Branding Vs. Marketing (And Why Branding Is So Important)
In the world of business, it can seem as if the terms “marketing” and “branding” are used almost interchangeably. Yet, while each of these essential concepts informs and affects the other, there are some vital differences between them. Here we’ll take a look at both and explore a few factors that make effective branding a vital component of any business’s success.
Your brand is the core of your corporate identity. It represents your company’s values, culture, and mission and serves as the foundation for the public face of your business. Your brand shows prospective customers what makes your products or services unique among those of your competitors, and reassures returning customers of your commitment to excellence.
We sometimes think of branding in terms of a familiar logo—like Pepsi, Levis, or Ford—but branding, when done right, goes much further. Your brand not only defines the emotional tone and flavor of your business, but it should also invoke a feeling among prospective buyers. For example, an automaker like Volvo might choose to emphasize its commitment to safety and reliability as core values of its brand, while a computer brand like Apple might choose to emphasize its out-of-the-box functionality. Whatever your company’s core values are—strength, fun, innovation, adventure, or even risk—they should be reflected in each aspect of your branding.
Another way to look at branding is in terms of “promises delivered.” When you commit to the challenge of starting a business, you are essentially making a promise to your potential customers. You are assuring them that the goods or services you provide will fulfill a need in a way your competitors can’t. You are saying that you believe in what you do and are willing to extend that commitment to the relationships you build with your customers.
Marketing is the way you communicate with your target audience and your customers. It comprises a set of tools, campaigns, offers, and communications that target customers at the time they’re looking to buy. Where branding is steadfast and consistent, marketing is fluid and responsive, reflecting the constantly changing landscape of commerce.
Marketing tends also to be time-sensitive. In the world of marketing, almost everything has an expiration date—whether it’s a time-limited offer, a cross-promotion with another brand, or a campaign designed to capitalize on a hot social trend. A campaign or offer that succeeded one month might fail the next, or vice versa.
Another way to think of marketing is as an ongoing dialogue between your brand and consumers. Marketing gauges consumer interest, targets advertising, and responds to feedback. It spans various media—from print, radio, and TV to online and mobile platforms’—and actively seeks out and engages customers where they are. Where branding says, “this is who we are,” marketing says, “here’s what we can do for you.”
Why Branding Matters
In today’s competitive business and e-commerce environments, effective branding is more vital than ever. Without it, your business will likely have difficulty establishing a solid, consistent, and instantly recognizable identity in the minds of consumers.
- Branding says who you are as a company
- Branding reflects your corporate culture and core values
- Branding communicates your uniqueness among competitors
- Branding conveys your commitment to your customers
- Branding makes your company’s assets instantly recognizable
At Mighty 8th, we understand the importance of creating and maintaining a strong brand identity. Our account managers and graphic designers are eager to work with you to identify your company’s strengths and build a public brand that conveys your value to consumers. Contact us today and discover what Mighty 8th can do for you.