Branding & Marketing : Are They The Same?

Technically, language provides illumination to grey areas with reference to meaning. However, with the evolution of new word usages, different people start using the same words to mean entirely different things. “Branding” and “Marketing” fall into the category of such usage.

Many times, the concept of branding is often over flogged that we misconstrue its actual meaning. We have witnessed instances where people represent “Branding” technicalities for “Marketing” and vice versa. Are you guilty of making these semantic blunders? Not to worry, we won’t file a case yet.

Although branding and marketing may be interconnected, they bear distinct functions. Here, we’ll be glad to take you through the relationship existing between the duo.

So, What Exactly Is Branding?

In very simple and clear terms, “Branding” literally translates to “Identity and Uniqueness”. The aesthetic of branding -across industries and professions- is in being unwaveringly distinguished. Say you were at the bar on a cool Saturday evening and the compere grabs the mic: “Let’s make welcome; our very own ‘African Giant’. Okay; no two persons come to mind? Did they? That’s branding.

Over the years, a large chunk of “branding” has been associated with a company’s mission and vision statement, slogan, logo or what-nots. While these aren’t entirely out of place, “branding” weighs a more momentous substance. Here’s a particularly-striking description of “branding” from The Buyer Group:

“Branding is more than a name and symbol. A brand is created and influenced by people, visuals, culture, style, perception, words, messages, PR, opinions, news media – and especially social media.”

Cliche as it may sound, an effective “branding” strategy seeks to wield innovation in problem-solving. You’re probably asking how to navigate your way around this? One way to simply pull this off is by leveraging ‘brand storytelling’. Let’s add some context to this: In almost every profound ‘branding’ brochure we lay our hands-on, there is a conscious reference to ‘Apple’ and ‘Coca-Cola’ in the list of dynamic brands with a non-conformist, dynamic branding strategy.

For Apple, we know it’s more than the product. There’s a wide smear of poise and prestige splattered over the brand that we simply can’t get over. Just like Steve Jobs points, “it’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things”. Coca Cola’s is; they do it with so much consciousness and deliberation. On the surface level, “Share Happiness” or “Open Happiness” wouldn’t have been ordinarily associated with a carbonated drink. However, the ‘story’ and ‘personality’ behind the brand does the trick. Invariably, ‘branding’ sometimes, goes beyond the surface level. It’s largely; largely introspective.

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How About Marketing?

In generic terms, “marketing” combines the processes of promoting a product or service. These processes involve effective communication and a value for delivery. “Marketing” covers a broad spectrum and has evolved from its archaic, traditional timbre to modern-day, online operations. Concepts like Content Marketing, Email Marketing, Experiential Marketing, Social Media Marketing, and a number of others have shaped how marketing is perceived.

Irrespective of the dimensions however, it still holds that these many branches tread the singular path of delivering a message with a clear-cut goal in mind. Marketing is an integral aspect of a business’s growth – especially with reference to financial returns. At its core, marketing seeks to identify a product as well as viable consumers, while calling the latter’s attention to the former.

Relationship Between Branding and Marketing

Without mincing words, ‘marketing’ simply succeeds ‘branding’. The latter encapsulates the processes of transforming abstract ideas into concrete, relatable and bite-sized substances; it’s like the production process – raw materials and finished products. Marketing is only feasible after you have painstakingly crafted out what aligns with your endeavor; or better still – company.

When put side by side, “Brand Marketing” simply delivers your product to the doorstep of your target audience. However, a lot of mechanics go into simplifying this. One of these lies in aligning your brand’s goal with overall marketing objectives. This attends to queries involving Brand Delivery; Expertise and Specialisation, Brand Inspiration, Target Audience Specification, Market Reality, and Market Research, SWOT Analysis, and a number of factors.

Sometimes, a concise and well-thought-out ‘Brand Marketing Strategy’ is all you need to thrive in your industry. It provides a roadmap that would’ve seen the end from the beginning with prospects on how to navigate your business or brand. Like we have established, this essentially bridges the gap between your product and consumer.

After all is said

Both ‘branding’ and ‘marketing’ are instrumental in driving an effective conversion strategy. It first starts with conceptualization, and through to actualization. While ‘branding’ is associated with the former, marketing sees that this process is seamlessly delivered to the target audience. Both instruments are indispensable and they largely depend on each other; the process is symbiotic. It’s like spending quality time creating a robot without a Central Engine Unit to power the innovation. Yeah; you’re right it’s crap.

How and where to start

If you would like to start a branding project for your business or talk about how to develop and execute an already existing plan for branding for your business, please fill the form below

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