I had a conversation with a few fellow business owners the other day. When asked what my company was and what we did, I told them we did brand management. One person said, “So you do logos and stuff?” While the other said, “Oh! I thought that was marketing.” The truth is, my job is both. And it’s neither. I can hear your response now. “Well that’s as clear as mud. Thanks for that!” This presents the obvious question. What’s the difference between Branding and Marketing?
While Branding and Marketing are two completely different concepts, they are actually very intertwined and dependent on each other. Branding is WHAT I do. Marketing is HOW I do it. Or better yet, branding is who you are, and marketing is how you let everyone know.
What is Branding
A brand is more than a logo or a set of colors. A brand is a promise. It is how you make your customers feel. Your brand is built by taking a consistent approach across every interaction you have with the public…and with your staff. Your brand is all about experience. Brands are sensory (what you can see, feel, touch, smell, and hear) and they are interactive (how you and your employees connect with your customers) and they are intellectual (the voice and tone of your messaging).
Branding is Strategic. Marketing is Tactical.
A brand does not explicity say “buy me!” Rather it is a statement of what you are. A brand says “This is why I exist. If you believe in me, you will buy me, support me, and evangelize me.” It is a pull, not a push. A brand is what ultimately determines if a buyer becomes a loyal repeat customer or not. Marketing may convince you to buy iPhone, but branding is what convinces you to be an iPhone user for life.
Branding lets your customers know what to expect from you. Every thought, message, policy, action, ad, or marketing effort builds your brand and it will either incur or discourage brand loyalty. Branding efforts should precede and underlie all marketing efforts. Branding is as important to the success of your company as financial security.
What is Marketing
Marketing is the way a brand delivers its message. Marketing will change and continue to evolve over time. Your marketing efforts will contribute to your brand. Your marketing efforts should be targeted toward and customized for specific segments of your target audience. The job of your marketing is to discover buyers.
Marketing is done through a variety of digital and offline methods. It can comprise any combination of text, keywords, advertising, charts, graphics, photos, and videos. Many marketing campaigns are some combination of the following:
- Websites and Search Engine Optimization
- Pay Per Click Advertising
- Radio, Television, and Print Advertising
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Mobile Marketing
New marketing tactics are being created all the time. But it is important to remember. While your marketing will change over time, your brand will not.
Does Marketing Create the Brand or Does the Brand Create the Marketing?
Sounds like the question “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” But in this case, the answer is more clear. Your brand needs to be defined before you can create a successful marketing plan. How do you know how to get there if you don’t know where you are going? Your brand is where you are going. Your marketing is how you get there. Your branding is what your marketing is built on, so regardless of if your business is a startup or a well-established company, you should have a clearly defined brand before you begin any marketing efforts.
How Does Branding Affect Marketing?
As I alluded to before, your brand is something that your company does every day. It is impactful on every conversation, every transaction processed, every email or phone call received and responded to, and every image released by your company. It will either inspire or deter brand loyalty. While you can create a marketing campaign based upon nothing other than trends in the industry and keywords, your conversions will be lower if you are aiming at the wrong market or consumers aren’t engaging with your message. Competition is fierce. It’s important to understand and to highlight what sets you apart. You can be successful without branding, but with good branding your success will be far more substantial and less fleeting.
Does Your Business Need an Affordable Way to Improve Branding?
Every businesses needs are different. Innov8tive Brand Management can help you focus your brand and improve your marketing efforts. Contact us today for a free evaluation!
About Innov8tive Brand Management
Innov8tive Brand Management by ML Stuckey Consulting cares about your business. Your company deserves a brand and a website that reflects your personality and appeals to your ideal clients. We can help you with that. If you have questions about how to reach your ideal customers, or if you aren't sure your brand is portraying the right message, reach out to us.
How the world see you is our business.