What comes first? The branding or marketing? The chicken or the egg? (spoiler alert. It’s the egg).
Branding should come first! Marketing second. Branding is the egg and marketing is the chicken. Once you get your branding figured out, marketing is easier. I'm going to paint you a picture of the similarities and differences between branding and marketing so you can see all the elements.
Be sure to keep a pen and paper handy! As there’ll be some juicy questions to answer in this blog post so you can start building your brand. Even if you’ve already got a brand, you’ll polish your processes and put them in place. Let me explain.
WHAT IS BRANDING?
Branding is one of the most powerful forces on Earth. It’s what allows you to sell your product for a higher ticket price. It’s more than a name, logo, and fonts, that’s the tip of the iceberg. There’s a mountain of things that create a brand. You have your brand colors, brand voice, mission statement, vision statement, promise, and core values (that’s not even the whole list.)
When you mix all the ingredients together, you create a (hopefully) delicious dish of a brand that separates you from competitors. Bon appetit!
Branding exists to create a unique identity and build trust with your customers--leading to increased customer loyalty. We want your customers to think of you first and come back for seconds when they’re hungry and need their problem solved.
Branding is your customer’s perception of you.
Their Perception Of:
The feeling you give
The picture you paint
The nerves you touch
The promise you make
The culture you breathe
The intention you provide
The beliefs you represent
The impression you leave
The thoughts you provoke
The experience you create
Still with me here? You are. Cool, let’s move on.
WHAT IS MARKETING?
Marketing is a battle of perceptions. Once you have your brand’s DNA figured out, you’re ready to start making it known to the world. Marketing is how you’ll do that. When you market something, you’re promoting and advertising it to the world. Think billboards, social media ads, posters, discounted sales, and so on. The purpose of an ad is to create awareness and reel you in if you’re intrigued. A great advertisement gets you to take action right away. In other words… marketing is getting eyeballs on your business through promotions and advertisements. What’s the goal? I’m glad you asked--It’s to raise awareness and bring in paying customers.
Customers grow to perceive your brand by how you’re marketing and projecting:
A belief they do or don’t share
A promise you do or don’t keep
An exciting or boring experience
An intention they trust or distrust
An accurate or inaccurate design
An image that’s clear or confusing
A feeling that’s positive or negative
A message that’s simple or difficult
A voice that connects or disconnects
A culture that does or does not understand
Now, take out your pen and paper (or open a digital document) because you should 1000% write all these questions down. And answer them as thoroughly and honestly as you can. This will serve as a road map to figuring out who your brand is. We’ll figure out your marketing vehicle later.
Branding is why
Why do we exist?
Why should people care?
Why are we different?
Marketing is how
How do we make progress?
How do we measure things?
How do we get results?
Branding is long-term
What is the company vision?
What can we disrupt in our industry?
What long-term impact will we make?
Marketing is short-term
What will bring immediate results?
What will get our messages heard?
What tools will we use to do it?
Branding is macro
What are our beliefs?
What is our culture?
What is our voice?
Marketing is micro
What software will we use?
How will we break it into steps?
Who will help us with this project?
Branding defines trajectory
Where are we going?
Why are we trying to go there?
What is the intention of our goal?
Marketing defines tactics
What is a measurable goal?
What are our deadlines?
What is the size of our budget?
Branding builds loyalty
Why will people connect with our brand?
What can we do to delight our customers?
What will make them feel inspired?
Marketing builds response
How can we get more clicks?
How can we get a greater open rate?
How can we generate leads?
Branding creates value
Who are we speaking to?
What value can we give?
What impact will it make?
Marketing extracts value
How many people responded?
How do we increase engagement?
How will this data help us?
Branding is the being
What is our personality?
What is our purpose?
Who are we here to serve?
Marketing is the doing
What are the actionable steps?
How long will this project take?
Who is going to drive the project?
I know, I know. This is a long list. But it sums up Branding vs Marketing in a nutshell. Don’t stress too much on the details, nothing has to be set in stone. You can always go back and change things. And if you don’t know how to go about answering some of these questions, that’s totally okay! The goal of this is for you to take baby steps and get ideas flowing through your mind.
WHAT MAKES A BRAND UNFORGETTABLE?
A great brand is one that projects what they really are at their core and exceeds expectations. How does your brand express itself? Is your brand boring, corporate, and robotic, or interesting, spirited, and relatable? You don’t want to bore people to sleep when we want to build connections and engage with them, right? (unless that’s what you’re going for). Win people’s hearts and their minds will follow (along with their wallets).
If you’re struggling with the difference between these two, you’re not alone! They overlap a lot and many Marketers lump Branding as a part of their packages and vice-versa. They’re both very different like day and night, the sun and the moon. They serve two masters and have their own agendas. They must be respected as such!
In short, you now know that branding is the personality and identity of your brand whereas marketing is simply promoting it to the world. We’ve only scratched the surface. Time to take action! You have a list right before your eyes to help you figure out who your brand is. Make sure you answer all the questions you can to help you identify your brand and its purpose.
None of this will matter if you don’t get started. What good is information sitting in your head? Put it to use! Imagine where you’ll be one year from today if you start and stay consistent with your branding. The best way to predict your future is to create it.
Founder & Principle of rivyl