|BY VICTORIA MARTINEZ|
Define.First, lets define marketing and branding so we can actually understand the words themselves.
Marketing is "the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising". This translates into what many of us understand as 'a marketing campaign'. Marketing is the promotion aspect of a business.
Branding is "The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers mind". In other words, branding is the story of a company or person.
Now that we have established the true definitions of each word and what exactly each word means, we can move into understanding why it's important to know the differences between them.
Understand WHY.We know a Marketers job description often includes branding. But do we then also hire Branders who market? Of course not! Marketing and Branding although different, go hand in hand.
So why does the difference between the two matter? Explaining this always reminds me of elementary school when we learned that a square is a rectangle, but a rectangle isn't a square. Yes, they are similar and go hand in hand, but they are also different and have separate requirements.
You can have a brand without any marketing, but you can't have marketing without a brand. Branding always comes first, and then marketing pushes branding to a whole new level.
Learn.When you're starting a business, one of the first things you should do is build your brand. This is such an important aspect of any business because without an effective brand, you are more likely to get beat out by your competitors. Think about it this way: ALL your competitors already have a brand and their brand has a story. People absolutely love stories. Stories capture their attention and help build trust. If your company doesn't have a brand, then you don't have a story and you will be losing out on lots of sales.
Now, once you have your brand established, you need to increase your brand awareness. Brand awareness is such a valuable asset that many small businesses lack. This is where marketing comes into play. Marketers use many different strategies such as advertising, research, and promotion to create brand awareness for your company. Marketing pushes the story that your brand encompasses allowing your business to outdo your competitors.
Now that you know and understand the differences between marketing and branding, it's time to actually improve on your branding and marketing within your own company. If you haven't already branded yourself, start by building your brand! If you already have a brand but are looking to expand your brand awareness, start with social media and then venture into promoting your company! From there you can explore new marketing strategies to see what works best for your business.
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