branding vs marketing

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Branding vs marketing, branding marketing, marketing branding. What the ***? Aren’t these two the same thing?

Pretty annoying when you don’t catch the difference between them, huh? Well, I hope my expertise on the subject can help you out.

Marketing and branding are two very different things and it’s important to understand the difference in order to maximize your business and reach your business goals.

If this sounds confusing, don’t worry! I’ll break down 10 main differences to help you better understand the branding vs marketing debate!

Branding vs Marketing – Branding First!

If you want to understand the difference and distinguish between the two, the first thing to understand is the definition and main purpose of branding.

Branding is a system of visual, verbal, and other methods intended to convey identity, character, emotion, or association to a person or an organization.

It must be unique and different from other brands because it tends to be valued higher than in other companies or organizations that are trying to sell their product.

Marketing, on the other hand, is a process involving customers who will use advertisements or other forms of marketing channels to get information on products that they might buy from your business.

However, a big part of the marketing process is branding; they are interconnected. By having a good brand, you can attract more customers to your business through good marketing.

On the other hand, you can also let your brand be known by creating a marketing plan and sending some information on your goods, services, and products to interested customers.

What Is Marketing Then?

Marketing is simply selling a product or a service to customers. However, marketing is a bulky process that involves planning, managing, and controlling the distribution of goods or services to potential customers.

It is a strategy that will help you reach your company’s sales goals.

Marketing is a very important part of the product life cycle. However, without proper branding, the effectiveness of the marketing effort will be greatly reduced making it difficult for an individual or company to get their product into people’s hands.

Below, we have listed 10 main differences between branding and marketing that will help you better understand them so that your future strategies are better calculated.

Branding vs Marketing – 10 Key Differences You Should Know

The main difference between branding and marketing is that branding is long-term and marketing is short-term.

Another one is that a brand identity must create an emotional connection with your potential customers, it must be believable and it must truly represent yourself!

Branding helps improve the image of your company while marketing helps to increase revenue.

branding vs marketing what is marketing

Therefore, branding is more concerned with developing the image as well as the reputation of the organization while marketing is more focused on advertising, sales, promotion, and distribution.

The primary goal of branding is to associate your brand with a certain lifestyle, the idea being that your brand will somehow influence people and add meaning to their lives.

On the other hand, marketing is more about identifying a target market and then creating a strategy that will help you reach out to as many potential customers as possible.

You can also use marketing to identify important trends in the industry and adapt your messaging campaign according to these trends.

Let’s have a look at those 10 key differences between branding and marketing!

1. Identity vs Message

Branding is recognized as an identity that encapsulates the core values of your company or organization.

A great example of a brand identity is Amazon; it’s easy to recognize the logo from far away making you want to go shop for some products.

On the other hand, in marketing, you are dealing with a messaging campaign rather than a brand identity.

Marketing is the message that you’re sending to your target customers. This message can be in the form of a video advertisement, a radio ad or Facebook Ads, etc…

2. Emotion vs Action

Branding, when done right, is associated with a positive emotion or feeling that your audience feels.

In marketing, you are trying to get your customer or potential customer to take action. You are focusing on your customers’ needs and wants by conveying the most epic marketing message that you can.

3. Image vs Promotion

Branding is associated with a logo, a slogan, and a few other visual components. It aims to build up your company or organization’s image.

In marketing, you are trying to promote the value of your product or service to your target customers. You are selling the idea of how great and beneficial your products can be for potential customers.

4. Hands-off vs Personal Touch

Branding should not be forced on every person.

It must be accepted in order to work properly and effectively because it’s an identity that should reflect who you are as an organization!

On the other hand, marketers will use different techniques that include a personal touch, such as direct mail, a social media campaign, or an online visual ad.

5. Long-Term vs Short-Term Marketing

Branding is a long-term marketing strategy. It takes time to build up your brand and develop it but you’ll have it for many years.

Marketing, on the other hand, is short-term because you want people to buy your product or service as soon as possible; that’s why you create a marketing campaign that will reach out to as many potential customers in a very short period of time.

6. Operative vs Reactive

Branding is much more than just a logo or a slogan; It’s about identity, values, and purpose of the organization or company.

Because of this reason, it’s more operative than reactive marketing. You have a brand identity and you get to fine-tune it, build on it and expand it over time.

Meanwhile, in marketing, you are more reactive because you are trying to react to what the consumers want.

You are ready to change your messaging campaign at any given moment but branding is a long-term strategy that’s not easy to change.

7. Document vs Idea

In branding, you create a document or manual that illustrates your brand identity and values.

In marketing, your idea should be communicated; of course, in the most strategic way possible in order for it to be effective and persuasive enough for people to do something about it therefore creating a document is unnecessary!

8. Static vs Dynamic

Branding is static and you want it to stay that way in order for your brand to be consistent and recognizable.

Marketing is dynamic because it changes with time. It depends on your strategies, what your competitors are doing, and many other factors that can change over the course of your marketing campaign.

9. Mainstream vs Niche

Branding, when done right, serves a very large target audience or market. You are sure that you’ll reach out to lots of potential customers using your brand name.

Marketing is more niche because you’re focused on a smaller target market or a more specific group of people.

10. Information vs Decision-Making

Branding aims to inform your potential customers more about who you are and what you have to offer. It can be a great tool for decision-making.

Whereas, marketing gives the potential customers a reason to make a decision-making process.

It’s all about convincing them and making them want to purchase your product or service.

Branding vs Marketing – Which One Came First & Why?

In the words of the Father of Marketing, Professor Philip Kotler, “Marketing is a process that transforms customers into clients and is the work through which you create and maintain a position of leadership in the eyes of the people who matter most to your business: your customers.”

But without a branding strategy, your marketing efforts will have very little prospect of success.

In marketing, you are talking to people but in branding, you are creating an image that they can identify with and remember.

Ultimately, branding and marketing have become two different sides of the same coin.

Both are instrumental in building your brand and making it more desirable to your potential customers but they have different objectives:

Branding is all about the identity, values, purpose, and image of your organization or company whereas marketing is about communicating effective messages that convince people to take action.

Branding Strategy vs Marketing Strategy

You want your brand to stand out from the rest, you want it to be remembered and you want it to appeal to as many people as possible.

When all of that is accomplished, people will naturally feel compelled to purchase your product or service.

But creating a successful brand is not an easy task; it takes time and effort and constant work on your part. Here are a few strategies that you can use in order to build up and expand your brand:

  • Product or Service Differentiation
  • Image
  • Reputation
  • Value Proposition
  • Benefit-Based Pricing Strategy
  • Cost Principle
  • Product/Service Quality

You see! A branding strategy is so essential and useful in order to make your business more attractive that it is practically synonymous with marketing!

That does not mean that a branding strategy eliminates the need for a marketing strategy. Not at all. Both go hand in hand and can truly help your business grow.

Nowadays, branding has become an essential part of every business or organization’s marketing strategy. Branding is one of the most effective ways for companies or businesses to stay competitive in the marketplace because it allows them to strengthen their position and gain more long-term profits over time.

Branding Strategy

The main objective of a branding strategy is to make a long-lasting positive impression on your clients or potential customers.

The first step towards achieving that goal is to develop a brand strategy. Below are a few tips on how to achieve this:

  • Positioning – Make sure you emphasize what makes your company stand out from the rest. Your company’s values and mission statement will be helpful in defining your position in the marketplace so make sure it reflects who you are as an organization or company.
  • Visual Identity – The brand image you portray through your visual identity should reflect your target market and it should look professional. By having a well-defined brand image, you will be able to attract your potential customers.
  • Essence – Your identity will be based on how people perceive you so make sure that it is consistent no matter if it’s online or offline. You want everyone to know who you are because after all, a brand lives in the minds of its audience!
  • Target Market – Once you have identified your target market and have figured out who your target customers are, it’s time to start thinking about the product or service you’re going to be offering.
  • Distribution – How are you going to get your products or services in front of your potential customers? This is where distribution strategy comes into play. Distribution channels can be important factors in improving the sale of a company’s product or service so it would be important to choose one that gets your product in front of as many people as possible.

Marketing Strategy

The main objective of a marketing strategy is to increase sales and market share over time. Let’s see a few tips on how to develop a well-thought marketing strategy.

  • Competition – Having a strong competitor analysis can help you plan your marketing strategy better and make sure that you will be able to increase your market share over time.
  • Market Segmentation – Once you have defined your target market, it is important that you determine the segment of your product or service that will be suitable for this particular group. You can do this by defining your target market criteria.
  • Pricing – In order to reach out to as many people as possible in a cost-effective way, you need to set a standard where everyone starts using the same product or service so that you can get everyone on board and create brand loyalty across all segments of your demographic profile.
  • Promotional – You also need to come up with a promotional strategy as well where everyone will know about your product or service and be able to purchase from you.
  • Budget Setting a budget for your blue-chip plans is the best way to get a clear idea of how much you can actually spend on your brand’s promotion and advertising campaigns in the future so it would be helpful if you could make a rough estimate of how much it would cost in the long run.
  • Customer Service – It’s important that your customers are satisfied with your service even in the long run so make sure that they will always feel that they can count on you.

Final Thoughts

The branding vs marketing debate is one that has been going on for many years but it is now more important than ever before because the digital age has made it so.

Because of the internet, people expect a lot more from their companies and their products or services, you are no longer just competing against your local companies anymore.

You need to differentiate yourself by building a recognizable brand identity in your market and emphasizing a lifestyle that will appeal to potential customers.

This would also be one of the best ways for you to earn new customers and improve your position in the marketplace.

Once you have done this, it’s important that you pursue different marketing strategies in order to engage with your audience on an ongoing basis.

Let me know in the comments if this has cleared the air out of the confusion surrounding branding vs marketing.

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Nat Caesar is the Owner, Senior Editor & Head of Growth at Myndset. She is also the Founder of Caesar Media, a Digital Media Agency based in Mauritius. Since 2014 she has worked with more than 250 companies around the world including a few reputable brands like Adobe, Starbucks, Lacoste, and Pinterest Labs among others. Nat is also a seasoned SEO copywriter in the SaaS & B2B space. Feel free to reach out to her at [email protected]