The Difference Between Branding and Marketing
The Difference Between Branding and Marketing
AND WHY YOU CAN’T MARKET YOUR BUSINESS UNTIL YOU HAVE A BRAND
If you’ve landed on this page, you’re likely looking to increase exposure and revenue for your business through branding and marketing. And maybe you’re a bit confused about which one to focus on or how either would benefit you. We understand your confusion; there’s a lot of conflicting information about branding and marketing floating around out there. Let’s break it down and explain why it’s important to establish a solid brand before investing your time and money into marketing.
WHAT IS BRANDING?
If you ask the average consumer what branding a business would entail, you’d likely hear something about designing a logo. And while logo design is important to establish your brand identity, it’s not the whole story. Of course branding includes things like choosing your business’s colors, designing a logo, and deciding on a font for your website. But branding also serves a much higher purpose.
Branding establishes the personality of your business. It defines the position and it’s essence.
Many of us create “brands” for ourselves by the way we dress, how we decorate our home, and the music we listen to. Which is why the term has become a colloquial phrase to say that some things we like or do are “on brand” and some things we hate are “not on brand.”
When we say that, we’re really talking about what defines our personality. Businesses have personalities too and branding is all about creating this personality and presenting it to your customers consistently.
Consumers make a whole lot of assumptions—some they aren’t even entirely aware of—based on their first impression of your business and how you present it aesthetically (here’s where logo design, website design, and brand colors come into play).
After the initial visual impression, the voice of the company and the language you use in your business’s copy provide the necessary verbal element . The visual and the verbal will combine to exude an emotion. Branding will give your potential customers their first emotional response to your business. How do you want your customers to feel? Answering this question is the start of creating your business’s personality.
THE PROCESS OF BRANDING
If branding consists of what you say, do, and how you present yourself, then the truth is branding happens regardless of whether you invest in establishing it or not. So if you don’t take the proper steps to plan and take control of your message, you won’t be consistent, and without knowing EXACTLY what you want your brand to be, you could end up with a brand that is messy and drives your target customers away unintentionally.
The world is already a messy place. Strive to be a source of comfort and consistency for your customer. Consistency is key. People avoid and distrust unreliability. Cohesive branding will help establish a trust between you and your customer.
Create a brand personality and you will befriend your customers. That way, even if they don’t need your services or products when they first come into contact with your brand, they will remember and it will be branded into their memory.
So how can you create a unique personality for your business that will inspire a deep and lasting relationship with your customers?
That’s where foundational branding, or brand positioning, comes in (and psst, we can help with that). During the foundational branding phase, you will establish your verbal and visual identity. Branding specialists (like us!) can help you organize your intentions and create a brand story, positioning statement, and all the visuals: mood boards, color themes, graphic design, and much more—all the things you will need to create a consistent brand across all platforms.
HOW IS MARKETING DIFFERENT?
Once you’ve established who you are as a business, marketing is your next move. Marketing is an action you take as a brand. It’s the promotions for your products or services, the advertisements, the email campaigns, the content creation, the social media (we can help with that too). It’s how your customers get the vital information they need to understand how your brand fits into their life and what it can do for them.
Your marketing, however, must stay true to the image and personality you’ve established during the foundational branding stage.
There’s no doubt that marketing is absolutely necessary. There’s no point in creating a solid brand if you don’t plan to promote it and market it efficiently. Marketing is the only way to make your brand spread like wildfire through the public.
HOW BRANDING AND MARKETING WORK TOGETHER
Branding and marketing have a symbiotic relationship; they help each other thrive. When done correctly, and in the correct order, brand-based marketing works effortlessly and will have a lasting impact. Properly aligned marketing will build your brand. Poor marketing will harm your brand.
Branding is the precursor to marketing and it will make your marketing far more productive. Trying to jump right into selling without first establishing who you are, why it matters, and what your position in the market is won’t build a connection or a memorable reputation. Marketing simply won’t reap as many benefits without a thoughtful and purpose-driven brand.
Many people go into the marketing phase with the intention of exposing their business to as many people as possible in the hopes it will reach a few individuals who need their products. This is wasteful. Marketing resources are often better spent aiming for a specific audience rather than the general public. The reality is not everyone needs your products or vibes with your vibe, and you will find more success by honing in on people who will appreciate and value the products or services you are offering. This will create lasting connections and build a community where your customers not only remember your brand, but come to love it and share it with the people in their lives.
Branding isn’t a cost. It is an investment. And it will make your marketing more fruitful.
While you may not see immediate shifts in sales due to foundational branding or rebranding, you will certainly build longer-lasting, more meaningful relationships with communities of customers. Marketing provides short-term exposure, but branding plays the long game and will continually empower your business as it grows.
ARE YOU READY TO BUILD A BETTER BRAND?
The benefits of branding are boundless: you’ll attract lasting customers, you’ll be able to charge premium prices, and most importantly, your marketing efforts will not be fruitless.
If you are marketing and not seeing the desired results, a lack of purposeful branding could be the reason. A brand takes time to build, but we’re here to help you every step of the way to ensure that your marketing gets the best results possible.