Branding and marketing are mistaken to mean the same thing a couple of times. Do you struggle to tell them apart? We shall break down branding and marketing for you to ably understand and use them confidently in your daily communication or better still for your business.
Mostly the confusion arises because people and organizations use them interchangeably. There is no explicitly agreed on the definition of the terms. Defined and explained below is what the experts in the field commonly use and apply;
What is Branding?
Branding is a process in which a company creates a name, symbol or design that is easily identifiable as belonging to the company. This will help your customers to identify a product and distinguish it from other products and services offered on the market.
Your company will need a logo as an essential element of branding. A logo is what gives you a face. It enables your customers to recognize you among the many companies.
A professional logo design should be compelling and easily memorable, making an impression on a person at first glance.
Branding increases your company’s value by leveraging you in the industry, and this attracts investment opportunities because of your firmly established place in the market place.
Strong branding will create a positive impression on your company amongst consumers who are likely to do business with you.
Once you firmly establish your brand as being dependable and trustworthy, your customers will do marketing for you within their circles by word of mouth, and this consequently generates new customers for you, which means more sale and scaling in the long run.
What is Marketing?
Marketing refers to activities your company does to promote the buying and selling of your product or service. It includes advertising, selling and delivering products to consumers or other businesses.
Marketing involves all the actions you as a company or individual undertakes to draw in customers and maintain relationships with them.
Experts advise to network with potential or past clients as part of your marketing process including writing emails, playing golf with prospective clients, returning calls and emails as soon as possible and meeting your clients for coffee or a meal.
Marketing follows the four Ps strategy (Product, Price, Place, and Promotion). These comprise of the essential mix a company needs to market a product or service, Neil Borden popularized this strategy in the 1950s.
Marketing strategies do change from season to season year in and out. Since we live in a digital era, this has created a need for digital marketing as a way of approaching customers and understanding how they behave compared to traditional marketing.
Digital marketing is the use of the internet, mobile devices, social media, search engines and other channels to reach consumers.
- Website Marketing: A website is the centrepiece of all digital marketing activities; it is a compelling channel and also a medium to execute a variety of online marketing campaigns. A website should represent your brand, product and services clearly and memorably. It should be fast, mobile and user-friendly.
- Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising: This enables you to reach internet users on several digital platforms through paid adverts. You can set this up on Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest etc. and show your adverts to people searching for items related to your products and services. PPC campaigns can segment users based on their demographic characteristics (age, gender, etc.) or even general interest or location. The most popular PPC platforms are Google and Facebook ads.
- Content Marketing: The goal here is to reach potential clients through using content etc. The tools include blogs, e-books, online courses, podcasts, webinars, etc.
- Email Marketing: This method is still one of the most effective digital marketing channels. It is the medium to get in touch with your potential customers.
- Social Media Marketing: The primary goal of a social media marketing campaign is brand awareness and establishing social trust.
- Video Marketing: YouTube is one of the most popular search engines, and most users are turning here before a decision is made or to learn something. Facebook, Instagram, etc. are other video marketing platforms. You will best benefit from video marketing by integrating it with content marketing and social media marketing campaigns.
Branding is who you are, and marketing is how you build awareness, branding is your strategy while marketing encompasses your tactical goals.
Outbrain has published a couple of questions that will help you further differentiate yourself on the market from a beginner level;
- What are your core principles and values?
- What is your mission statement?
- What inspired you to build your business?
- Why do you want to offer your products or services to your target audience?
- What makes you unique?
- What is your internal company culture?
- What is your professional sense of style?
- What are your communication characteristics?
- What do you want to come to mind when someone hears your business name?
- How do you want people to feel when they think of your business?
- How do you want customers to describe you as a company?
After answering the questions above, you will understand your company brand since they relate to your internal operations and your internal culture.
Marketing refers to the way you deliver a message about our brand to possible clients. It will continually change and evolve just like your products and services you offer.
It will be directly geared towards sectors of your target audience while supporting the core values of your brand.
Marketing can be heartfelt, funny or serious, and it could also be a mix of text, photos, keywords, charts, graphs, and videos.
These are some of the most used methods of marketing which can either be performed online or offline.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Wikipedia defines SEO as the process of increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic by increasing the visibility of a website or a web page to users of a web search engine.
- Content marketing: Audiences are consuming data in new and savvy ways thanks to the internet, the audience has shifted to online media and recently phones.
- Social Media Marketing
- Pay per click
- Mobile marketing
- Radio and
- Print Campaigns
However, while branding and marketing are distinctly different, there is one area where you will find them overlapping for example when selecting imagery to be used on an ongoing basis, branding and marketing become one.
Similarly, just like the saying goes “A picture speaks a thousand words.” When you choose your company colours, graphics, logo, etc, remember that they must first represent your brand but also that they will play a substantial role in your marketing campaign.
Lastly, while marketing methods will come and go and evolve over the years from season to season, your brand will always remain constant.
Importance Of Understanding Branding Vs. Marketing
Do you sometimes wonder what comes first or if there is any order in applying the two, branding is at the core of your marketing strategy, and it must come first? Clearly state who you are as a brand before searching for specific marketing tools or strategies.
Your brand is what will keep your customers coming back, and this is where loyalty is built. It includes attributes like a high commitment to quality, community, convenience, and communication.
It is essential to understand the differences mentioned above, and this comes down to conversions. Create your marketing strategies with critical trends that are the most effective marketing for your industry. Your goal should be to have your customers connect with you.
Competition is fierce, and some companies will offer comparable products and services that you offer. It is, therefore, your branding that will keep your customers returning for more; it is your branding that makes you unique.
Your progress will be far more substantial with branding. All stable structures have had to understand the difference between branding and marketing and after reading this article we believe you are now in a better position to establish your company too.