What exactly is the difference between BRANDING and MARKETING? I completely understand that sometimes it’s really difficult to tell the difference between branding and marketing. It also seems that these terms are increasingly used interchangeably, which probably even adds to the confusion. However, both are important, but again, for different reasons. 

Branding is WHY Marketing is HOW

As I said that both are really important, but again, for different reasons. So, let me tell you first about what branding really is. And if I had to just make it in much more simple words and create that difference between the two. So, branding is the WHY and marketing is the HOW. Branding is long term. It is where you’re having a vision. You’re seeing how you can create that longevity and you can create retainable or repeatable customers.  Whereas marketing is something which is short term. Marketing is something which keeps changing from time to time and it stays only for that particular period. Branding is like the big picture. Marketing is much more focused and single-minded. Branding is the strategy and marketing is the tactics or the tools. Branding begins from the inside. Marketing happens on the outside. Basically, when I say on the inside, branding is focused on you and your internal awareness about who you are. Whereas marketing begins, more from the customer’s perspective that what is it that they are looking for, what is it that you’re solving for them, and what is the kind of problem they’re going to. So that’s where marketing comes into picture. So regardless of, what kind of business you’re in, even when you’re doing work online, you need to focus on both branding and marketing. 

Which comes first, branding or marketing?

Now this is a fabulous combination. It really does matter whether you’re going to focus first on marketing, or first on branding. As I mentioned, both are important. It sometimes even feels, what should really come first? Just like when we say, is it the egg or the chicken? So that’s the kind of confusion you can have in your head – what should I be working on first? Should it be branding? Should it be marketing? But let me tell you this – there are so many times you feel tempted to jump into marketing. You feel like going ahead and you get those sales, get that customer, get that business and, get all the money which you can from those sales. But if you’re only looking at your product, and if you’re only looking at your coaching program and that particular service that you have to offer, then I’m sorry to say it will not be something that can last for a very long time. There is something that is called competition outside. And competition can definitely overpower you or they can offer something, which is exactly the same as you are providing to your product or to your service. 

Take time to develop your brand

Now here’s the thing, if you don’t take time to develop your brand; if you don’t take time to focus and create awareness about your brand; then you can’t just truly rely on the marketing bet. Because your marketing is something which eventually gets compared on pricing, and that’s where your competitors win or even take away your customers. And obviously, if you feel that this year, you can reduce the price and get some customers. But probably next year it’s not going to be great for you because there will be somebody else who will be charging less than what you’re giving and be providing the same quality, the same product, maybe even additional features and benefits. You’ll never know. So, in the long term, it’s not really viable for you to just depend on marketing. You do need to make sure that you have some kind of branding in place. You have that kind of growth happening and you have that long-term vision or long-term perspective in place or in line as far as branding is concerned.  So, branding basically is building that awareness and creating that kind of image in the minds of your customers. Branding is more about how you can connect with your consumers and how you can you bridge that gap and make it like a smooth transition from what your messages to what exactly the consumer or the customer is looking for.

The huge difference between the two

Marketing is shorter. Marketing will help you find those people because it helps you to create an outreach. It helps you to provide those social media platforms. It helps you to use organic ways and, or paid ads to find those people and to motivate those people, to buy from you. But eventually, if you want to make sure that you can stay longer in business and you can even grow in your business, branding is the real essence. It will help you to achieve that. So, marketing will be something that can attract people to your brand. But branding is something which will make sure that it acts like that promise, which you’re giving them that from here on they are completely taken care of and, and you are there to provide them with whatever solution they require. So that’s the huge difference between branding and marketing.  In the end, I just want to say that, make sure whether we are talking branding or marketing, make sure you create that solid base with the help of branding. So definitely according to me, branding will come first and much before you get into the marketing aspect. Get your base clear. Get that clarity. Try and figure out how you can communicate your message in some simple and easy ways.

Start experimenting

Once you have these two going strong for you, then jump into the marketing aspect. Then test it out and then experiment in the online space about what works, what doesn’t work. But eventually, even if you will keep experimenting, you will leave some impression. This is because you’re also working on your brand and you’ve got that in place. So if your branding is in place, your products, even if you might have to fine-tune them, it will still never be a failure because people know who you are. Eventually, the right kind of clients will automatically come to you and want to work with you.  So make sure that you always keep this in mind. It’s always been branding that needs to be your focus and your face. And then you need to move towards getting the marketing and all the other things figured out.

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