When it comes to raising the profile of a business, the words marketing and branding are often banded around without much thought as to what they actually mean, they do seem to go hand in hand with each other but they are intrinsically different!
Marketing = a range of activities carried out by the company to bring together buyers and sellers to promote the exchange of goods and services.
Branding = the practice of assigning a brand name and image to a product, which helps consumers recognise and identify the company producing it.
Even though both aspects have their own precise roles, we often can’t discuss one without the other. In this guide, we aim to define both marketing and branding, so that you can establish how you can implement them within your own business and how they can work together to create a target audience for your product or service and take them with you in your marketing strategy.
Most people, when faced with having to promote their business in the early days, go straight to marketing. They hire marketing specialists to get up and running as they see branding as a luxury rather than a necessity. The general attitude is often, we need sales now, let’s get our product/service out there. But to market a business with no clear message, focus, or knowing what you have over your competitors that sets you apart can mean a lot of wasted time and money, with zero results.
Marketing is used to cultivate a customer base; it should disclose the benefits of your product or service and influence customers to buy. Marketing helps you to build authority and credibility, positioning you and your business as an expert in your industry. The ultimate result of any marketing operation should be sales; marketing should be a push, where are branding is a pull. Marketing promotes your value whilst branding creates the reasons why you are valuable.
Branding is how you want your customers to see you, and how you’d like them to relate your business to their needs. It about working out what makes you noticeable, memorable, and shareable. All of these points create your brand message and once you define that, you can and should, direct your marketing efforts so that your brand will be consistent in every aspect of your business. Branding should create customer loyalty and help you stand out in a saturated market
But these two tasks cannot work alone, their joint efforts will produce the best results, and neither is fully effective when it is not supported by the other - marketing can’t exist without branding, and vice versa. Marketing speaks to your target audience, making them aware of your product, branding speaks to emotions.
Whether you are at the beginning of your business journey, and haven't yet established your brand or marketing strategy, or an established organisation who has found their marketing efforts have become stale and need a boost, we can help by reviewing your business and creating an all-encompassing marketing and branding strategy.