Marketing, branding and advertising are terms which are often used interchangeably, when in fact they are very different facets of the process by which a business spreads its message to the world.
Let’s examine each one in detail so that we can gain a better understanding of how they will benefit your business.
Marketing, Branding and Advertising. What’s the difference?
Branding is made up not just by the outward physical appearance of your business, such as by your logo and advertising collateral, but also by the feelings and emotions that your product or service evokes in your clients.
When considering the creation of a brand it is important to look at the type of customer that best fits what you are selling. Consider whether your ideal customer is young with an edgy vibe or are they a professional who needs a much more formal approach, and in whom you want to engender the feeling that your business is one to be trusted.
Over the longer term your aim is to achieve brand recognition, when just the name of your business or your logo immediately sums up who you are, what you sell and ultimately what you stand for.
Marketing is the whole over-arching process of messaging to clients the value of the products or services a company can provide. The earlier a marketing strategy can be defined the better. To work to best effect, it should underpin your business development, your business communication with the market and ultimately your sales techniques.
When a marketing strategy is being developed, you need to look first to the client or customer and gain an understanding of their needs and wants. You will then market your product or service with an emphasis on its benefits and how those benefits can meet the needs and wants of your client. Done well, this will create an emotional connection in your client, both with your business and your brand.
Marketing is often viewed as one of the last pieces in the puzzle of bringing something to market, but at its most effective it will be one of your first considerations and should drive the direction of what we are looking at next, namely your brand.
One of the methods of achieving brand recognition is through advertising. Distilled down to its essence, advertising is communicating who your company is and persuading customers to purchase what you have to sell. Advertising can take make forms, from the traditional such as print, television, radio and cinema through to today’s focus on the internet with banner adverts, Pay-Per-Click and social media advertising.
Whichever method, or a combination of methods, is chosen, the aim of advertising is to increase recognition of your brand, and to sell more units, whether that be products or services.
Marketing, branding and advertising are separate entities, but they work to best effect when the strategy of the business brings them together to operate in unison. When a company knows who their ideal customer is, and what drives them, the strands of marketing, branding and advertising can be brought together. This powerful trio will then highlight how well your product or service fits the needs or wants of your client, and the sale is made.