The terms branding and marketing are often interchanged, but they are actually two very unique concepts. As Christopher Lee of WNY Holdings LLC knows, understanding the subtle nuances between the two is extremely important if you want to build your brand and sell it to consumers.
All business owners must harness the power of both branding and marketing to succeed. But before they can do that, they must first understand the differences between the two concepts.
Christopher Lee of WNY explains it all here.
Let’s start with the definitions of the two terms.
Branding is essentially what defines your business. It’s who your business is, and it’s the strategy you create around shaping that brand.
Branding includes your company’s mission and its values. It includes all the key elements such as your colors, logo, website and social media accounts, and any guidelines you have for style.
Marketing, on the other hand, is the process you take to build awareness in your business. It’s the tools and the practices you undertake to get people interested in your products and/or services. It’s the campaigns you run on social media and in other media. It’s the events you hold or attend to gain consumer awareness.
What Branding Does
This sentence does a great job of explaining the key difference between branding and marketing:
- Marketing attracts new customers to your business, while branding keeps them there.
Branding comes before marketing, as it will be around forever, no matter what your current marketing initiative is. Branding is what will make customers loyal, and a lack of it — or a poor brand — will force them to flee.
Today, consumers flock to companies that have a brand they can relate to. Maybe the company exudes a lifestyle that matches well with theirs. Maybe they stand for certain causes by giving a portion of proceeds to a charity they support. This can all be done through a company’s brand.
But, branding also must involve ensuring that what’s being portrayed in a marketing message is what the consumer gets when they make a purchase. In other words, does the service/product live up to what’s being marketed to consumers?
What Marketing Does
Marketing is the practice of promoting your service/product. Its goal is to get the attention of customers, to drive sales.
Marketing plans are fluid, and they are separate. They have a finite lifecycle with a start and an end — unlike branding, which is always there in the background.
Christopher Lee of WNY Holdings LLC explains that branding is more of a passive way to communicate with consumers, while marketing is more direct. Marketing will involve practices that try to attract consumers to your business. It’s what will tug at their emotions and convince them to make a purchase.
How They Work Together
The most successful companies use marketing and branding together to build a comprehensive plan to attract new customers (marketing) and drive loyalty and recognition after (branding).
By understanding the key differences between marketing and branding, you can build a successful plan of your own.
About WNY Holdings LLC
Christopher Lee is the Marketing Manager at WNY Holdings LLC, a customer-focused digital marketing company that was started in 2018 to provide tailored marketing strategies for small businesses. Christopher Lee assists clients with all their digital marketing needs, from content marketing, web, and graphic design, media creation, SEO, all the way to Facebook advertising.
Martin Haglin was born and raised in Conneticut. Martin has worked as a journalist for nearly a decade having contributed to several large publications including the BBC World and CNET. As a journalist for Business News Ledger, Martin covers state news and human interest stories.