Marketing vs. Branding
I recently read a great article on the difference between Branding and Marketing and thought it would be an excellent idea to discuss here. Oftentimes, people confuse the two terms and use them interchangeably, but the truth is they are vastly different. Branding is how you strategically tell people who and what you are. You may not be saying, “Hey, come and purchase my product.” Instead, you are thinking more along these lines: “This is who we are. If you like us and you think we are worthwhile, then buy from us and tell your friends about us.”
Branding is how your business tells people what you value, what your best qualities are and what you are not. You want to attract people to you by giving them a desirable picture of your business. Branding will help your consumers make the choice as to whether or not they will be loyal customers. When a consumer sees your business as reliable, trustworthy, and appealing, especially to their own values, they can decide to utilize only your goods and services and they WILL tell others about you.
You create a brand from many different ideas. Chief among those is the consumer experience of the brand. When you promised reliability, did your product deliver? When you promised high quality, was your product the best it could be? When your employees interacted with the public, were they genuine and knowledgeable?
Does branding contribute to marketing? Certainly. Your brand will exist before you begin marketing and will exist after your specific marketing campaign ends. In fact, your goal is to use your marketing tactics to promote your brand. If branding is how you “pull” customers in, marketing is how you “push” information out to your customers. Where we consider branding to be a strategy, we view marketing as the devices you use to get consumers thinking about your brand. Remember though, you will be forced to change your marketing tactics as conditions in your industry, locality, and/or demographics change. The marketing message you develop which you envision as having widespread appeal may only, in reality, reach a select group. It is important then to develop marketing plans that allow your organization to effectively target as wide an audience as possible. In so doing, you are pushing information about your brand to this broad segment and ideally, something in your message connects with each person who hears/reads/sees it.
Marketing is the tool you use to find and then motivate buyers. Branding is what turns a buyer into a loyal customer. Every idea, advertisement or promotion, will either enthuse or put off potential loyalty from whomever sees it. For good or bad, this affects sales and image. Effectively using marketing to enhance branding is what allows a business to build strong customer support and encourages growth in the industry. As customers develop brand awareness and loyalty, marketing done properly will enhance that relationship and foster new relationships. So, while marketing and branding are not the same thing, they are reliant upon one another to achieve strong results for your business.