Will branding & marketing benefit you?

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What exactly is marketing and branding?

Marketing may contribute to a brand (whether good or bad), but the brand is bigger than any individual marketing campaign. Your brand is what stands the test of time after marketing has stampeded through the room.

Whereas branding is the memory that comes to mind to the public about your product, service, or company name, regardless or whether they have used or are purchasing from you. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Why vs how

Branding is your ‘why’. What do you stand for? What are your values and ethics? This is the reason why you are in business and what you promise your clients. It’s how consumers feel about your business, services or products. This is the basis for your entire reputation. Marketing is the ‘how’. It is the process you go through in order to make more sales. You may market online, face-to-face or even print. This is a process, not a position.

2. Reputation vs sales

Branding is all about creating an enduring reputation. It is cementing into the minds of your customers that you are a trustworthy business based on consistent values. The key aim for marketing is to generate sales. These may be discounts or focused on a particular season or event. These don’t necessarily relate to the brand values.

3. Strategic vs tactical

Building a brand requires strategic thinking – planning ahead, looking at all of the ways your brand can be positioned in the market. From the personality of your brand, through to your brand story, language and tone, dress code, brand culture. Marking is tactical. It’s focused on how to increase revenue in a certain amount of time, how to leverage off seasonal selling, promotional offers etc. It can be measured and is usually deemed successful if it has increased sales.

4. Long-term vs short-term

Branding is a long-term strategy where you build a reputation for your small business in the mind of the consumer. It creates longevity and takes time to develop. Marketing is a short-term solution to get a quick result. It is often based around promotions, announcing new products or leveraging off events such as Christmas, Valentines day or school holidays. Marketing has a limited life span.

5. Macro vs micro

Branding is big picture thinking. It involves long term strategies, and future planning and positioning. Marketing is focused on an immediate, short-term outcomes and is often deadline dependent. It may promote a single product or service rather than the entire brand offering.

6. Loyalty vs response

Branding is about building loyalty with your clients so that they keep coming back, repeatedly use your services and then tell all their friends about how great your small business is. Marketing is about generating an immediate response from the customer. Marketing evokes action. This is all about activating customers and increasing sales.

7. Value vs revenue

Branding also refers to the value created for the customer. It’s intangible yet gives a sense of being part of something bigger than simply a transaction. The value is tied up with the brand. Marketing is about promoting a service or product for the end result of increasing revenue. Marketing should always be measure by your ROI (return on investment).

8. Pull vs push

The process of branding is about pulling people towards your brand. It’s about connecting with them on a level that surpasses your product or service. The idea with branding is to resonate, entice and influence. Marketing is about pushing products and services in front of prospective customers in the attempt to get them to act.

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Debbie O'Connor
Debbie is a brand strategist by profession and graphic designer by trade, author of a children’s book and active entrepreneur. She is the founder of multi award winning creative studio White River Design (WRD).

4 COMMENTS

  1. This article really clearly and simply explains the difference between branding and marketing. It really resonated with me. Well done and well written, Debbie. Hope to hear more from you on this site.

  2. Thanks for your comments David. This is a really interesting read, isn’t it? Sometimes getting clear on the basics makes a huge difference. We are happy to have Debbie as a contributor. She made a great comment on another article which led to me asking her to contribute a piece to us (and she also had a job lead). What will happen next?!

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