Branding and marketing are sometimes used interchangeably when it comes to creating a strategy. Time and time again, people get these two concepts confused – so this blog is here to clear things up!
A lot of people get the brand strategy and marketing strategy confused. Your branding is the overall reputation of the company, product or service, and the marketing strategy is how you communicate your brand message and sell your product/service to your audience.
First things first, brand strategy and marketing strategy are EQUALLY as important as each other and should be used to help achieve different goals in the business that help advance the big picture (overall goals) of the business.
There are three strategies that should all align – the business strategy, brand strategy, and marketing strategy. To ensure the effective integration of these three, you should make sure they are respective working on their creation together.
For example, you cannot successfully communicate a brand strategy without a business strategy, and a marketing strategy won’t be as effective without guidance from the brand strategy.
What is the difference between brand strategy and marketing strategy?
A lot of people get the brand strategy and marketing strategy confused. Your branding is the overall reputation of the company, product or service and the marketing strategy is how you communicate your brand message and sell your product/service to your audience.
A brand strategy is a process behind building the overall reputation of your company, product or service. Branding gives you a solid foundation of values, beliefs, personality, purpose and your USP – these factors will all help to mould your brand’s identity.
Creating brand guidelines and keeping a clear goal in mind will help you to create content for your brand. You should also make a mission statement – this is something you can write for your website so potential customers can get a feel for WHO your brand is (not just what you do).
Your branding strategy will be part of your overall business plan. To create a strong brand strategy that guides your marketing, you should think about your ideal customers, core values and the consistent message throughout your campaigns – do these align with the values of your prospective customers? Don’t forget – the customer experience starts with whatever perception your brand creates in the minds of potential customers!
Once you have a strong brand marketing strategy, you can use this to create powerful and consistent campaigns. Marketing gives you the opportunity to communicate your key messages to your customers and target audience – and that impact is doubled if it reinforces the impression you’ve already created with your brand identity.
Your marketing strategy will change over time as you learn what works and what doesn’t work for your audience. Marketing strategies may include creating content strategies for different channels you will use, as content for one algorithm may be incompatible with another.
However, a brand strategy will not change for as long as your mission doesn’t. Your brand values will be at the core of all your campaigns and give you ideas for content pillars.
Is branding a part of a marketing strategy?
Branding is a huge part of marketing, as all marketing initiatives should reinforce the brand message. Therefore a brand strategy should be established before your marketing team establishes and executes a strategy.
Marketing gives you the opportunity to practice what you preach and demonstrate your beliefs and value through your marketing efforts. Customers will advocate for a brand they can relate to and trust, and tapping into this will help you when advertising to your target customers and trying to increase customer loyalty.
Branding will create recognisability when marketing your products; this is especially important in competitive industries.
Analysing your campaign performance will help you to see if you’re getting the message across to your target audience and how effective it is. For example, if a campaign receives a lot of engagement and has a high CTR, then you know the campaign has been successful in delivering your brand message to the right audience.
Why have a brand strategy?
Having a brand strategy means knowing your brand inside and out, and you’re making sure your customers do too.
Your brand identity makes up your:
Values – What you stand for and what you believe in
Purpose – Why are you here, and how can you help people
USP – Unique Selling Point (what makes you stand out from the crowd)
Your mission – What you want to achieve with your brand and your business goals
These should all resonate with your customers too.
The brand strategist should also look into audience research, positioning, voice and personality, as without these, the marketing strategy has no direction.
If you are a business owner creating a new business and wanting to build a global brand, you will have to think about how you position yourself in different markets. Your brand might need to shape its strategy to be relevant depending on where you’re marketing.
What is the difference between brand positioning and brand strategy?
There is a high chance you’ve heard the words “positioning and branding” before, but what is the difference between the two? They are closely related – but not the same.
Brand positioning is how you’d like your customers to view your products/services in terms of the value you can offer to them and what you can deliver. For example, do you come to mind because you’re the cheapest? (most cost effective), offer the best service? (customer experience) or maybe you’re the most local? (convenience)
Brand positioning is how your customers categorise your brand as the solution to a specific problem or need.
For example, here are some positioning strategies you might want to think about for your brand:
- Customer Service Positioning Strategy.
- Convenience-Based Positioning Strategy.
- Price-Based Positioning Strategy.
- Quality-Based Positioning Strategy
Brand Strategy is how you portray yourself to your customers.
The way you portray yourself is determined by your message, identity and purpose. Putting all of these elements together with your brand positioning will give you a good idea of how your business strategy will look and how you will fit into the market.
What comes first: branding or positioning?
We may not know whether the chicken or the egg came first, but we can definitely tell you that positioning comes first before branding.
You can’t determine whether you’re succeeding in building a positive brand image if you haven’t positioned yourself in the market and worked out what’s going to make you unique.
Why is branding so important in marketing?
Everyone knows marketing drives sales – but without branding, you’re not letting your customers get to know your brand and stay for the long run.
The reason branding is SO important in marketing is that it helps define your company’s tone of voice, purpose and vision – all things you need to think about when creating marketing campaigns.
Marketing and branding work together to build awareness for your brand and find your recognisability – something your brand will need in order to give you that competitive edge in the market.
When creating a marketing plan, use your brand strategy and market trends research to help you.
How Can Think WoW help you develop a brand strategy?
At Think Wow, we’ve helped many brands create a clear brand strategy that includes your managers, sales teams, support teams, and back office services, creating a clear communication plan and actionable steps for you to take to ensure the success of the new strategy.
Want to know how we do it? Read our Brand Strategy & Company Values Page!
So now you know the difference between branding and marketing and how marketing can drive sales with a strong business model and brand messaging.
However, we know these things are easier to say than do, so if you need a hand don’t hesitate to call us today, and we’ll be happy to help!