The terms brand and marketing are often confused or used (incorrectly) interchangeably. However, knowing the difference between these two strategic activities can help you better execute specific campaigns with brand goals or marketing goals.
Marketing and branding overlap, but business owners must clearly distinguish between branding and marketing to successfully integrate them into an overall digital strategy.
Marketing and branding are equally important, but building your brand naturally precedes promoting it. You need to create a brand identity and develop your message before communicating it through marketing. Using this understanding of the difference between marketing and branding and learning how they work together creates a solid foundation for your company's future marketing activities.
In this blog post, we cover what is branding, what is marketing, branding examples, and marketing examples to form a clear image of marketing versus branding. We also provide a holistic explanation of the difference between marketing and branding by looking at how the best branding and marketing services use them.
Understanding the brand versus marketing
Branding provides more clarity and direction to your marketing activities. With branding and marketing on your side, it's easier to determine the specific steps you need to take to drive your business to success.
Let's define what is branding and what is marketing in simple terms, how any good branding and marketing company would do it.
What is the brand?
Branding is the practice of shaping a company's brand identity. When you create a brand identity, you give your business character and provide a comprehensive narrative of what you offer, why you do it, and where it leads. It's also about who you're talking to (your target audience), how you choose to communicate with them, and how to give their experience with you meaning. Part of your brand identity is visually represented through branding elements like your logo, color palette, and fonts. But it's very much about the overall experience you provide to your customers.
If you don't create a brand identity, there will be no reason for people to choose you over other companies that sell the same products and services. Fortunately, you don't need to reinvent the wheel. A good branding and marketing agency leverages tried and tested branding principles (such as consistency and visibility) and learns from excellent branding examples to guide the development of your brand identity.
Here are two companies that all branding companies should keep an eye on:
Nike is always among the excellent brand examples primarily because of its iconic slogan, "Just Do It." It represents the core of your brand - inspiring athletes to conquer anything and keep moving forward, and in his words, if you have a body, you are an athlete. This idea is complemented by its famous “swoosh” logo that represents movement and speed, among other elements of the brand that reinforce the unique brand of Nike.
As a company promoting branding and marketing success since the late XNUMXs, Coca-Cola remains one of the best branding examples that all branding agencies learn from. Your brand elements send a key message: Coca-Cola is an indispensable part of the happiest moments of your life. More than their exceptionally creative and memorable visuals, they establish deep emotional connections and a sense of tradition in the lives of their audience for generations.
What is Marketing?
Marketing is the practice of promoting and selling products or services. It encompasses disciplines including market research, advertising, sales, and (of course) branding. Marketing involves specific and proactive strategies to reach your target audience, convert them into loyal customers, and grow your business.
Common marketing activities include strengthening your website and social media platforms to establish a strong online presence, ensuring each physical location feels familiar and comfortable using basic branding principles, and connecting with your target audience through engagement campaigns. and brand awareness online and offline. How you execute your marketing strategy is defined by your branding strategy.
Using the same companies in the branding examples above, let's dive into the marketing examples:
In line with the Nike brand of driving excellence, one specific marketing campaign that caused a sensation was the »Find Your Greatness« campaign. The message was simple: It's more about personal achievement than championship trophies. It featured ordinary people and empowered everyone to seek what they wanted. Thinking of brand examples, Nike's brand of driving excellence became the backbone of this campaign.
In the campaign »Share a Coca-Cola» of Coca-Cola , the idea was to share moments of happiness with friends and family, with Coca-Cola in the background. The branding and marketing agency that worked on this made waves by allowing consumers to enjoy personalized Coca-Cola bottles with their names, making it an even more personal experience for themselves and their families.
These branding and marketing examples show the importance of having a good idea of who your business is. Nike and Coca-Cola have been successful with their campaigns because they took the time to refine their branding strategy. As a result, they communicate their purpose well with their audience, making it easier for your market to remember your brand.
The difference between branding and marketing
If the brand is the author, the marketing is the publisher. While creating a brand identity predates creating marketing strategies, the two have shared goals. So it's not about marketing versus branding, but about how one complements the other.
Here are points that highlight the difference between branding and marketing:
Branding comes before marketing.
Your brand identity is the foundation of all your marketing plans. Without a meaningful logo, you can't make an announcement. Without a brand personality, you can't have a unified tone of voice in your social media captions. It's natural for people to want a reason to pay attention to you, which is why the emotional value of your brand comes before the actual value of the product or service. Your brand identity is like a toolbox that your marketing team draws from, depending on the objective.
Marketing increases sales, while branding fosters customer loyalty.
Marketing strategies are expected to meet short-term sales goals. For example, ads related to the Olympics would be a great way to gain attention and increase sales during the time of the Olympics. But what your brand and your company stands for doesn't change, whether it's the Olympics or not. Your marketing campaign gets people to buy, but your values and the way your message resonates with them keeps them loyal.
Marketing grabs your audience's attention and branding it mantiene .
Your customer might find out about you through an ad campaign, but they need a reason to trust you. A branding agency uses branding principles to connect with your clients and create their story, while a marketing agency piques their interest and gets more people to listen to you. A good branding and marketing company strategizes around a long-term business plan to keep your brand relevant for generations to come.
Again, it's not about branding versus marketing because they don't compete. The main difference between marketing and branding is that branding answers the questions "who" and "why" and marketing answers the question "how", different but equally necessary answers.
How Marketing and Branding Work Together
Everyone's understanding of the brand used to be limited to design elements such as the company logo, color palette, and more. But recent years have emphasized the importance of the customer experience - what they feel is just as important as what they see. Branding is critical to being memorable, connecting with your audience, being unique, and inspiring customer retention.
The two most important ways that marketing and branding work together:
1. Connect with your audience
If your customers support your business, it probably means that they share values. Branding naturally brings a community together in this way, but marketing is what nurtures that connection. One of the most important tasks of a branding and marketing company is discovering what its target audience values and the best channels to reach it.
2. Balance your priorities
You won't grow your business effectively if branding or marketing is left behind. For example, your marketing campaign could be wasting money if it doesn't align with what your brand stands for, but you also don't want to be held back by marketing opportunities when your target audience's values start to change. An ongoing effort to balance marketing and branding priorities drives you toward the ultimate goal of growing your business.
Work with a marketing and branding agency
The marketing versus branding debate first emerged at a time when the digital landscape was changing dramatically and people were reacting in different ways. But because of how quickly things change today, the branding vs. marketing discussion turned into one about synergy.
Keep in mind that as businesses continue to evolve, so should your branding and marketing priorities. It is important to stay true to your brand values and to remain open to new ideas and new ways to market your business. To stay ahead of the competition, you must continually learn, adapt, and optimize your strategy, and you can't go wrong with the help of experts.
Contact us today to learn more about how a marketing and branding company can strengthen your business performance and set it up for long-term success.