What is Branding?
Branding represents the core principles of your business. What your business stands for, from the imagery you use to the first impression a customer has when they walk through the door.
Think of your favourite brands, why do you like them? Chances are they do a great job of engaging and relating to you, whether that connection starts on social media or a weekly email, and continues from there. The way they relate with you reflects in all of their marketing pieces and your contact with them. No matter if that is a social media post or a response to an email inquiry, you can see the brands "personality" in all of their content on and offline.
What is Marketing?
Marketing is the tool you use to communicate your brand. Branding will give you your core business principles but marketing is the action that brings it to fruition, hence the term brand marketing.
Marketing takes a variety of forms and is continually evolving as new trends and technologies hit the market. This included SEO, social media marketing, print advertising, web design, and so much more. There are many strategies within each of these categories as well, creating a web of intricate tactics. Marketing can also have a variety of goals and end results. Whether that is increasing brand recognition or increasing website leads. By utilizing your branding and creating goals, you can then build and implement digital marketing strategies.
The Merge of Branding and Marketing
This is where many businesses get it wrong. By separating these two departments, you're creating disconnect for your customer. If you've ever seen an ad and gone into a store where the employee had no idea there was a sale going on, you've experienced this. It looks unprofessional. Or an ad with imagery that doesn't portray the companies brand at all. For example, one time I saw an ad for a deli that used a stock photo of a girl on a computer. The relevance? Well, your guess is as good as mine.
You need to start with branding to create your business's mission, and your marketing team needs to use that in all tactics implemented. The marketing team also has the responsibility of informing everyone of the campaigns being run. By merging these two branches, you can create powerful marketing strategies to create trust and customer retention.
Customers expect consistency. They need to be able to recognize your business on all platforms. From the social posts you create, the sales email you send, to your website. They should never see completely different imagery and branding as they switch through your platforms/channels.
Businesses often share the same goals: get customers and increase sales. Because of this, often the same tagline could be used in an ad for different companies (not recommended, but it happens). But what differentiates you from your competitor is your connection with your target audience. Branding determines the target audience that you are going after. Marketing comes in and tries to create a message to resonate with them using content and imagery. This is where that deli went wrong. They may have had a good marketing message, but would a picture of a computer resonate with their audience? Probably not.