Branding vs Marketing – A Subtle Difference

Branding, and Marketing –

These marketing terms are only mental constructs for some, defining how a business runs, while for the rest, they often use these words interchangeably without actually realizing that they can’t be practically compared. We commonly hear marketing being used in place of branding and being seen as a part of the marketing strategy.  But the truth is, though marketing and branding share a few areas of congruence yet they are fundamentally different concepts.

Branding, and Marketing – these marketing terms are only mental constructs for some, defining how a business runs, while for the rest, they often use these words interchangeably without actually realizing that they can’t be practically compared. We commonly hear marketing being used in place of branding and being seen as a part of the marketing strategy.  But the truth is, though marketing and branding share a few areas of congruence yet they are fundamentally different concepts.

Branding Vs Marketing

Marketing can be seen as a series of actions, tools, processes, and strategies that a company takes to promote its product or service compelling customers to buy it and establishing a connection with them. On the contrary, Branding actively shapes a brand by defining who the company is, its mission, values, and what sets it apart.

Marketing may incorporate one or all tools and practices like traditional, SEO, PPC, social media, mobile, local search. Looking at Branding, it’s a broad term that fosters the messages that permeate and govern all the processes of a business.

Branding often takes the form of a recognizable symbol, such as logos, in which consumers easily identify and relate to a certain brand. For instance, the golden arches of McDonald’s or the apple used by Apple Inc.

Branding in marketing tends to take a long-term and constant approach while marketing shifts on a regular basis as what a brand stands for needs to be consistent so that it builds credibility with its customer base but how it communicates about what it stands for needs to keep up with market trends to be effective.

To give an example, P&G shook the advertising world when they dedicated 30 percent of their annual advertising and marketing spend towards digital media back in 2013. Their products still retain the same brand characteristics, but the channels through which they reach out to their consumers keep evolving.

So What Exactly is Branding?

To get customers’ attention and make waves, marketing is an absolute must. But once having customer’s attention, something needs to be done to keep that attention, branding steps in at that point. Marketing is a great way to get customers’ attention while branding is something which is a significant way to build customer loyalty.

For example, For McDonald’s Big Mac, branding is the ‘special sauce’ and marketing is everything they do to excite customers to take a bite of it like commercials, social media ads, and other campaigns.

Branding always comes first before marketing as it is defining the core values that the company is going to communicate with the target audiences.

The sole purpose of branding is to know the target audience, their wishes, and desires of the company and make them understand why this particular company is better instead of the competitors. It is the fulfillment of promises made by the brand to its customers.

 

What are the Elements of Branding and Marketing?

Branding includes aspects like the company’s brand logo, brand identity, brand image, brand purpose, and brand guidelines.

  • Brand Positioning- It is defined as the distinct place that a company has in the minds of its target audiences with its acts and offerings.
  • Brand Logo- The face of the company or a visual that people will immediately relate to the company on seeing it.
  • Brand Image- Impressions of the brand’s personality on the minds of potential customers which is significant in building brand loyalty.
  • Brand Purpose- It is the brand value that helps in connecting with the customers on an emotional level and defining the purpose of the brand.

Marketing being tactical encompasses many different elements like market research, social media marketing, product marketing, influencer marketing, billboards, content marketing, SEO, print media to name a few as the list is never exhausting.

In essence, the success of a business rests on the perfect synergy between branding, and marketing. The best brands in the world are those which use their comprehension of the difference between marketing and branding to create market campaigns that work in unison with their branding and marketing strategy.

All things considered, the heart of branding success is in earning loyal customers who become the company’s brand ambassadors as well.

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Komal Mishra

Komal Mishra15 Posts

An exuberant, humble and passionate human being who is always curious to try and learn new things. An aspiring management scholar at IBS Mumbai with a profound interest in Marketing.

Manuj Somani

Manuj is a Harvey Specter fan who does content marketing, in that order.

Rakshit Sethi

Focusing on creating brand content that is conversational, engaging and adds value to people’s lives. Helping brands create better customer relationships through social media, content marketing and public relations.

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