Branding vs Marketing, what’s the difference and how do they grow your business. This episode explains what the differences are between branding and marketing, the strengths of both and how they work together to grow your business.
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What’s the difference between branding and marketing? Well, they do cross over each other. So there isn’t an exact delineation, but they are also individual in how they work to grow your business. So with that in mind, let’s start off by looking at each individually.
So what is branding? But if we first look at what a brand is. And there’s a great quote that sums this up from Seth Goden. And it says “a brand is a set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that taken together account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another”. So branding is about building these expectations, memories, and stories to create a relationship with your customer, the builds, trust, and loyalty.
And this is done through multiple touch points of everything that you do from your visual identity, to your marketing channels, to your brand voice, to your customer service, to your sales, everything that you do builds up into this narrative, this story, these expectations, and these memories that creates that relationship with your audience.
So with that in mind, everything you’re doing as a brand is branding, and that includes your marketing.
So Brand building is the continual process of developing this relationship with your audience and strengthening and deepening that emotional connection to them. It’s about defining your uniqueness. It’s about giving your audience a promise that you’re going to stand by. It’s about explaining why you’re different. Why are you going to take them? How are you going to take them there and what your values are? It’s also about being strategic. So it’s about having a plan of how you’re gonna move forward.
To reach the set of goals or the vision and the mission that you’ve laid out in your branding. And it’s about developing this plan to grow your business, using certain tactics. And some of those tactics will be marketing.
Is also the foundation of your business. And without a strong foundation to build upon your marketing will be out of alignment.
And a lot of the times will not resonate with your audience or we’ll just fall short of what you’re trying to achieve.
So on the flip side, what is marketing. Well, there’s another great quote from Seth Godin that goes to explain this and sums it up quite nicely. And that is marketing is a contest for people’s attention.
So marketing is a tactical approach to get a direct response that can be measured. It’s about the here and now generally short term and is driven through campaigns that are measured and that you’re trying to get a response through these campaigns. Normally have a deadline. And if not they’re, usually some part of an evergreen ongoing funnel, and it’s all about getting that direct response.
So what it’s trying to do is reach the desired target audience and get them to take an action, to move to an action that is about getting a response.
Marketing is also the process of promoting your product or service and to attach the, what. To the, who that relates to your brand. So if the, who is your brand, then the, what is in your marketing messaging, and it’s, it’s getting that across to your audience.
Let’s look at an example, a brand that does the crossover of these two things really well. So we’ll look at Nike. If you look at some of their recent advertising campaigns, some of the videos he did, like the dream big series or the videos they did about championing women and girls in sports.
Now, this is, this is branding, brand awareness marketing. And what it’s doing is it’s, it’s there to tell you the who, so who are Nick? What do they stand for? What are they trying to help people achieve? And how do they bring themselves to the table? That’s that’s what that’s all about. It’s about defining values and characteristics and allowing people to connect with them on a deeper level than just surface.
But there is nothing in them that is transactional or looking for a direct response. It’s all about the brand and it’s, it’s a longterm play. And it’s about building trust and loyalty generating a connection with the audience, a relationship like Seth Godin mentioned in his quote and engaging emotion in the audience.
No, on the other side of this, I recently got an email or a mail shot from Nike. And it was straight after the Last Dance series with Michael Jordan, Chicago bulls that’s on Netflix and it went straight to my inbox, open it up and it’s full of Air Jordan products. And it was, it was marketing those products and it was asking for a direct response.
So it was, it was asking me to pay and buy these products. So it wanted me to enter into a transactional situation. So this is marketing. It it’s short term. It’s transactional. It’s about direct response and it’s, it’s trying to get me to sign up and do something right now, but that email was also inside of a branded framework.
So the email itself had the Nike logo in it. It was written in they’re tone of voice. They used imagery that they’d been using. It had the Air Jordan brand all over it. So it was a branded. Interaction, but it was actually a marketing piece. This is a great example of that crossover. So if I don’t take action with a direct response right now, then I’m going to be reminded of Nike.
So they’re going to keep dripping into my inbox. I’m going to constantly see that branding the color palette, the imagery, the tone of voice, the way they set things up and how they frame things to deliver those values, even through their marketing is going to constantly remind me of what Nike stands for and then the bigger picture. When I see the larger brand awareness campaigns like the dream big, it just builds in to that folder in my mind of what Nike stands for and continually reminds me about what the brand does and who it is. So this is a great example of how the two can work together seamlessly and why both are helping to build that Nike brand.
Now you don’t have to do this on such a grand scale as Nike, but what you can do, is you can utilize a similar approach with what you do. So you can focus on short term, transactional, direct response, based marketing, but packaged in a branded way. And you can also use other ways of doing brand awareness marketing to build your brand.
Some of these things might be something like Nike did so a brand awareness style video. Or a series of videos or you could do some content marketing. Now, content marketing is really good because it builds out your brand. You’re giving stuff away for free. You’re becoming an expert in your field, but you’re also staking claim to your position in the market.
Because you’re honing in on something and inside those content marketing pieces, you can put in your imagery styles, you can have your graphics in there. You can have downloads to your lead magnets, and it’s all branding. It’s all brand collateral. The lead magnets themselves are marketing because it’s looking for a direct response, but the actual content itself, whether that’s video or text based content, generally with content marketing, it’s going to be a brand building approach.
So branding versus marketing, let’s look at a direct comparison. So branding is about pulling the audience and the consumers to you to create this relationship and this connection. And you’re drawing them to you by shared values, building out a product and service and branding in a way that becomes attractive and it’s a longterm play.
Marketing is about pushing out messages and campaigns when you’re seeking your audience. So you’re trying to, I look for that direct response right now. So it’s not about a longterm play. It’s about a short term response, transactional, or a sign up or a conversion of some kind, whatever that looks like for your business.
So branding is longterm. So it’s something that you start the day that you start your business and it will continue until your business ends. And it will always be happening with everything that you do. Marketing is generally short term, although it can be something that continually runs as kind of an evergreen funnel, but a lot of the time it’s a short term play with potentially like a a sale or an interaction, a particular mastermind group, if you’re a consultant or something like that, but you’re looking for a definitive end to that particular set of marketing and it’s, it’s a short term play compared to a longterm with branding.
Branding is you are. So it’s all about like with the Nike example, what you’re saying and for what you believe in, what you’re bringing to the market that promise you’re giving to your audience. Why are you going to take them? How are you going to get there? What’s your overall goal? So it’s all about the who and what your business is, your business and brand. Who are they? Why do they exist? Where are they going? How does it fit into your audiences life? Marketing is the what? So marketing is what you’re delivering. So what product or service are you trying to sell to your audience? What do you do? How do you help them? You can say some very clear, concise terms. Do it through marketing messaging that is about solving the customer’s problem, what you aiming to achieve so the difference is the who and the What.
It’s a branding is about creating value for your audience. So if you think back to those Nike adverts, we talked about earlier on the dream big and the, the adverts that we’re about empowering women and girls in sport, they’re about creating value. They’re about building something more and building that connection and when you watch those. You get inspired and you feel motivated and empowered to do more yourself and it’s building value in you and it’s giving you something back from the brand.
Marketing is about extracting value. So that might be monetary. It might be an email address. It could be your personal details of some kind, but marketing is about extracting value in a transactional way. So obviously you’re going to get a product. You pay for it. If you can get a lead magnet, you might be giving your email address. So it’s about extracting value. So creating value and extracting value.
Branding’s about building trust and loyalty over that longterm. So it’s always about trying to maintain loyalty and build trust with your audience.
Marketing’s about a response. It’s about building a response in the here and now and getting a direct action direct result from a particular campaign.
Branding is strategic. So branding’s all about the strategy, the longterm play. How are you going to present who you are in a way that makes sense to the people that you’re trying to reach and inside of that strategy will be the tactics or the way you are going to reach them.
So marketing is tactical marketing is the tactics that you’re using to reach them. So how are you going to reach them? What channels are you going to use? How are you going to present your offering in a way that motivates your audience to take action?
Branding is about emotion. So it’s about that connection and that relationship building that emotion and fostering that emotion what you’re trying to do is create connection with your audience on a deeper level.
Marketing is about a response it’s logical and it’s about reason. It’s a transaction. It’s something that, and it’s not saying that marketing can’t be creative or motivating or empowering, but marketing is about all, about reason and logic. You are trying to get a response, get direct action from your marketing messaging.
It’s also worth remembering that brands are actually built in the mind of your audience. So therefore brands are actually controlled by your audience. Now you can have a say with your branding and how you present your business as to how that brand is perceived and hopefully there is an alignment between your audience is idea of what you stand for and what you actually stand for, but essentially your brand is built in the mind if your audience, so your audience kind of controls that.
Marketing is defined and designed by you. So you control that and it’s very much down to you too sculpt that and send out those messages to your audience.
Branding versus marketing myths. There are a few things that I see commonly stated in a lot of places that are sort of myths around the difference between branding and marketing and how the two intersect.
So one of them is they are both as important as each other now in response to that, when it comes up and if there is a question about it, what other we say is a stronger brand will make your marketing easier. If you’re, if you’re marketing and you don’t have a strong brand or your brand is confused, you actually could be doing more harm with your marketing than if you had that strong foundation.
Because if you’re not entirely sure who you’re trying to reach, how you’re trying to reach them or what your offering does for them or your unique position in the market. If you’re putting stuff out marketing kind of scatter gun approach, because you’re not entirely sure on who your audience is. You can actually do more harm than good, and it can be a bit detrimental to your overall brand.
So you can actually weaken a weak brand by doing ineffective marketing. But if you have a strong brand to start with and a strong foundation to work from your marketing can help to build the strength of your brand. So you can actually increase the strength of your brand through your marketing. So they are both as important as each other.
They work together in a, in an ecosystem that is your business. But I would say that having a strong brand and a strong brand foundation is crucial in order to give yourself a platform to effectively market your business.
Another myth is that you don’t need to do both, marketing and branding are both crucial today with the amount of competition that you have, you can’t afford not to be doing both of these.
It needs to be unique. Differentiated and provide something more for your audience, as well as being visible and getting the attention of your audience and both go hand in hand, constantly working together to build your business. And you’ll see from the next myth, why it’s impossible not to do both.
The next myth is if I don’t engage in branding, I’m not branding at all. I see this a lot with people saying I don’t do branding or. I don’t really put any effort into my branding at all. Or other people saying you need to reach a certain size business in order to start thinking about branding. T
here’s some truth in some of that with regards to, if you’re going to be doing branding on the scale of nike with the campaigns they’re doing on a sort of global TV scale across the YouTube across the internet and everything like that, potentially yes. You want to wait until you’re a certain size to start doing massive campaigns like that.
But you could do something similar to the Nike idea localized, small. That is just, and your social media or on your website. Now, the thing that most people get wrong about it, this is you are branding, even if you’re not branding.
So everything you do as a business, Is contributing to building that brand in your audience’s mind, whether you’re doing anything about it or not. So when people say I don’t engage in branding, or I’m not, don’t really see the point in building my brand or engaged in doing brand awareness. What they’re failing to realize is they’re doing it anyway.
Everything you do as a business, is creating that narrative, those expectations. Those stories and those memories that are building the relationship with your audience, whether you like it or not, and whether you’re in control of it or not.
So the best step you can take as a business is taking control of your own narrative, because it’s not something that is a luxury for big brands.
It’s not something that you can’t not do as a business you are doing it, whether you like it or not is happening right now, for your business.
Now I saw something the other day and it was called the no brand system. And it was, I think, a funnel system that was all about building a funnel without branding or without a brand behind it.
Now, the irony of this was that the No Brand System is actually a fairly powerful brand in itself because it’s differentiating itself from everything else out there. So it’s already building a brand. So although they’re saying it’s a no brand system and they’ve kind of removed the logo and they’ve got no colors and things actually doing that is branding and it’s quite clever branding because it’s going against a system of well established sort of funnel coaches and funnel systems where they have their name. They have their brand. I mean, this has got a name. It’s got the No Brand System, but it’s. It’s kind of hook was to build a system or a funnel for your audience that is doesn’t have a brand in it.
The problem with that is it is a brand and all the funnels that are built inside that system are going to be brands. Whether you brand them or not.
Now you as a business or brand are currently building your brand, whether you’re doing it intentionally or not. I urge you to take a look what you’re doing, and rather than leaving it to the unconcious and just letting it happen, which is what a lot of businesses do.
They just let this narrative play out in any way that it can, and they don’t have any control over it.
Take a look at your brand, take a look at your branding and your marketing, because your marketing is going to be your kind of your front end voice. A lot of the time that is meant to be defining your brand on a transactional level, but it still wants to be in keeping with your values and be in alignment with who you are.
So take a look at your brand and take back control of your own narrative, because it’s really important today with the amount of competition you have, you can not afford to not engage in your own brand, building and understanding who you are and understanding why you’re different and what you stand for.
To sum up branding and marketing a different from each other. But they do work to build each other and they’d go hand in hand and they are both important to building your business. And you want to make sure you’re are as intentional with your branding as you are with your marketing, because branding is about longterm building trust and loyalty, and it is what your audience remembers.
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