A marketing strategy and a branding strategy equally contributes to the overall success and growth of a business. Sometimes the terms are used interchangeably because of how effectively they compliment each other. Here, We will talk about Branding vs Marketing and which one is better for your business.
Table of Content:
- What is Branding?
- Importance of Branding
- What is Marketing?
- Importance of Marketing
- Branding vs Marketing
Let’s start by asking you this question, Are you a marketing person or a branding person?
You may think what difference does that make anyway?
Okay, let’s reframe the question and ask again:
Would you rather go for any carbonated beverage or Coca-Cola?
The truth of the matter is, while marketing and branding do go hand-in-hand, they don’t share a common vernacular. Experts in both of these fields will agree to this.
Ask a branding expert what their thoughts are on marketing and you’ll see a 20 pointer list explaining how branding is way important. The same will happen when you ask a marketing expert what their thoughts are on branding.
So where exactly do branding and marketing differ?
Hold on as we further discuss branding vs marketing more closely.
What Is Branding?
According to American Marketing Association, “A brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers”.
Branding in itself is a huge and complex subject.
It is one of those concepts that is quite vague and can sometimes seem a bit confusing for people who’ve studied branding themselves.
Really! Ask 10 different people what their meaning of branding is and you’ll get 10 different answers. While for someone it is about the logo, for the other it will be about the feel.
Branding totally determines what a brand is.
For example, Mcdonald’s stands out with its yellow golden arches forming an “M” with the red color background. But its logo is not the only thing that sets the fast-food chain apart. Characteristics like the mascot Ronald McDonald and uniform design among stores all over the world are some of the main features too.
Importance Of Branding
One cannot overlook the importance of branding nowadays. It is not a choice but a priority for companies, products, and even individuals. Here are some important aspects of branding:
- Sets You Apart From Your Competitors:
Competition is high. To really stand out from the crowd you need an identity and strong presence for your company.
For this, you must have at least one thing that makes you different from your competitors. This can be a distinct brand voice or delivering something that customers need.
For example, Coca-cola has presented itself in a way that puts more focus on the brand rather than the product. Coke is not just a soda, but it is described as something that brings friends and families together. The brand message is universal and is understood among all languages and cultures.
- Creates Trust With Consumers:
Trust is an important aspect of company-consumer relationships.
Without it, your company will not be able to go as far as you want it to be. If you’re able to complete your brand promises, you are successful in building trust with your customers.
BMW’s tagline “The Ultimate Driving Machine” is a statement that literally drives the brand. BMW’s goal is to produce only the most efficient and dignified vehicles that its brand promise states. Where is the lie?
- Builds Value And Consumer Preferences:
Correct branding is where customers understand why they need to buy a product from a specific brand rather than going to others (even when they have to pay double the price).
Wonder why Starbucks costs twice as much as a regular coffee but still people go gaga about it?
- Improves Pride:
You may agree with it or not, but brands play a vital role in making people look good.
Consumers, as well as employees, want to be associated with a brand they feel a deeper connection with.
Branding helps you personify your company and create an ever-lasting impact with your customers.
That is why exactly after two months when Apple was voted the UK’s coolest brand, it declared the biggest profits ever made by a company. (Source: The Guardian)
In the end, a brand is much more than just it’s logos or colors. When your business is successful in delivering consistent value to your customers, that’s when you grow as a brand.
Now that you understand the importance of branding, let’s move on and talk about Marketing.
What is Marketing?
Marketing is the selling of products and services.
The success of your business depends on the way you market your products and services.
Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large. (AMA, 2017)
In fact, whether you own a business or not, marketing happens pretty much every day. It’s a part of life!
The last time you tried to convince your family to let you go out for the party? That was marketing!
Or remember the time when you planned and set goals during your college examinations?
Unintentionally but you aren’t just the one doing marketing. Look around and see people (or things) marketing to you too!
Ads on newspapers, television commercials, billboards, magazine advertisements, or social media ads – these are just everyday examples of marketing.
Take a look at this example! Indian brand Amul has the upper-hand of being more creative in this aspect. It’s hard to not notice the brand’s take on any trending topic in the country with the ever-green Amul girl in the picture!
Fun Fact: Amul holds a Guinness world record for the longest-running ad campaign in the world. (Source: Economic Times)
Importance Of Marketing
Marketing helps in maintaining the demand, reputation, and visibility of a business. Without all of this, you can say a business is likely to close down. Here is why marketing is important:
- Increases Sales
Why are you running a business if you don’t intend to get some money out of it?
Marketing is essential to reach that goal.
You can have the best product among all your competitors, but if nobody knows about your offering how will you generate sales?
That’s why businesses need to create fresh and authentic marketing strategies to draw customers in and lead them to purchase.
For example, Nike’s sales were almost $800 million when they were about to launch the “Just Do It” campaign in 1988. Within a decade of the campaign, their sales topped to $2 billion! (Source: Adweek)
It’s been more than 30 years and the tagline “Just Do It” has been one of the core messages of the brand.
- Keeps Customers Engaged
Engagement is not just limited to face-to-face interactions with the consumer anymore. They need to engage with you outside as well.
Marketing solves the business query on how to keep the conversation going with the customers.
With mediums like newspapers, social media, magazines, brochures, emails, etc. you can be connected with your customers even outside of a store.
Bewakoof is one of the most popular Indian fashion brands. With the help of email marketing, the brand sends out occasional emails to its customers reminding them of offers, sales, or ongoing discounts.
- Promotes Product Awareness
You know about your product. The other employees know about the product. But do the people who actually have to buy the product know about it?
Your customers need to have a solid knowledge of what you are offering before they make a final purchase.
If you want to educate your customers about your product – marketing is the way!
Paytm is an Indian e-commerce payment system. In 2018, they launched a new feature where users can book railway tickets on their website. With influencer marketing, the company reached out to various lifestyle and travel bloggers to help them spread the message about this new ticketing feature.
Marketing is all about analyzing your customer’s needs and then making decisions to satisfy those needs (while also making some money by the side).
The importance of branding and marketing is clear but are you still unsure about the differences between the two?
Below we’ll talk about things that differentiate branding from marketing!
Branding vs Marketing
- While Marketing comes & goes; Branding is permanent.
You’ve established your business. Great!
But to really keep it going you need to plan out marketing strategies.
Before discussing Branding vs Marketing in detail, take a note that Marketing is an ongoing activity that helps in boosting and growing your business.
Branding, on the other hand, is the structure. It defines your business no matter where you stand. Your branding grows and evolves with your business.
- Marketing drives sales; Branding drives customer loyalty.
While the way businesses sell products may differ, there’s only one way they do it and that is through marketing.
Branding can not be the best way to drive sales but it is definitely the best way to build brand recognition!
Both marketing and branding are cost-centric but the results that we get from both of them are different.
Marketing investment pays itself in sales and growth; and branding in customer loyalty.
- Branding is the root; Marketing is secondary.
When building your business, you need to put branding before marketing – always!
Focusing on creating a brand identity first will help you roll-out marketing strategies more effectively.
What is your brand? Where do you stand? What do you represent? Who are your customers? – these are some of the important questions you need to answer.
- Marketing impacts the customer’s decision to buy; Branding impacts the customer’s decision to stick around.
Marketing is a great way to get your customer’s attention BUT what keeps their attention? – that’s when branding enters.
So while marketing helps a customer decide if they want to buy a product; branding helps a customer decide if they want to stay and get updates about more/upcoming products.
- Marketing creates needs; Branding creates relationships.
To put simply, you can instantly crave for Burger King when you see a billboard. This is marketing.
Branding is when you choose McDonald’s instead of Burger King.
So here it is, our key thoughts on branding vs marketing. Sometimes it gets hard to understand the difference between branding and marketing. But it becomes imperative to know what makes these both different, especially when you run a business.
While branding runs on communicating and delivering your brand promise, marketing runs on connecting and engaging with your audience.
Branding is more of a long-term goal for your business and marketing is more of a short-term one – and both of these together ensure the growth of your business.
Which one do you think is more likely to affect a business – marketing or branding? Tell us in the comments below!
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