John Jack: Understanding Branding vs. Marketing – the Difference and Its Importance
Understanding Branding vs. Marketing – the Difference and Its Importance
People hear the term ‘marketing’ so many times, and yet they fail to realize that there is so much more below the surface that goes into ‘marketing’ a brand.
For instance, there is branding; then there is marketing.
Marketing and Branding.
Branding and Marketing. Honestly speaking, things can get quite complicated without having clarity on the basics in the first place. So, to begin with, marketing and branding are two different things, and without knowing the difference between them, it is impossible to understand why your business needs both.
Probably by now, you might be wondering what it is that you need to know about them. And that’s exactly what this blog will discuss.
Without wasting any time, let’s break down branding vs. marketing and why they are both crucial for businesses today.
WHAT IS BRANDING?
Frankly, if you try looking up the answer to this question online, they are not so clear.
While some sources say branding refers to the promotion of products or services via advertising and unique design, some sources say it is just another marketing practice where a business crafts a name, symbol, or design that is easy to identify for the audience.
So let’s take a moment’s break here and look at these definitions. Here the common aspect is the unique design. But obviously, branding has to be more than just some easily identifiable design, right? Because if it was the case, why didn’t they call it design or graphics?
It’s self-evident that branding goes way deeper than that, and it matters a great deal.
So, let’s discuss what branding exactly is and why it matters so much for businesses today?
Branding can be understood as an individual’s instinct or ‘gut feeling’ about a product/service. It is an emotion. An emotion that a person has about your brand. It is the way your business information makes them feel when they first encounter it.
You might be thinking that we are just bluffing now, aren’t you? But seriously, in the marketing world, this is the aptest meaning of the term ‘branding,’ believe it or not.
However, to prove this to you, let’s do a quick test.
You are right now reading on a search engine so let’s take search engines, for example.
Suppose you have a query “what is branding,” and you want to look it up online. Google or Yahoo – which one would you pick? Well, if you are like the majority of internet users, you would most likely choose Google whenever you want to perform a search query.
Why do you think Google became the largest search engine in the world? What did it do which other search engines didn’t?
Open Google and Yahoo on separate tabs and see which one speaks better to you. Undoubtedly the former.
This is because Google understands that people are here to find answers to their queries, and therefore, the whole focus is on ‘search.’ Unlike Yahoo, which displays ads, news, etc., on its homepage itself. And well, even though it may not seem like that big a deal, the results are right there in front of you.
Similarly, if we look at the comparison between two top brands – Apple and Samsung – which one would you pick?
Well, if you are more into innovation and style, you’ll most likely go with Apple products. On the other hand, if you are more into reliability and probably getting better features for lesser money, you’ll most likely be drawn towards Samsung products.
The one commonality you will find among all the top brands in every industry is how they have positioned themselves through branding. This indicates why branding really matters and is a crucial factor to take into account when building your brand image.
Before we compare branding with marketing, here are a few significant points we’d like to shed some light on first.
CRUCIAL POINTS TO NOTE ON BRANDING
As mentioned earlier, branding is the feeling the audience gets when they come across your brand or anything related to it, such as product or ads. It is an art, not a science.
Branding comprises selecting the right design, symbols, and messaging for your brand.
Even aspects such as colors, which perhaps sound very simple, play a significant role in your branding. Different colors have different meanings for different brands. Hence, understanding the meanings of the colors is a crucial aspect of your overall branding strategy.
You need to make sure that your branding resonates well with your audience. Therefore, keeping your target audience in your mind at all times is necessary.
Every single thing that your company does will impact your branding to a certain degree. This is why it is vital to build a positive brand image for both big businesses as well as SMBs, even if they have just entered the market.
Everything equally matters – your marketing, your products or services, and specifically your reputation. You can have a fantastic brand design but still have awful branding.
There are many brands with excellent brand design and everything, but their reputation took a toll after the consumers found out the quality of services they have been offering to them over the years wasn’t as good as they thought it was. Take McDonald’s and the pink slime controversy, for example.
Nevertheless, what we want to say is that not everything is related to your design, like your brand reputation. So having a great brand design isn’t enough as you can still have awful branding.
By now, you must have got a clearer picture of what branding really is, and at the same time, you must also be wondering what the difference between branding and marketing is. So this brings us to the next part – Branding vs. Marketing.
BRANDING VS. MARKETING
Marketing is more of an umbrella term encompassing all the other aspects.
Branding is a subgroup of marketing, but bear in mind, it is just a facet of marketing and not the only thing marketing deals with.
For example, marketing also comprises advertising. And oftentimes, people believe marketing and advertising are the same things, and the terms can be conveniently used interchangeably. But in reality, they are two different things and shouldn’t be confused as one.
Primarily, marketing focuses on conveying your brand value to your customers. On the other hand, branding is one of the many ways in which marketing interacts with your potential and existing customers. However, it is vital to note it is not the only means of communication.
Your products and services convey your value. Your product pricing conveys your value. The advertising and promotion channels you utilize also conveys your value. Your website, as well as the geographical location, also helps your brand interact with your customers.
You cannot market poor branding. That’s not how things work.
A compelling marketing value proposition with a lousy website, hazy logo, and unclear messaging can actually do more harm to your brand than help.
Thus, branding and marketing rely on one another to be truly effective. Therefore, it should not be Branding vs. Marketing; instead, it should be Branding and Marketing – together.
In order to convey your brand messaging to your target audience in the best possible way, you need to make these two work together as a pair. Trying to make one of them work in the hope of achieving the desired results without the other one in place isn’t recommended.
In a nutshell, branding is the feeling people correlate with your brand. On the other hand, marketing is what helps convey that feeling and, eventually, your brand’s value proposition to your target audience.
When it comes to branding, it is crucial to note that everything your company does affects your branding.
Sure, having a good logo and brand design is necessary, but it won’t even matter unless your customers are happy with your solutions or you have a positive brand reputation. And therefore, businesses need marketing to complement their branding.
Similarly, excellent marketing will be of no use if you have terrible branding. No customer will purchase anything from a company they do not trust in the first place, or that bluntly appears unprofessional.
Hence, the best thing to do is thoughtfully building your branding and marketing together.
Planning your marketing strategy in advance will help you better communicate your message to your target audience effectively.
By now, you must have realized the difference between the two, how marketing and branding are equally important for your business, and why you need the two to work together for your brand. So go on and start with your marketing and branding today!
Hariom Balhara is an inventive person who has been doing intensive research in particular topics and writing blogs and articles for E Global Soft Solutions. E Global Soft Solutions is a Digital Marketing, SEO, SMO, PPC and Web Development company that comes with massive experiences. We specialize in digital marketing, Web Designing and development, graphic design, and a lot more.
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