Clients come to us every day to work on their branding or marketing, and a lot of them think these two are interchangeable, they aren’t. But, they're not alone. A lot of businesses, mostly small, new ones, don’t understand the difference between branding and marketing, which are two very different strategies with distinct objectives. While the two have a connection, there are a few key differences between them.
As an entrepreneur, you should definitely understand what branding and marketing are, as well as the difference between them.
A quick definition of branding
Branding is basically who you are, your reputation, while marketing is how you make your targeted audience aware of your brand, products, and services. While branding strategy involves having a memorable logo design, your brand’s origin story, your promise etc., marketing is more of a set of tactical goals. These questions should go beyond picking the right logo color for branding, and delve into your business’s core identity.
This is why, to understand and define your brand, there are a few questions you need to answer. These questions should go beyond generalization, and delve into your business’s core identity. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself in order to understand who you are as a business and as a brand. Think about "Apple," "Nike," (or your competitor's), when you consider these questions:
- What are my company’s core values and principles?
- What inspired us to build this business?
- What is our mission statement?
- What value do we add to our audience’s life?
- Why do we want to offer our services to our target customers?
- What is our company’s culture?
- What differentiates us from our competitors?
- What is our professional sense of style?
- What do we want our audience to picture in their mind when they hear the name of our business?
- What do we want people to feel when they think about our business?
- How do we want our customers to describe our company?
Answering all these questions will help you understand the difference between branding and marketing. While doing so, you will notice that all of these questions are related to your internal culture and structures. This means that branding is what you build on the inside to emanate a certain image of your business on the outside.
All in all, branding cultivates what your audience can expect of you as a company and as a brand. By defining who you are, your branding can help you implement your marketing strategy for better results.
A quick definition of marketing
While branding is the image you want to create in your audience’s mind, marketing is the tools you use to create this image and deliver your brand’s message. While your brand stays the same (unless you go through a rebranding), your marketing strategy will change and evolve following the evolution of technology.
This means that your marketing will be specifically geared towards your consumers, all while keeping in mind your brand’s core values. It also means that your marketing will be performed through different online and offline methods, such as:
- Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Advertising (through television, radios, or flyers and billboards)
- Pay-Per-Click Marketing
All these methods and more are nothing but marketing channels you can use to constantly remind your audience of your brand.
Both branding and marketing have to work hand in hand to ensure your company’s success, because one cannot be complete without the other.
This guest blog is written by Jack Sutton, a freelance digital marketer and content strategist who shares your enthusiasm for growth and success in achieving organizational milestones. You can tag him to get a load of ideas for taking your business to the next level.