BRANDING IS STRATEGIC WHEREAS MARKETING IS TACTICAL
Branding defines who we are while our marketing defines what we do for whom. We create a brand strategy first and then follow it up with how through marketing we shall deploy resources to decimate information w.r.t what we stand for. A true brand strategy will also entail detailed insights about the targeted consumers which will help build the strategy in the first place.
Through branding an organization wants to create a pull for its brands and underlie any marketing effort. It is communication of characteristics, values, and attributes that clarify what this particular brand is and is not. It defines why this particular brand is different from its competition and lets consumers know why they should go for a particular brand. In plain words it says “This is what I am. This is why I exist. If you agree, if you like me, you can buy me, support me, and recommend me to your friends.”
Building a brand isn’t a onetime exercise it’s an ongoing one with multiple variables impacting a brand. Very important among these things is the lived experience of the brand. Did that car deliver on its brand promise of reliability? Did the maker continue to uphold the quality standards that made them what they are? Did the sales guy or the service center mechanic know what they were talking about? All of this together, is a part of the making of a brand.
Brand is bigger than any marketing effort I feel since the brand is what remains after the marketing activity has happened. It’s what sticks in your mind associated with a product, service, or organization—whether or not, at that particular moment, you bought or did not buy. It communicates a promise to your intended audience, and creates a distinct and memorable image in the mind of your customers.
Consumers become loyal to brands and not to their marketing efforts. Marketing activity will drive the consumer to the store or the website but it’s the brand experience which will make him buy or reject the customer. Good brand management will make loyalist, advocates and even evangelists in case of cult brands which will drive the brand equity scores.
Branding Strategy highlights:
- Branding is a pull strategy
- Branding is strategic — it involves crafting out the vision, strategy and evolution
- Branding build loyalty and conviction in a brand pyramid
- Branding simplifies the existence of a brand
- Branding differentiates a product, services from those in its category
- Branding influences purchasing decisions by occupying a place in the mind
Then, there is Marketing….
Marketing strategy is basically a road-map to deploy the brand strategy using various media vehicle, it is in lay man’s term actively promoting a brand’s product or service. It’s a way of reaching and engaging people. Effective marketing ensures that one’s brand is always top-of-mind among its consumers and awareness scores in a brand equity model are high.
Everything that includes communicating a brand strategy to a consumer is Marketing. This includes running a TV commercial on channels, full-page or half page print ads, signage’s on streets, leaflet distribution, events, banner sign, business card, social media management, gifting, etc are part of the marketing plan or a strategy. Basically a marketing strategy is something where millions of dollars are spent on and hence for most people marketing is an extremely important function as there are huge investments made apart from CAPEX.
Marketing Strategy Highlights:
- Marketing is a push strategy
- Marketing is tactical — traditional, digital and unconventional
- Marketing develops customers by making them aware
- Marketing is one-on-one communication, no matter what the form
- Marketing promotes a brand’s products or services in the market
- Marketing can trigger a customer’s immediate decision to purchase
The main difference between branding and marketing is that marketing highlights the intended value of a product or service whereas branding reinforces the same. If you have a substandard product to begin with, marketing may help you make the first time sale but repeat sale will become an issue as the product experience during the first time was not convincing.
Branding is “What you are”
Marketing is “What you do”