We’ve already covered the difference between marketing and branding before, but a little refresher won’t do any harm:
What is marketing?
Marketing is the overall strategy and act of promoting a product or service.
Marketing pushes your message and stimulates demand for your products and services using advertising campaigns. If done well, marketing gets your firm attention.
What is branding?
Branding is taking your Brand Personality (the visual and verbal identity that represents your company) and applying it to your website and all of your marketing and advertising.
By doing this, you are intentionally and strategically shaping what people hear, see, and hopefully think about your company, its products, and services.
Branding pulls customers to you and turns them into loyal customers based on your who, how, and why.
Branding is the marriage, not the wedding. It’s a continuous process.
So, now that you know what branding and marketing are on a high-level, it’s time we get to the root of this issue.
Ok, with that out of the way, which is more important marketing or branding?
Here’s the thing, you can’t effectively market without branding. It just doesn’t work that way. Branding is the act of applying your company’s unique visual and verbal personality to everything you do, so without applying your personality to your marketing, you’re essentially marketing a generic thing…a commodity.
A commodity is generic in nature and lacks personality; it’s what the product/service is regardless of its color and label. Whereas, if you’ve branded correctly, customers are willing to pay a premium for your product based on what it stands for by being associated with your company.
|Commodity||Something Worth Paying More For|
|Motorcycle||Harley Davidson – freedom|
|Takeaway coffee||Starbucks – community|
|Headphones||Bose – quality|
|Perfume/After Shave||Armani – high style|
|Shoes||Zappos – top-notch customer service|
So, the short answer is no. Marketing is not more important than branding.
Both branding and marketing work in sync with one another. They are both important to the success of your business, and one without the other is an expensive mistake waiting to happen.
Your brand makes your marketing unique and authentic.
Branding is often used to steer the message and the morals of your company, while the marketing is there to propel it forward and attract the right leads.
Without marketing, branding is ‘just’ the heart of your company – but without branding, marketing is just another sales pitch.
When it comes to setting up your branding and marketing strategy, where should you start first?
Start by finding out who the hell you are and why anyone should give a damn BEFORE you spend a dime on marketing.
Marketing Seduces. Branding Differentiates.
Marketing may propel your business forward and help you attract more people to your website and into your business, but it’s no good if the reality of doing business with you doesn’t match the promise.
Depending on what your company’s goals are will depend on what sort of marketing strategy you want to implement. Your company’s goals are set out within your brand foundation, so if your branding isn’t done successfully in the first place, your marketing isn’t going to do so well either.
Your brand is so much more than just your company colors, logo, or whatever fancy graphics you use to represent your business.
Your brand is the connection that customers have towards you and your company, which gives you the perfect platform to begin crafting an amazing marketing campaign.
There is no point in gaining attention for your company if people don’t like what they see behind the ad campaign.
If a customer has strong positive feelings about your company, they will recommend you to a friend or family member. They’re more likely to give your new product or service a go.
A customer will be more inclined to buy what you’re trying to sell if they’re already aware of your brand. A well-established brand makes a company more trustworthy – which is what people like when it comes to parting with their hard-earned money.
Marketing Is Just Another Selling Tool
Once you’ve got your brand sorted, it’s time to figure out your marketing. A solid awareness strategy will get you selling your products and services to the right audience at the right time.
In essence, a marketing strategy is your answer to where you are going to play and how you are going to win.
Strategy exists for survival. It is our best attempt to accelerate and control the natural process of evolution – and it’s integral for success in the competitive world of online marketing.
Marketing comes in a range of forms, from PR to salespeople to emails to blog posts to ads. Marketing strategies are there to promote your brand for maximum effect – and when you’ve got them both nailed down, you’ll become an unstoppable force. Why? Because you are no longer wasting time, money, and effort going in multiple directions hoping something will work.
Marketing may be the tool used to persuade new customers to buy from you, but it’s your brand’s values that keep them coming back for more.
If your customers connect with your company’s brand, they’re going to want to work with you and buy from you again.
If you’re new to the world of online marketing, it’s a tricky task getting the right mediums and platforms in place – especially if you do it before you have a solid brand in place.
But, when you have a well-defined brand, you can keep your marketing messages clear and make your customer’s experience consistent.
Branding and Marketing – Make The Relationship Work
Here at Branding & Beyond we help make the relationship between your branding and marketing work. We clean up and align outdated, disorganized brands and create a whole new brand foundation to build your company’s future success on. Brand alignment makes sales easier and marketing more effective.
If you want to attract, retain, and engage new clients, then we can help you build a solid brand foundation and help you implement a marketing plan that actually delivers.
Start building your brand foundation today, and get in contact with us.
This is the process we go through to create your visual and verbal brand personality. Starting at the bottom with the Business DNA, which is a series of meetings and research to find out what you are made of and who you were made for. We wrap that in strategy, create your brand pillars, and define your personality then apply that to everything you do.
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Tracy O’Shaughnessy Founder / Lead Brand Strategist of Branding & Beyond
Tracy and her team help B2B firms in the construction industry and professional services look and sound credible online and off.
She has been in the industry since the early '90s and is tired of great companies being treated as commodities and competing on price because they don't look and sound as credible as they really are.
You can find Tracy on Linkedin and here on this blog.