As a business owner, you must appreciate that both marketing and branding are integral to your success. However, although these two areas of business are bandied together and they do overlap, it’s also important you understand that they are two very different things.
In the following post, we are going to look briefly at both branding and marketing, explaining what each of them is, why they are important, and the differences between them.
First things first, let’s look a little at branding.
Everyone has heard the word, but do you really know what it means? Essentially, your branding is who you are as a business, and marketing is utilized to build up awareness of your brand. Branding can be likened to your business strategy, while marketing is the tactical goals you utilize. As your brand is very specific to the type of business you are, the products and/or services you offer, and who they are designed to appeal to, there are several questions you can ask that will help you define your branding.
- What are your core business values and principles?
- What is the mission statement of your business?
- What was the inspiration behind establishing your business?
- What motivates you to offer the products or services you do to your audience?
- What is unique about your business?
- What would you like people to think about when they hear the name of your business?
- How would you like people to feel when they think about your company?
- How would you like your customers to describe your company?
By really thinking about the questions above and giving full and honest answers, you will be able to determine the very specific brand of your business.
As we noted in the above section, marketing is the tools and techniques you use to deliver your brand’s message. Although your brand, at its very core, will remain essentially the same, your marketing will continue to evolve and change, just as the services and/or products will. The most effective marketing will be the strategies and plans that are specifically and most directly directed towards parts of your target market while supporting your brand’s core values.
What Comes First – Branding or Marketing?
As branding is at the very core of your business and your marketing plans, it should always come first. Even if you are just a small start-up, you need to have a clear idea in mind about your brand, before you can start to plan out your marketing strategy and the tactics, tools, and methods you are going to use. It is the thing that will help you to attract loyal customers that will repeatedly shop with you or use your services.
Why They Are Both Important
Now that we have outlined the distinctions between the two, let’s just round things up by discussing why they are so important in the first place. You need to understand both when it comes to conversions. It may be possible to create marketing strategies with just some keywords and the most effective techniques and methods, but you will have lower conversions if your consumers do not have that connection to your brand.
Branding generates that timeless connection customers have with a company. Even with the most engaging marketing efforts, branding is what will keep your customers interested.