Branding and Marketing: Exploring Two Important Concepts in Digital Advertising

Marketing answers “how” while branding answers “why”.

Branding and marketing are so closely related, that they are often mistaken for the same thing. While opinions as to what defines the specifics of each of term vary from one expert to another, most agree that they are two separate but complementary concepts. Understanding their differences, as well as how they relate, is crucial for those seeking to optimize their business models.

Trajectory vs. Tactics

Branding can be thought of as the trajectory; it is the culture that dominates the business. By defining your business, branding sets specific goals and outlines its path. On the other hand, marketing can be viewed as a set of tactics; it is the tools and processes that are used to navigate the path set by the brand, and to ultimately achieve your business’ goals. Some marketing tools include PPC, social media, SEO, and traditional advertising.

Long-term vs. Short-term

This is perhaps the most obvious difference between the two terms. When you’re branding, you have to consider a multitude of questions. What’s the purpose of the business? Are you clear on the kind of voice you want to use for your brand? Do you know the core values of the brand? What kind of culture do you wish to promote? These questions should be taken seriously, because once you’ve established your brand, there’s no going back. You’ll have to stick to the image you’ve set for your business.

Marketing, however, helps communicate your brand’s message to target customers. It is common to hop from one marketing strategy to another during the marketing process in order to find an effective marketing strategy. Since different strategies are often tailored to specific products or consumers, changing strategies is, in fact, essential in order to reach out to more people.

Reputation vs. Outreach

In essence, both branding and marketing exist for the purpose of driving better ROI. However, branding is primarily focused on building the company’s reputation, while marketing focuses on reaching out to new customers. Successful branding occurs when the target audience can recognize and trust the brand. Successful marketing occurs when the target audience is introduced to the brand in the first place. In short, marketing drives the people towards the company and branding turns them into loyal customers.

If you’re struggling to accomplish either efficiently, Base Creative is there to help you out.

Creator vs. Extractor

Branding creates and builds values in which the company will follow. A solid set of values should serve as your company’s guiding principles for carrying out all aspects of the business. Once defined, marketing then helps in communicating these values to prospective customers.

Macro vs. Micro

In a certain respect, marketing just contributes to the brand. The brand itself is bigger than any marketing strategy; while marketing strategies change, the brand that remains constant. It is therefore crucial to keep the bigger picture – the brand – in mind while shaping all marketing efforts. Don’t become consumed by any one marketing strategy; it is merely a vehicle that carries what is truly of value to your business.

The Bottom Line

Understanding the differences between branding and marketing is important for the success of your business. Without understanding the relevance and importance of each concept, it may be difficult to organize your business model into a coherent plan. Comprehending how they differ, as well as interact, puts you in a much better position for optimizing your sales.

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