your marketing.
The most important thing to remember about the relationship between marketing and branding, is that branding comes first. Even if you’re a startup waiting to see how trends develop in your industry, you need to clearly define your brand. Consistency in branding is key. Great brands don’t become successful overnight, but they do, consistently over time.
Your brand is your identity as a business, while your marketing methods help you to prove that identity and show your customers what you stand for. Building your brand before you do anything else is an excellent way to develop a consistent image.
Learning to Master Marketing and Branding 💁🏻♀️
Understanding marketing and branding, as well as how the two concepts work together, might seem complicated at first. However, it’s much simpler than you’d think. Your brand is essentially the identity of your business. It’s how you make people think and feel when they interact with you.
A brand demonstrates what makes you different as a business in your chosen industry. However, it’s practically impossible to make your brand evident in today’s cluttered landscape without the right marketing campaign. If your brand is your business message, your marketing is the megaphone. It’s the tools you use to amplify what makes you special.
As you evolve as a company, your brand will stay focused on a unique set of goals and values. However, your marketing can change to suit the evolving landscape, and your audience. Just look at how much advertising has changed over the last few years.
Marketing and branding are two quite different concepts, but they work so closely with each other that it’s hard to imagine a world where they’re not intertwined.
Now is the time to ask yourself: how do you define your brand, and what are you doing to promote it?
This post was written by Kat Solukova. Kat is the Co-founder and Head of Strategy at Engine Scout, a boutique digital marketing agency based in Melbourne, Australia. Engine Scout helps businesses to generate more sales through the combined power of Google and Social Media.