For small business owners that often wear more hats than they can count while running their company, Marketing and Branding tend to become a huge blur that gives them too much work and a headache when making decisions.
And it’s not too crazy to mix them up since these two pals actually walk hand by hand but having a clear understanding of each can help strategy and ease the decision making process giving peace of mind along with better results.
When talking about branding, most people think of colors and a logo. And yes, those two are part of the visual branding of a company, institution, persona or product but they should come as a result of far more important concepts we have to create first to have a successful branding.
There is not just one definition for branding, but I like to see it as the group of characteristics, values, emotions and expectations that define who you (or your company) are. Your personality and purpose. Branding is the experience others have when being in contact with you.
The definition of Marketing is the act of promoting and selling products and services.
Therefore if branding is who you are, then marketing is how you choose to communicate and reach others to get to a certain outcome.
Your Marketing will always be influenced by your brand, but those marketing strategies can change depending on your goals, products, seasons or challenges.
Marketing empowers your brand by sharing its mission in a strategic and relevant way in order to boost sales and increase revenue for your business. The purpose of marketing is to connect with your audience and convince them that they need your product or service to solve their problem.
For marketing to be successful, it has to be aligned with your brand. Branding is what drives marketing because branding is strategic and marketing is tactical. When marketing is done right, the right person will get the right message and have the right perception of your brand. But you can’t put the right message out there through marketing unless you first understand what that is – and that is what your brand strategy will do for you.
You can’t market a brand that isn’t designed yet. And a Brand is not defined only by the colors and the logo. A solid Mission, clear message and identity are some of the foundations that need to be clear to then move to design that visual brand that will be used when creating marketing outlets.
Once you have a solid foundation on what your brand and branding strategy are, then you can start implementing marketing activities. This way, you will know exactly who you are, who your customer is, and what the best way is to connect with them. This is the main information you need to implement a strong marketing strategy that gets the sale.
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