Image Source: FPT Polytechnic
Do you frequently confuse these two? Well, they have been used over the years and sadly their true meaning has become somewhat lost. For the practical aspect, they often overlap but they are both powerful business strategies on their own.
While branding and marketing share common goals and being interconnected, they represent different aspects of a company's strategy. So it’s important to understand the nuanced differences between them.
First thing first, branding is about creating and establishing a unique identity or image for a business. It’s not only about logo or color schemes that can encompass the essence of a company's values and personality. If we could define “branding” as a word, then it would be the emotional and psychological connection a business forms with its audience. Branding is the indescribable quality that will differentiate a company apart from its competitors.
It includes some key elements, brand identity, brand personality, brand values, and brand promise. Or for short, branding is what makes audiences or customers choose a brand over another.
Meanwhile… Marketing is the bigger strategy to promote and sell products or services. It involves the tactical activities to reach the target audience, communicate the company's value proposition, and drive sales. It is the process of creating awareness, elevating interest, and building engagement.
There are also four key elements in marketing,
Advertising: Paid promotion through various channels such as television, radio, print, and in this digital era it is mainly about the online platforms to reach a wider audience.
Public Relations: Building and managing relations with the audiences, media, and stakeholders to maintain a positive brand image.
Sales: It’s all about direct selling! And the process involves tactics from pricing strategies to sales promotions.
Digital Marketing: Exploring and using online channels such as social media, content marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO) to expand reach and engagement.
So what’s the conclusion? Branding and marketing are like two sides of the same coin. Branding establishes the company's identity and reputation, while marketing creates the strategies to connect with the consumers. And a company needs to balance these two aspects.
Wait, wait, wait… But what if this writer right here said that branding is 1st and marketing is 2nd as a priority?
“What’s the reason?”
Someone said “Branding makes people feel something. Marketing makes people do something.”
You can’t make someone do something if they don’t feel something at first right? Branding is about how we make stories that will connect our brand with the consumers. Marketing is how we make sure the audiences see our brand and what we provide for them. This is why branding & marketing go hand in hand. But back to the main point, they need to be balanced and at the end they are inseparable.
What do you think?