Marketing and Branding - What is the Difference?
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.
Understanding how marketing and branding differ can better position you to:
- influence how your customers perceive you
- differentiate yourself from your competitors
- 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 marketing and Branding 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 establish 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.
What is a rebrand?
A rebrand is when a company decides that they want to have a fresh look and perspective to their audience base. It doesn't just mean a logo, it could mean a look at your entire brand portfolio including your tone of voice and the ways you interact with your clients. You should consider a rebrand if you think it's time that you had a look at how you communicate with your customers, how you are perceived by your customers, and how you might interact with your customers. So it's really good to take a step back, a pause and a moment to consider who your audience are, what it is you're trying to achieve with your audience and the ways in which you communicate with them.
A reason why you should rebrand is because you are starting to see in the outcomes of your business, so that might be enquiries, it might be feedback, that there is a reason for a change or a freshen up for your brand. It might be that your feedback is that your actual brand delivery doesn’t come across in the way that you’re perceived by your website or your marketing collateral. Or it might be that you feel you’re targeting a new audience and therefor your brand needs to have a different look and feel.
The benefits of a rebrand are that it gives you an opportunity to re-promote yourself, to relaunch your platform, and also to make sure you are really customer centric, so everything that your brand is promoting out to your audience is based around what your audience really is looking for from your brand.
How can we help?
If you would like one of the specialists at Mackman to have a chat with you about developing your brand, then get in contact with us today.