Marketing and branding are two terms that are often used interchangeably but wrongly. In fact, these are two entirely separate yet interlinked processes. Before we delve into understanding the differences between marketing and branding, let us first define what these two terms mean individually.
What does Branding and Marketing mean?
Marketing is a term more widely understood by the majority. It is basically a strategic process of promoting or selling the products and services of a brand, while branding, on the other hand, is the process of creating your brand identity and image. Marketing is more concerned with how your product or service is seen by the market and incorporates various short and long term strategies to attract customers or increase brand recognition. Branding is a more long term planning and execution process that deals with how people see the brand i.e. is the brand high-end and luxurious, sporty or feminine, youthful or environmental friendly etc.
While the two terms are distinct processes, it is not possible to successfully execute a marketing plan without proper branding, or vice versa. To make it more clear, the placement of logos and incorporation of brand’s colors and themes that you see being followed in a brand’s advertisements are called ‘branding’ of the ad, while the ad itself is a part of the brand’s marketing plan.
5 Differences between Branding and Marketing:
Marketing is done by brands to attract the customers by grabbing their attention by the use of creative and improving marketing strategies, while branding is what maintains the attention of customers after marketing has sought their attention. For example, in October, most brands come out with various marketing strategies to use Halloween as a bait to get their customers engaged with them. Meanwhile, how the brand presents itself throughout the year i.e. the factors that stay unchanged during the changing marketing strategies is what we call branding.
Sales vs Loyalty:
People become loyal with the brand, not the products or services, nor the following (obviously). Effective branding encourages customer loyalty as it works on establishing and maintaining the brand’s image and values. Marketing works to increase sales of the brand by aiming to attract people to try out the product or service or by retargeting the existing customers to repeat their purchases. Establishing customer loyalty through branding can give the brand a whole set of benefits including the ability to increase their prices at a later stage of the product life cycle to increase their profit margin.
No marketing without branding:
Marketing is not possible without branding. Without a proper formation of a brand initially, any marketing attempts that you make will go futile. Why? Because the advertisements would not have any ‘identity’ i.e. brand to associate with. The disassociation results in poor customer conversion rates, compromised reputation, and loss of strong grounds in the market.
Short-term planning vs Long-term strategies:
The duration for which each of the term works is one of the most obvious differences in marketing vs branding definitions. As mentioned earlier, marketing plays a great role at keeping customers engaged and sales going up by incorporating newer techniques every few months or so. Obviously, this makes marketing a rather short-term approach. Branding starts the moment a brand is born and goes on forever. Regardless of the variations in the marketing techniques or seasons, branding remains constant. This is prominent in the consistency of the brand’s portrayal of its nature, persona, values, and approach.
Branding affects your workforce:
Marketing may have a huge affect on the market and customers, but branding affects your organization in addition to your customers. Your workforce would perform better when it can relate to your ‘brand’. Building a brand that is friendly, ethical, and well-reputed is an exhaustive process with timeless benefits. For example, people who work at Google obviously feel proud to be there – not only do they find satisfaction in working at a renown company, but also they would find more respect in their social circle and be seen as successful people.
There are numerous ways in which a brand builds itself and then projects itself through marketing. However, it is crucial to take care of your branding before you start getting creative with your marketing. If you have built a luxurious, modern, and classy brand image, you cannot go on to portray any playful or informal tactics in your marketing. You will need to watch everything, from color selections to font styles to copy writing! It is for this reason that marketing and branding agencies are so popular these days. They specialize in the understanding of the market, and therefore, are capable of planning your marketing and branding much better.