Use Marketing and Branding Correctly to Take Your Business to the Next Level
‘Marketing’ and ‘Branding’ are terms that are frequently used when talking about small-medium business operations. It can be hard to differentiate between the 2, so we have put together this post to help you see the difference, and to utilize each more efficiently in our go-to-market strategy for your business.
Marketing and Branding are 2 unique parts of a successful digital strategy
‘Marketing’ is defined as a set of tools, processes, and strategies you use to actively promote your product, service, and company. It’s the actions taken to connect with ‘just shopping’ consumers in order to turn them into buying customers.
‘Branding’ a practice within the Marketing umbrella of actions, which involves curating your brand – mainly for visual aesthetic and recognition purposes, but it is also defining who you are as a company. It involves your company’s mission, values, and everything that helps you stand out from your competition! Examples of your brand include: your logo, your website, and your brand’s style guidelines (color, font, etc.). Marketing introduces your company in the first place – branding allows them to recognize your company and remember YOU!
What are the main differences between the two?
Marketing is about promoting your product(s) or service(s), while branding is your company’s identity and voice that shape how consumers recognize you. Strategies are recommended for both, utilizing different goals and they yield different results.
- Marketing gets consumers’ attention
- Branding keeps their attention
- Marketing drives sales
- Branding drives consumer recognition and customer loyalty
- Branding happens earlier for your business
- Marketing comes later
- Marketing strategies grow, change and evolve
- Branding is intended for longer term
- Branding impacts your sales team as much as it does your customers
Get their attention with Marketing – KEEP their attention with Branding
The independent dealer channel is inundated with competition all around – from national chains to regional chains and franchises, to fellow small business owners selling similar products as you. If you want to rock the boat enough to get consumers’ attention, then Marketing is absolutely necessary!
What to do once you have their attention?
KEEP IT! How?
Consumers end up buying and doing business with companies they believe in. Marketing will bring them to your doorstep and even ring the doorbell – Branding opens the door and warmly invites them in for a chat and a coffee!
Branding happens earlier for your business – Marketing comes later
When building your company’s go-to-market strategy and image, the branding always happens first. It’s not easy to market a brand that hasn’t even been designed yet!
Focusing on branding allows you to explore who you are as a company. What do you bring to the marketplace? What is your main mission – what are your core values? How will your target consumers going to ‘consume’ your message, if at all?
Once you have answered these questions, it makes sense to start developing your marketing strategy. Branding gives you the foundation upon which you will be able to build many stable marketing campaigns to communicate and connect with your target consumers – and then turn them into customers!
Marketing strategies grow, change and evolve – but Branding is long-term
Obviously, building a strong business requires an active marketing strategy with campaigns that have clear lifecycles. Thinnk of those campaigns as seasons in your company’s overall lifespan.
Branding is your company’s ‘uniform.’ The figurative clothes and shoes your company wears on a daily basis – the complementary accessories. Your company’s personality, behavior, and mood – so make sure it leaves a good impression on consumers!
Branding impacts your sales team just as much as it does your customers
Aside from implementing your marketing strategies and hopefully selling to satisfied consumers-turned-customers once the marketing works, your team isn’t largely affected by your marketing.
Your branding is a different story altogether! Your entire team needs to believe in your brand wholeheartedly, just as much as you need your consumers to believe in it – if not more! Once your team is on-board, it will show in their passion and enthusiasm – and commitment to their craft. When they’re operating at peak, your company will too! It may be their job to develop, implement and reap the harvest of your marketing efforts, but you will attain maximum potential when they are excited about your brand – and that’s up to you!