There is a spectrum of opinions here, but in my view, marketing is actively promoting a product or service. Branding should both precede and underlie any marketing effort. Branding is not push, but pull. Branding is the expression of the essential truth or value of an organization, product, or service. It is communication of characteristics, values, and attributes that clarify what this particular brand is and is not.
This is why I exist. If you agree, if you like me, you can buy me, support me, and recommend me to your friends. Marketing may contribute to a brand, but the brand is bigger than any particular marketing effort. The brand is what remains after the marketing has swept through the room. The brand is ultimately what determines if you will become a loyal customer or not. The brand is built from many things.
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? This works the same way for all types of businesses and organizations. All organizations must sell including nonprofits. How they sell may differ, and everyone in an organization is, with their every action, either constructing or deconstructing the brand.
Every thought, every action, every policy, every ad, every marketing promotion has the effect of either inspiring or deterring brand loyalty in whomever is exposed to it.
All of this affects sales. Back to our financial expert. Is marketing a cost center? Poorly researched and executed marketing activities can certainly be a cost center, but well-researched and well-executed marketing is an investment that pays for itself in sales and brand reinforcement. Is branding a cost center? On the surface, yes, but the return is loyalty. The return is salespeople whose jobs are easier and more effective, employees who stay longer and work harder, customers who become ambassadors and advocates for the organization.
It is the essential foundation for a successful operation. Because we know that not everyone needs or can afford our full process , we created a guided tutorial package for our foundational brand strategy tool: Watch the video for a preview.
For more information on the brand strategy tutorial, visit here where you will find a fuller explanation and link to a free download of the first video. Your email address will not be published. Leave this field empty. Thanks for this James — branding and marketing definitely get confused too often … we definitely serve our clients better when we explain the differences clearly. Well, just to challenge the standard view a bit: But marketing has been developed also as a strategic tool, which is itself at the very core of the entire business strategy.
How can branding suddenly take its place? As I started to develop city marketing in the s, when branding was not developed at all in this particular area, I seem to have developed a different view than those who see marketing as just a tool for branding.
Thus, it is still an integral part of strategic marketing. Does this make any sense? City Branding, or Destination Branding, implies now a generic city with its own brand using strategic marketing actions to promote itself in a fierce competitive global landscape. Sometimes I think this argument might be no more than a kind of childish fight: One might also say that strategic marketing is just as strategic as strategic branding, so my statement IS an oversimplification, but its intent was clarification for those confused about how the two different processes operate, which I hope is a useful larger point.
Marketing operates primarily through tactical means, and branding, while manifest in all things including every tactical action, is to my view, really about what people hold in their minds, and this is significantly more about strategic positioning than tactical action. In the 15 months since I wrote this post, I have, it turns out, spent more time talking about marketing than I have about branding, and this could be a reflection of my own awakening to just how much strategic ground marketing could be made to cover.
Branding though still remains, for me, fundamental. To take your example, when it comes to marketing a city, is it more important to look inward and create a brand that is true to the experience of those living or visiting that place, or is it more important to think about what the city has to offer in terms on the needs of those who use it?
For me this difference in approach is a key difference between branding and marketing. Each approach to the problem of what to do yields a slightly different outcome. Each implies differing tactical actions, and I now believe each approach benefits from the insights brought by the other. In our own Branding and Marketing Discovery process, we now do both things—we try to get at the truth of the brand from the perspective of those who know it well, and then we also try to understand the brand offer in terms of the needs of those who do and might potentially consume it.
Is this what really happens? In any event, thanks for helping me think about it. I will continue to do so as I want to always be learning.
Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I am luckily out of the whole marketing game. And I am glad you have a rather pragmatic view of it, too. But about the original question, I probably have a simply old-fashioned view of it, as I was like sleeping for some twenty years — I had nothing to do with marketing after the latter half of the s — and when I returned to the topic recently, it seemed that the discourse was more about branding than marketing, and it sure attracted my attention.
If I try to explain what I meant in the previous reply, I simply see that the product dimension of marketing grew out from its original place in 4Ps and became a kind of spearhead dimension through the interplay of business strategy, product development, and the symbolic aspect of communication, which for understandable reasons started to change the traditional idea of the marketing mix.
This, together with fundamental changes in the economy of which you know more than I do and what Lash and Urry, for example, refer to as economies of signs and space , and a general emphasis on the increased symbolic nature of economic life incl.
This is why I see that the DNA of branding is in the interplay within the product-communication axis. Hence the brand is now at the core of the new discourse.
As to your question about city branding, I guess I am not completely wrong if I translate the dilemma into the relationship of brand identity and the brand promise of the city. And if you ask me, you do exactly the right thing: Yet, there are two extremely important things to take into account. First, a city is a reflexive entity. Thus, when we brand a city, we are also reworking the identity of the city, because there is no longer the same identity that there was before we started our endeavour.
Of course, this requires that our actions are influential and meaningful to the community. With this exaggeration I am just trying to point out the very evolutionary nature of brand identity in the case of city branding. Branding is meant to point out weak points, gaps, cleavages, and tensions that require not only narrowly defined branding designed for external audiences but also profound changes in the self-perception, conditions, and policies of the urban community in question.
This is a well-known story in many post-industrial cities which really needed a large-scale restructuring in order provide decent working and living conditions for their citizens. Sometimes it works, sometimes not, but in such cases there is no other way than just to try. Glasgow, Bilbao, Pittsburgh etc. This message is getting too long, but let me just summarise.
Yes, sometimes you must ask the city to reform itself in order to be able to attract desired values from the space of flows. Thank you for taking the time to thoughtfully answer my question. I see you are publishing what looks to be a fascinating book on this subject: The Political Economy of City Branding.
We are beginning to brush up against these very issues as we work on branding and marketing projects involving keynote public institutions—like museums—in smaller cities.
Their fate and identity is deeply intertwined with that of the city itself. So the questions we face sometimes grow larger as we get deeper into the real issues at play, until we are inevitably talking about the brand of the city itself, and how that will change or force changes on the institutions we are seeking to help and vice versa. I must soundly disagree with your position. Everything else is a cost. Your view of marketing as a tactic is much too narrow and simple.
Marketing is everything that an organization does to get and keep a customer. Sorry for the lateness of my reply. I was off grid practicing what I preach in How Not to Vacation. I do not disagree with you at the level of the most general definition of marketing.
You might also notice that I touch on the question of the ongoing debate over whose concept is bigger in my discussion above with Professor Anttiroiko. I do not want to add fire to that. If you want marketing to be the first principal, fine, but the marketing approach and the branding approach remain distinct and complementary aspects of the what should be a synthetic and comprehensive process. I maintain that understanding their distinctive roles and contributions to this process makes for better marketing your definition.
I certainly do NOT disagree with Peter Drucker or his statement about the essential role of marketing for all businesses. On this point, please see my post: Marketing is Not Optional.
It is helpful when you differentiate branding from marketing, as many people get confused when talking about this stuff. It was a pleasure reading your post.
Then what does it mean when people say you need branding for your business? I mean, if branding is what we are then why do we have to do it? Thanks for the question. So, the truth and effectiveness of your brand expression matters a great deal.
This requires expert and persistent articulation and supporting expression across all the constituent elements of your brand, at least those over which you exercise direct and indirect control.
This includes, but is not limited to, your employee training, your vision statement, your physical spaces if you have them, all of your deployed brand assets such as photography , videos , logos, graphics, colors, how you use language, and of course, your marketing communications expressed through websites , printed materials and all manner of advertising. Your brand is a living, breathing thing that is simultaneously within your organization and spread across all those who ever have and will ever encounter you.
In my opinion, Branding and Marketing, and Sales, are more intimately connected than we think… And they should be treated as one function. If yes, can you give me an example? So I guess that this ID is built up by marketing tactics, which cost money. It can and should also be more than that. Crucially, it has to have external manifestations through whatever means including marketing. Your brand exists, I think, in the interplay between what you are and what you do including your marketing tactics on one side, and the idea your consumers retain about you on the other.
So I see marketing and branding as two essential aspects of the ongoing relationship organizations have with the world. Marketing, as I describe it, is also there looking at the issue from its vantage point in the mind of the consumer.
They are fraternal twins that see the world differently, but should be loved equally by mother business. Organizations do not HAVE to spend money on branding, but many do and rightly so. They spend money on branding when they need assistance with what should be natural and easy, but actually is not—finding clarity.
Organizations also often have to spend money on branding, when they or their marketplace is evolving or changing, or when they are having trouble expressing themselves effectively across all communication pathways.
We actually have two rubrics for strategy: Together these two can serve as a strategic guide for effective communications. Neither is truly fixed. Perhaps this is just the consequence of a basic reality: It does often take an outside guide to help an organization back or forward to the right meaning most effective actions.
The two terms may seem alike but they are different. However, there is a correlation between the two. Branding seeks to make a particular product stand out from the other products and enable consumers to distinctly identify these products. Brand marketing seeks to work more on customer retention and satisfaction. Ideally, branding brings in the customers as brand marketing makes them satisfied and loyal to the product.
There are a myriad of ways on how to involve consumers in the running of a business. However, the techniques that are to be used depend on the nature of the business. If you enjoyed this post, subscribe for free updates.
Get free digital marketing tips in your inbox. Your email address will not be published. Image — How a brand is perceived by its target audience. The way a brand appears to potential customers or clients is essential to the success of a company.
Intangible — Brand assets incapable of being touched. These all work together to create the essence of the brand. Intangibles include trademarks, expertise, designs, etc. Logo — A unique design or custom symbol that acts as the identifier of a brand. Typically, Marketing acts at the brand police for an organization.
The brand message communicates what the brand is and what separates it from competitors. Mission Statement — An explanation of the overall goal and major values of a company.
This statement often guides the B2B branding process. Personality — Any identifying factors about a company specifically related to how it interacts with public. Re-brand — A process of taking a look at the overall identity of a company and making changes or revisions to the identity. Often an intensive procedure that includes input from major stakeholders and impacts all levels of an organization. Recognition — The level to which your target audience can identify your B2C or B2B brand and services or products based on your name or logo.
Download: Glossary of Branding Terms This glossary of key branding terms is an easy-to-use reference tool that helps define terminology used in the branding and marketing world. Download PDF ↓.
A marketing dictionary is a must-have for all marketing professionals because there are numerous marketing definitions that you must understand to be successful. Additionally, many terms have variations and new terms are added daily and it's important to stay current.
Today brand is a bit more complex, and even more important in today’s world of marketing. It’s the perception that a consumer has when they hear or think of your company name, service, or product. In our own Branding and Marketing Discovery process, we now do both things—we try to get at the truth of the brand from the perspective of those who know it well, and then we also try to understand the brand offer in terms of the needs of those who do and might potentially consume it. This second set of findings often suggests changes.
Unless you are a seasoned marketing professional, all the terms people throw around when discussing branding can be confusing. We work on B2B branding projects everyday and understand how all the lingo can appear to mean various things to different people. Branding is a concept that extends far beyond the marketing of “brand name” designer jeans and other products. A company’s brand represents their market identity—who they are, what they do, what kind of quality they provide, their reputation for trustworthiness, and more.