The difference between Branding and Marketing is frequently misunderstood, and this misunderstanding has a direct impact on how companies misdirect their sales efforts.
So, let’s shed some light on what Branding is, and what Marketing is, and how they play together for a successful cooperation in customer communication.
Branding Leads the Way, Marketing is the Servant
In terms of the big picture, your Brand is the head chief and messenger. It is the herald of your company. Brand works on a macro-level, where Marketing operates on a micro-level. Brand is always long-term, and Marketing is deployed short-term. Brand defines the strategic path that you intend to place your company on to reach (and keep) your customer, where Marketing is the tactical approach to hail your customer. Brand is the solid foundation that is judiciously built upon, where Marketing is a fluid entity that is reevaluated and repositioned according to promotional efforts.
Establishing your Brand foundation always proceeds any Marketing venture. Brand establishes the characteristics of a company, and more importantly the values and distinctive qualities of your product or service. (More on brand characteristics at the Cross Design DesignTalk post: Refresh Your Brand!) Brand should be the flavor that the customer takes away with them, and something they want to continue to savor as they ultimately become a loyal customer.
Marketing is a calculated tactical plan to drive periodic sales. This action is short-lived, but should be executed in a way that it reinforces the Brand values and characteristics.
Marketing is the lure that calls in active and new customers to say, “Buy me.”, where Brand is what remains long after the campaign leaves the stage.