Chances are, if you asked most people, ‘What is the difference between branding and marketing?’, you would be met with a plethora of different replies and some may even think they are one and the same. They’re not.
In this blog we are going to look a little more in depth as to what branding and marketing are in their own right and what differentiates them.
What is marketing?
“Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.”
(The official academic definition from The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).)
Marketing is actively promoting your material or product using any and all mediums available to you. It is essentially pushing out a message to obtain traction that results in sales. “Buy our product because it can do ‘x’” or “Buy our product because it does ‘x’ the best”, marketing can also take place through association, i.e. a celebrity endorsement that encourages fans of said celebrity to invest with your brand. These are simple marketing terms but encompass what marketing is all about, marketing is very much a ‘push’ tactic, push as in you identify your prospects, anticipate what it is they want and satisfy their needs with your product. Marketing is the art of placing the right product in the right place, at the right price, at the right time.
Marketing can be described through the four P’s, derive your strategy around these four P’s and you will be well on your way to developing your marketing strategy, the four P’s are:
• Product (or Service)
– What exactly is your product, what makes it unique?
– Where would your product be best placed to interact with consumers and encourage sales?
– Once you completely understand your product and what it offers you will have to define a price, how much of a profit margin you will have and what similar products are priced at can all have a bearing on price.
– You have the product, the price and you know where you want to place it, now you have to promote it, promotion looks at the many ways to disseminate relevant product information to consumers. Promotion includes elements such as: advertising, public relations, social media marketing, email marketing, search engine marketing, video marketing and more
This means everything you do around your product, the design of campaigns, the ideas behind them, the measurement and psychology of consumer behavior all count as part of the marketing process, Marketing is the management process of creating an image designed to attract customers to buy specific products or services. It is the act of creating and retaining customers.
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Branding is different
Branding is what you or your company are; it is what people think of when they think of your product, a great example of branding is Apple, the first thing you think of when you think of Apple is high tech, innovative, sought after products, this is partly due to the marketing efforts that surrounds Apple but is more so to do with consumer opinion of the brand itself.
Branding comes before any marketing and also predefines the marketing strategy, your brand is what sets you apart from your competitors, it is how you are identified by your consumers. It is what your company stands for; it is your promise to the consumer. A well thought of brand encourages consumers to invest due to the standing of the brand, that could be through a reputation for reliability, customer service, innovation and so on.
Branding is how your company is recognized; it is your voice in a sea of voices, it is what helps the consumer remember you encouraging further engagement, it is what makes the consumer desire your brand in particular, it is your reputation that precedes you. It is everything that your company encompasses; it is what you stand for, it is how the public perceive you. Whereas marketing says “come buy me”, “we do this and we are great at it”, branding says “This is what I am. This is why I am here. If you agree and you like me, you can buy me, support me, and recommend me to your friends.”
“Branding is a promise delivered” – Robert Bean
A good brand will encompass the following values:
• Deliver the message clearly
• Confirm your credibility
• Connect with your target prospects emotionally
• Motivates the buyer
• Concrete User Loyalty
• To succeed in branding you must understand the needs and wants of your customers and prospects. You do this by integrating your brand strategies through your company at every point of public contact.
• Your brand resides within the hearts and minds of customers, clients, and prospects. It is the sum total of their experiences and perceptions, some of which you can influence, and some that you cannot.
A recent post by Dustin Britt puts the differences between branding and marketing rather well:
• Branding is why. Marketing is how.
• Branding is long-term. Marketing is short-term.
• Branding is macro. Marketing is micro.
• Branding defines trajectory. Marketing defines tactics.
• Branding drives enduring reputation. Marketing drives periodic sales.
• Branding is the reason someone buys. Marketing is the reason someone thought to buy in the first place.
• Branding builds loyalty. Marketing generates response.
• Branding creates value. Marketing extracts value.
• Branding is the being. Marketing is the doing.
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Branding and marketing – intertwined but different
Branding and marketing are joined at the hip, branding drives marketing and marketing supports branding. Marketing is an integral part of your brand, it helps you communicate the promise you want consumers and prospective consumers to know about, it reflects your brand positioning, personality and values.
The purpose of branding is to increase sales by making the product the most visible and desirable to the consumer, branding is more than just a logo, branding is a promise of quality and value, an assurance based on reputation and public opinion. A strong brand can survive without marketing but their message won’t travel as far as is possible, in turn, a marketing strategy without a known brand to support it could possibly gain momentary recognition but will soon be forgotten. Consumers need something to identify with, in this case the brand; they also need a way for this to be brought to their attention; this is achieved through marketing.
In essence, marketing is what’s involved in getting your promise or message across to customers while branding is how you keep that promise.
By Charlie Gallagher