Most business owners know that when it comes to generating sales and building customer loyalty, branding and marketing go hand in hand. But if you dread the prospect of someone asking you to explain the difference between two, you’re not alone.
Your brand is your business identity – but it is more than just a logo and a tagline. Your brand encompasses your company’s vision and culture. It lets people know what you stand for and the unique value you offer. Your brand is how someone feels when they think of your business. It lingers long after they see your latest ad and is what ultimately turns prospects into loyal customers.
Marketing refers to the tools you use to get your brand messaging across. If you think of your brand as a promise you and your staff must uphold, marketing is the medium you use to communicate that promise to prospects and customers.
Branding is the strategy that drives your marketing efforts. Marketing encompasses the tactics you use to target a specific audience and achieve specific results – all while supporting your brand’s identity, positioning, and voice. Remember that a brand is bigger than any particular marketing activity. Marketing methods and channels may evolve with industry and cultural trends, but your branding remains unchanged.
It is often said that people buy products, but they have relationships with brands. Marketing actively promotes a product or service by pushing out messages to generate sales. Branding is the “pull” that helps encourage someone to make a purchase by expressing the values and attributes of a product or service. Marketing says, “Buy our product because it’s the best!” Branding says, “This is what you will experience when you use our product.” When a customer agrees, they will be eager to buy, like and recommend.