Anyone who has been in business for any amount of time knows it isn’t enough to simply file for an LLC and open your doors.
Somehow, you have to get people in those doors.
I’m sure you have heard once or twice that you need a strong brand. You might have also heard, you need to market your business.
But what is the difference between branding and marketing?
Which one is more important?
There are some key differences between marketing and branding, and understanding that difference can help your business not only grow faster, but in ways that help it become more rewarding for you.
Here are a few ways that branding and marketing differ:
Branding is why and marketing is how.
Branding is the essence of your business. It is what makes you different and why you exist. It is the purpose and personality of your business. Meanwhile, marketing is how you get it out in the world.
If you defined them in human terms, branding is you as a person, while marketing is the clothes you wear. Obviously, the person you are will influence what you put on in the morning.
At the same time, if you don’t have a clear picture of why you exist and how you stand out, it will be harder to explain that to potential buyers through any marketing you do.
Branding is your foundation while marketing is your walls.
If you think of your business as a house, branding sets the foundation for your home to sit on. Without it, the house would fall down.
But a foundation alone isn’t a home to live in. It needs walls to make it a place to live in and make it practical and useful for those who approach it every day.
Branding defines trajectory and marketing defines tactics.
When you sit down and define a brand for your business, part of this process is determining your target market and your message. This will chart a course for your business whether you fully realize it or not.
Then, you can take that trajectory and decide the various tactics you want to take on the way. Tactics can include emails to a list of people who follow you, advertising, posting on social media, holding events.
Branding creates loyalty, marketing creates sales.
As you market, you will begin to see people respond by booking your services.
In the end though, it is your brand that will keep people coming back and will build a loyalty that endears people to you. Marketing may be how they found you, but your brand is why they talk about you to your friends or share you on social media.
Branding draws people in. Marketing pushes your brand out to more people.
The way that you set yourself apart in the market will naturally draw people to you. That is what branding does.
Then marketing is how you go out and find new people who will then see your brand, understand what you are about and buy in.
That push that marketing does to help someone on the fence make the commitment to buy is easier if there is a natural pull as well through branding. They both work together to create a flow. If one is missing, you will miss out on half the potential clients.
Marketing gets attention, but branding keeps it.
We all have seen the Facebook ads float by on our feed. Some may make us pause and click the link if they resonate with us. After that, it is a brand that will draw us further in and make us stay.
Branding should come first. Marketing should be second.
Imagine going out into a crowded room and shouting to everyone and anyone to come join you. It might be hard to get anyone’s attention.
But what if you go up and tap a specific person on the arm. They will be more likely to notice you. Branding helps you define and reach that specific person. It then gives you the words to speak to them.
That’s why branding is important to do first.
If you walk up and tap someone’s arm, but have no idea what to say, your efforts could be wasted. You’ll be caught stuttering while their attention moves elsewhere.
So which one is more important?
The truth is they both play a crucial role in your businesses success. Without one, it will be harder to get and maintain traction.
The important part is to do the branding work first. It will help you make some key decisions that will influence how you market your business in the future.
Still unsure how to brand your business well? I am holding my free Brand Podium Workshop 11 a.m. on April 28, where we break down the three pillars of branding. You will come away equipped to make three key decisions in your business that will help you set a strong foundation.
Then, you can get to marketing.
To sign up for my workshop, click here.