The relationship between marketing and branding is not as complex as some may think. In fact, the two work hand in hand, and one without the other can leave you without a clear strategy.
But understanding how marketing and branding differ can better position you to:
- influence how your customer’s perceive you,
- differentiate yourself from your competitors, and
- effectively market your products or services to the right people, at the right place and the right time.
Firstly, what is marketing?
The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) defines marketing as “The management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.” Broadly speaking, marketing is actively promoting your brand, its products or services in order to improve your business’s profitability, no matter the size.
Marketing tells the story of your brand; it is the tool that you use to communicate your best brand attributes to your customers, and it’s how you stay ahead of the competition.
So, what is branding?
At Mackman, we define a brand as: “A name, design or any other feature that identifies a service or product, and distinguishes it from those of similar services or products.”
But branding is not just about a logo or a visual identity, it is closing the gap between your intended and perceived messages. Brands are just as complex as individual personalities, and the process of branding can build awareness, attract new customers and improve customer loyalty.
How can you make the two work together?
In order to develop your marketing strategy, you must first truly understand particular areas of your organisation and its market. Gaining insight into your competitors and, most importantly, your target customers, will help you to understand what it is your brand must achieve in order to stand out, and the brand attributes it may need to enable it to do so.
2. Brand Architecture
Brand architecture is how you structure your brands, and their relationships within your organisation. Prior to storming ahead with creating a visual identity for your brand, you must ensure where it sits within your organisation. This early strategic decision making is relevant to organisations of every size.
3. Brand Identity
This aspect of your brand is what most people associate with the term ‘branding’, and relates to visual systems that support your brand, such as: a logo, colour palette, typography, tone of voice etc. There are many factors that can influence brand identity decisions, in particular: customer and competitor insight, your brand architecture and personality (established or not).
4. Brand Governance
Brand governance is about protecting the investment and decisions made during the architecture and identity processes. Branding has to start from within an organisation, and must be owned and understood by all internal teams. To do so, you must encourage the use of brand tools by all employees, as they are your brand ambassadors.
Brand development is about creating a solid strategy that underpins all of your brand activity. Your brand strategy should be driven by your brand’s characteristics, and will inform your tactical marketing strategies.
Branding should be at the heart of your marketing strategy, as it is what maintains customer loyalty. Marketing can secure a one-time purchase, but it’s branding that secures longer-term customer buy in and loyalty.
How can we help?
If you would like one of the specialists at Mackman to provide a comment or write an opinion piece for your publication, give us a call on 01787 388038, or email firstname.lastname@example.org