There is often confusion surrounding the difference between marketing and branding and how we should be focusing our efforts on them.
Just like a brand is not a logo, marketing is not a brand. Quite simply, marketing is actively promoting a product or service, sending out a message to get sales results. For example, marketing can consist of content creation, social media, and email marketing. Branding is who you are and marketing is how you build awareness.
Branding is what drives marketing because branding is strategic and marketing is tactical.
Brand strategy should be the prequel any marketing effort. It is the expression of the values of a business, organisation, product, or service; the communication of characteristics, values, and attributes that clarify what the particular brand is all about.
A brand will help encourage someone to buy a product, and it directly supports the subsequent marketing activities. But a brand does not say “buy me.” Instead, it says “This is who and what I am, the reason I exist. If you like me and trust me, you can buy me, support me, and recommend or refer me.”
Marketing may contribute to a brand, it can certainly reflect the brand’s values in its execution, but the brand is bigger than that. It’s what sticks in your mind when you think of a product, service, or business.
Brand strategy is built from many things. Very important among these is the experience of the brand. Did that business deliver on its brand promise? Did they continue to uphold the standards that made them what they are? Did they know what they were talking about?
This works for all types of businesses and organisations. All organisations must sell but how they sell may differ, and everyone in an organisation is, with their every action, either constructing or deconstructing the brand. Every action, every policy, every promotion has the effect of either inspiring or deterring brand loyalty in whoever is exposed to it. Which in turn affects sales.
Poorly researched and executed marketing activities can certainly be costly, but well-researched and well-executed marketing is an investment that pays for itself in brand reinforcement.
Branding is vital to the success of a business
A good brand strategy is an essential foundation for a successful operation. Although branding and marketing are two different pieces of building your business, they go hand in hand. You can’t market your business without building your brand. And you can’t build your brand unless you market it.
When your marketing is done right, the right person will get the right message and have the right perception of your brand. But you can’t put the right message out through marketing unless you first understand what that is, and that is what your brand strategy does for you.
When developing brand and marketing strategies, it’s not one or the other, but how you can use both to work together. Each needs to be developed in a focused way while being connected to the other.
I hope you found that useful!
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