Branding vs Marketing – Understanding The Alchemy

  • July 6, 2021
  • Marketing

    ,

    Networking

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So, your business is ready, and you’ve decided to create awareness online. Now, the common question is, is marketing better or branding or both? Branding vs Marketing – can they coexist?

There is only one answer to this question: Every business should work with both kinds of strategies.

Branding vs Marketing – What Are They?

Branding vs Marketing are very different concepts. If you want your business to succeed, you need to understand the difference between both and how you can use both effectively to make your business growth imminent.

Marketing is the process of promoting your brand’s products and services. The tools, strategies, and processes are used to create awareness about your business offerings. The effective strategy connects your customers with your products and services.

Branding is part of the marketing practice that helps you give your brand a unique identity. Your branding efforts define you as your company and make your brand unique and special. It includes elements like logo design, website, brand style, distinguished colors, etc., anything that customers can use to identify your brand.

You’d be able to identify a McDonald’s if you see a large, yellow “M” because that’s an integral part of their brand identity. The marketing strategy here is to excite customers when they see a big “M” anywhere.

Branding vs Marketing

The Difference Between Branding & Marketing

Okay, now that you understand what branding and marketing are, let’s look at the differences between the two concepts.

By now, it’s obvious that both strategies work together; however, both have different goals that yield different results.

  • Marketing strategies are used to grab the customer’s attention; branding strategies are used to keep the customer’s attention.
  • Marketing promotes your sales, and branding promotes loyalty and brand recognition.
  • For effective results, branding is done first, and marketing is done second.
  • Marketing strategies evolve more frequently than a branding strategy.
  • Branding and marketing have an equal impact on your employees and customers.

Now, let’s look at these points in further detail.

Marketing Captures Customer Attention and Branding Helps Retain It

Regardless of the industry you’re in, you have a lot of fierce competition to face, and to withstand the competition, you need a robust marketing strategy.

Your marketing efforts help divert the customer’s attention towards your brand, especially if you use the right tools and correct marketing channels.

Once you grab the customer’s attention, the next thing you should think about is what you can do to retain the attention? That’s where branding plays an essential role.

Customers connect with trustworthy brands. Marketing breaks the barriers between customers and brand, and branding fosters a positive relationship between the audience and brand.

In a nutshell, marketing brings customers closer to you, and branding makes the customers keep coming back for more.

Marketing = Sales and Branding = Loyalty

The basic objective of marketing strategies is to drive results that can promote sales. Your marketing efforts have a great impact on your sales which helps your company succeed.

Branding, however, is different because it’s more of a long-term approach. With that said, relying on branding to drive sales isn’t the best solution. Branding helps businesses build a brand identity, create brand recognition, and promote customer loyalty.

Building customer loyalty is important because it has a long-term impact on your sales.

Branding Comes Before Marketing

What matters first? Branding vs Marketing is a question equivalent to which came first, chicken or egg? The difference is I have the answer, and it’s branding.

When you start a new brand, branding always comes before marketing, and that makes sense because you can’t market a brand that doesn’t have a solid identity yet.

Before you dive into your marketing strategy, you need to address your basic brand needs first. Ask yourself:

  • How do you define yourself as a brand?
  • What do you offer that your competitors don’t?
  • What are your values?
  • How will you communicate with your target audience?

These questions help you gain insights into what your brand is, who your customers are, what your brand stands for, and how to connect with your audience. Once your branding is done, you can move onto your marketing strategy.

Marketing Evolves and Branding Doesn’t

As a business, your goal is to do everything you can to build your brand and create awareness; that requires an effective marketing strategy. With that said, it will be foolish to stick to one marketing strategy because, at some point, it will stop working, or the results will become stagnant.

Marketing and branding strategies work in different ways. Like I said, branding involves creating your brand identity, while marketing is about brand promotion.

Now, let’s look at it this way. Have you ever thought about changing your name frequently? Of course not. Much like that, you wouldn’t want to change your brand’s name or its identity, especially if it’s become very well-known.

This becomes an indication that you’d change up your marketing strategy to promote your brand better while you wouldn’t change your brand identity or branding efforts.

However, some businesses change their brand identity, like altering the logo or shortening the brand name; although, they make sure the changes aren’t too drastic. For example, Pepsi has changed its iconic red and blue ball a lot over the years, but customers can still identify it – truth be told, that might have something to do with them sticking to their original colors.

Branding Affects Your Team and Customers

Your team is responsible for developing an outstanding marketing strategy; however, that won’t impact them as much as your branding efforts would.

Your branding efforts work to motivate your customers to trust your brand; the same goes for your employees. If your branding efforts have yielded positive and impactful results, your employees will be more than willing to work for your company. The team will push itself harder to ensure more success for your business.

It’s your team’s responsibility to develop a fruitful marketing strategy, and it’s your responsibility to create a brand your team is thrilled to work for.

The Area Where Branding and Marketing Overlap

While there are many differences between marketing and branding, and both strategies impact a business differently, they still have one similarity.

When it comes to promoting a brand’s image, the two strategies come together to make it effective.

If you’ve heard the saying “A picture speaks a thousand words,” then you understand when I say that all your marketing efforts should align with the branding efforts.

For example, every social media post you create should have your brand-related elements like your logo, colors, etc. If your post has elements that represent your brand, it’ll give your ongoing marketing campaigns a boost.

In Conclusion

There will never be a time when branding & marketing don’t have an equal impact on a brand. You can create the perfect marketing strategy that proves effective, but it will all be in vain if your customers can’t relate to your brand.

Your marketing efforts engage customers, while branding efforts promote and timeless connection between your brand and your audience. You need both strategies to face the fierce competition.  As more companies offer products and services similar to your brand, what will set you apart is your branding strategy. If you can do that right, you can keep getting more business.

ShahRukh Aziz

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