What is branding? – What is marketing? Is branding and marketing two opposite sides of a coin or are they related in some sort of way? These are simple but crucial questions any business that aims to build something sustainable must ask.
First, we need to understand what branding and marketing are individually.
While branding is how you express who your business is for and what it’s all about, marketing is essentially how you build awareness of your brand and its products and generate sales. Branding is one of the essential building blocks of your marketing strategy, therefore it comes before marketing. It implies that clearly identifying your company’s personality – defining your brand. This involves carefully choosing your, logo, typeface and business colors that reflects your brand’s values.
As such, let’s think of marketing as your business-generating toolkit and branding as your overall approach to reaching your target audience – meaning marketing is the practice of promoting and selling products or services. It covers activities around market research, advertising and sales. It involves specific and proactive strategies to reach your target audience, turn them into loyal customers and ultimately grow your business.
Branding and marketing are often confused or used interchangeably incorrectly. However, understanding the difference between them can help define the execution of specific campaigns that are in line with the brand and marketing goals.
A few points to note about branding and marketing are:
- Branding is done before marketing.
Without a meaningful brand identity, you can’t make successful ads. Your brand identity is the important to all your marketing plans. If your brand persona is not gotten, you can’t have a unique tone of voice in your social media captions. Your brand identity is a relevant toolbox that your marketing team takes from for many of the marketing strategy and campaigns.
- Marketing gets your audience’s attention, branding keeps it.
Your customer may come to know you through an ad campaign, but they need a reason beyond the campaign to trust you and what you offer. Using branding principles to build a connection with your customers and creating your story can gets more people to listen to you.
- Marketing increases sales, branding builds customer loyalty.
Your marketing campaign gets people to buy what you offer, but your values and how your message resonates with them is what keeps them loyal and makes them returning customers.
You should keep in mind that as the business landscape continue to evolve,so should your branding and marketing priorities. It’s relevant to stay true to your brand values and open to new ideas and trends in whatever industry or sector your operate. Pay attention to competition, the need to continuously learn, adapting and optimizing your strategy.
Jonah Abalaka – Lead, Brand Communication.