The world is changing in more ways than one, in some cases for the better, in other cases… well I’m not quite sure and it’s probably best not to give examples and comment.
However, what I do consider myself an expert on is this topic of Marketing vs Sales vs Branding, particularly the age old question – what is Branding anyway?!
When people ask what I do, there is usually a question that follows… what is that, what does it mean? It is quite complex to put into a 30 second elevator pitch but it goes something like this…
Being in Marketing for nearly 20 years, I have always explained my role as the backbone support to Sales, we provide the messaging and the tools to allow them to go out and sell, to the target audience that we have defined.
However, Branding and Brand Strategy is really where my passion and expertise are and this is different to Marketing attributes. I enjoy the element of creating a brand personality and character that represents a business or a person, perfectly. Having worked on some global hotel brands around the world and defining those brands to become what they are today was such a privilege and immense joy – it really makes you understand the power of authenticity and trust, how do you create the Brand Promise and then ensure you are continuously delivering on it.
Essentially this is the difference between Branding = A Promise and Marketing = Delivering on the Promise.
Think of it as – Branding is a Strategic foundation and Marketing is a Tactical push.
Has your Executive team misinterpreted the value and the difference of Branding versus Marketing? Have you ever had to justify your role and department to your CFO? Marketing is often seen as a cost department and the value of Branding is often misunderstood in context to this.
Firstly, what is important to note here is Marketing is very different to Branding and quite honestly – without a Brand, you wouldn’t have a business. The Brand is who your business is. Don’t confuse this with Marketing, which in turn takes your brand into market, with the right message and through the right channels, to drive awareness and sales.
Branding is the soul of your business and frankly it is why you exist – you create a Character and a defined Personality, with Values and a Promise, to be delivered to those customers who emotionally connect or resonate with you. Your Brand has been created to encourage an audience to understand who you are and what you stand for and if they like you they will resonate with it. It is the foundation of all of the Marketing, the Campaigns and the Sales funnel activities, that come and go, these tactical efforts have been designed to convert that “brand engaged” audience to then buy into you and recommend you.
Your Brand Strategy, once defined and established, will last a lifetime and as the Market and Competitive landscape changes over the years, you can adapt your Marketing tactics to suit the environment but remain true to your brand – this is how companies remained successful through the GFC.
To succeed and to clearly differentiate your efforts between Branding and Marketing… your Brand has been created to reflect who you are and what your story is – keeping your promise to your engaged and loyal audience. Your Marketing is what you do to get your Brand Message out to customers and this is achieved with a clear “take to market” plan and Campaign Messaging, that truly reflects your Brand Promise.