Building a business can be confusing if you don’t know what all of the buzzwords mean. And two concepts, in particular, tend to get mixed up:
Marketing and Branding. In actuality, branding and marketing are two quite distinct ideas. To combine branding and marketing successfully, you must have a thorough understanding of both as a business owner. So, what is branding, and how does it differ from marketing? That is something we’ll discuss in this post.
What is Branding?
Branding is how you differentiate yourself from your competitors, whereas marketing is about raising awareness. Marketing covers your tactical objectives, whereas branding is about your strategy.
A brand is the sum total of all business activities dedicated to clarifying what the organization stands for, what its mission is, and what its values are. In addition to concepts like the logo, colours, and theme designs, it is also about creating an identity that customers emotionally connect with. Ultimately, your brand encompasses the expectations you build in someone’s mind regarding what it will be like to interact with your product or service, besides your visual identity.
A fitting definition of branding comes from the AMA (American Marketing Association). It is described as “a name, term, design, or symbol intended to identify one company’s goods or services and differentiate it from its competitors.”.
Branding is what makes customers choose one competitor over another. It is essential to ensure that your brand is clear, concise, and consistent across all its aspects. Maintaining consistency will facilitate recognition and an easier path to developing a solid reputation for your brand.
Not to namedrop but having a unique brand identity is what helped companies like Starbucks and Apple stand out from their competitors. Ask any of their consumers if they are the best, and they will boldly say YES, then ask them why the brands are great and see if you will get an answer. That pause between the customers subjectively feeling that the brand is the best and them objectively knowing that it is the best through facts is called Branding. Because let’s face it, with thousands of other businesses doing the same thing you are doing, chances are you will not be the best at it, but how you get customers to keep coming to you is what matters.
A brand is the combination of your strategy and your marketing plan. Establishing who your brand is begins with asking yourself the following questions. Questions that go beyond generalizations about the sector, the services or goods provided, and include inquiries into your identity as a business and, more crucially, your identity as a brand. The following inquiries are a great place to start:
- What are your fundamental beliefs and values?
- What is the gist of your mission?
- What motivated you to launch your company?
- Why do you want to make your goods or services available to your intended market?
- What distinguishes you?
- How do you want customers to describe you as a company?
- What is the corporate culture at your company?
- What kind of style would you use in the workplace?
- What traits do you have in terms of communication?
- When someone hears the name of your company, what do you want them to think of?
- What emotions do you want customers to have when they think about your company?
By answering the questions above, you will gain a better understanding of the differences between branding and marketing. Don’t be afraid to elaborate on your answer and bounce it off a colleague or professional mentor if you need help. Interestingly, all of the questions address your internal operations and culture. Therefore, what you build on the inside will be reflected outside.
As a result, your branding will instill what your consumers can expect from you, and what they will experience when they use your products or services.
Simply Put, branding creates a lasting link between you and your audience. Even if your marketing strategy is aimed at engaging people, following your branding will keep them coming back.
Every business needs customers, every customer needs a relationship to keep coming back, your brand is your name and everything that you stand for, these are two essential elements of any relationship. Marketing calls consumers over to you and branding keeps them.
Branding is not a requirement for success, but it will make your success far more significant. All great buildings must have a solid foundation. Knowing the difference between marketing and branding will facilitate your expansion via marketing.