Marketing, Advertising and Branding are all key components utilized by successful companies.
However, there are crucial differences between these three terms and it’s important to understand those subtle nuances in order to grow your business.
First, let’s start by defining marketing.
Marketing is the process by which a company develops and implements strategies to increase the awareness of a company’s brand, product or service.
Every time a company interacts with the outside world it’s counted as marketing.
Whether that’s social media pages and posts, customer service interactions, printed promotional materials, websites, or anything else that contains imagery related to your brand, product or service.
These messages should aim to accurately convey the vision and values of your company, and they need to be done in a manner that is recognizable to your company.
Advertising falls under the umbrella of marketing, and the term describes the process of paying money up front in order to hopefully acquire customers and sales later. This usually involves a company paying a third party to have the opportunity to promote their product or service.
Typical advertising campaigns take place through the medium of media outlets such as newspapers, billboards, television, radio, and online through websites.
An advertising medium is targeted by a company for its specific audience. This is why the majority of companies spend a great deal of time picking and choosing where they are going to advertise.
It is rare that a company advertises on every format available simultaneously. To do so would demonstrate that a company does not know who their target audience is.
Branding is more about the company than the specific products or services that it delivers to its customers. It’s about the core values of a company, why it exists and what it believes in.
Crucially, branding is defined by how a customer feels about a company, not how a company feels about itself.
A successful brand strategy focuses on creating a positive image of a company that creates an emotional connection with customers.
These positive elements help a customer to align their own personal beliefs with those of a company, which in turn increases loyalty and a long-term commitment to buy from that brand.
Whilst excellent marketing and advertising campaigns can win single-transaction customers for your company, successful branding can win you a customer for life.
64% of American consumers cite shared values as the primary reason they have a buying relationship with a brand. Therefore, if a potential consumer doesn’t know what you stand for as a company, then it’s unlikely they will buy from you, no matter how good the product or service is.
The more someone feels an affinity with your company brand, the more likely they are to buy from you.
This is why companies with strong brands have higher profit margins. They can afford to rely more on their branding, and spend comparatively small amounts on marketing and advertising in order to make sales.
When it comes to branding, consumer perceptions are constantly changing.
Today, audiences of nearly all ages are looking for brands that show commitment to protecting the environment and transparency in their operations.
In an increasingly connected global marketplace, customers want to know where their products have come from. In fact, 94% of consumers say they are likely to be loyal to a brand that offers complete transparency.
It’s vital that both your traditional and digital branding strategies reflect these trends, in order to increase the awareness of your brand and develop valuable brand equity.
Branding is critical to the success of a company, regardless of which sector it operates in.
That’s why we spend so much time with our clients on developing winning brand strategies.
If you think you need expert branding support for your company, then take a look at our service modules to see which solution presents the best fit for your company.