Branding Versus Marketing: Is There Really A Difference?

Before we get to the meatier part of the article, let us get some things out of the way right away. Branding and Marketing are not one and the same!

If you are a marketing professional or a creative director, you should be aware that both the end goals of branding and marketing are different. While there might be some over overlaps in process, the two are quite different from one another.

According to a digital marketing expert like Neil Patel, where marketing ends, branding begins. The common misconception around branding and marketing needs to be avoided if we are to get better at both.

In this resource article, we are going to take help from leading branding expert, Bennet Schwartz. We are going to ask him to state the major points of differences between marketing and branding.

If you are someone that is looking to evolve specific branding strategies for your business, this article will help point you in the right direction.

Understanding Branding: What experts are saying

Branding is all about communicating to your customers, competitors, and vendors who you are as a business. Going deeper, it seeks to present all the values, culture, unique propositions, and mission statements about your business.

Branding needs to be thought of as a strategy that helps in-

  1. Building awareness
  2. Driving recognition
  3. Creating communication
  4. Improving service
  5. Generating sales

For a brand, its logo, website, design, color schemes, fonts, text, images, photographs, etc. are all part of your brand, and accordingly of your branding strategy. Successful branding allows a business to develop customer loyalty and generate repeat sales for the brand.

Defining Marketing: How is it different?

We hope that the last section was able to give you a fair understanding and idea of what branding is all about. Let us now turn our attention to marketing.

Marketing is more about being tactical and using strategic tools to achieve your branding goals. Marketing strategies need to keep evolving and changing. They are supposed to respond to the needs and demands of the business when it comes to promoting sales or launching new products.

Marketing is endless. There are so many tools, processes, platforms, technologies, etc. that make it confusing and complicated. According to experts, the following are the major areas of marketing-

  1. Print Platforms (Newspapers, Magazines, etc.)
  2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  3. Social Media Marketing (SMM)
  4. Hoardings, Banners, and Billboards
  5. Television and Radio
  6. Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)
  7. Content and Blog Marketing

Both offline and online marketing need to work in unison to achieve goals.

What should take Priority: Branding or Marketing?

There cannot be a marketing strategy if you do not have branding as a core proposition. Understanding and defining your brand can help give your marketing a definite direction. Ever new companies or start-ups need to work on their branding before they start with branding.

By understanding who you are, what you are trying to solve, and explain how are you looking to provide value, can help you define your brand and evolve a set of strategies to help you push this through to your target audiences.

If branding experts are to be believed, branding is the reason why customers keep going back to a brand. They keep buying the different car models from the same car brand over and over again. This means that branding helps in building customer loyalty and promotes repeat sales.

Branding has to come first, always! Marketing strategies, methods, and tools can change. The goal of branding, on the other hand, will never change! Brand principles, mission statements, culture, or values cannot change, no matter how old a brand gets.

The Bottom Line

A marketing strategy can be a one-time thing. Branding cannot be. It is always a constant and ongoing process. Branding helps establish a timeless connection between customers and the brand. A marketing strategy makes the same customer aware of a new product from the brand and ensures sales take place.

However, a lot of the work that would have gone into convincing the customer to buy from the brand has already been done through branding. This is how branding and marketing differ. If you have any questions, you would like us to address about the topic, please let us know in the comments section below.

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