Branding & Marketing: The PB&J of Business

Branding vs Marketing: The PB&J of Business.

Part 2/8 of the Lively Communication Series.

Ahh, the big question. Branding and Marketing. Is there really a difference? The short answer is absolutely yes! The tricky part in building a sustainable business is knowing when and how to focus on each component. In many conversations, branding, and marketing usually come up like this: Which came first? The chicken, or the egg?

Common questions asked are  

“Is one more important than the other?” 

“Aren’t they, like, the same?”Truth is, although the terms branding and marketing are used often and sometimes even simultaneously, there is a huge difference between these words and concepts.

What is Branding?

Branding is the foundation of the business and one of the most challenging aspects. Ironically, when starting a business it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and dive into the actual projects and clients based on what we love to do. While there are many elements that go into developing a solid brand, we as owners have to understand who we are as a business, what our strengths are, and how we can serve our clients better than our competitors.

Branding is what makes your company stand out in your industry. Do you know how people like to say markets are saturated (personally, I don’t believe in “saturated markets”)? This is usually the thought when a company is having issues with connecting with its target audience and identifying what truly makes them unique. 

Think of branding as your company’s fingerprint. 

It should be like no one else’s. Your customers and clients should receive a one-of-a-kind experience that they can’t get anywhere else. That’s where the true magic lies, in your branding. 

Branding is much more than visuals, websites, logos, and aesthetics. Your messaging is what truly converts. 

If the message is clear, everything else falls into place.

What is Marketing?

Once you have proper messaging and your unique market imprint in place, the next task is deciding how you’ll show up. This is marketing. The strategy, systems, and approach to how you plan to reach your audience. You can have great services and products, but if it is not properly marketed, you’ll get either cricket or slow sales. 

No company that is striving for greatness settles for the latter. Marketing comes in a variety of channels: social media, email marketing, sales pages, events, books, video, the list goes on. Ensuring that your team has identified which marketing efforts and strategies work best for the company is essential.

Back to the PB&J: The Takeaway

It is important to know that your branding (visual and nonvisual) will evolve over time. There even may pivot along the way if necessary. The same goes for marketing and strategies applied. Once you are clear on your brand promise, audience, and offers, showcasing becomes more intentional and results are generated. 

Next time you are using the terms, branding and marketing, think of these key takeaways:

Branding is the unique footprint. Marketing is the outreach strategy.

They both should work together like a PB&J. 

Think of your business as a sandwich, two pieces of bread, marketing, and branding. Each piece of bread holds the sandwich together, without one or the other, your sandwich falls apart. Peanut butter and jelly are your products and services. Your customers will always remember the first bite and last bite. Design your business’s importance to be memorable!

Whether you’re a business owner seeking a new marketing strategy or a marketing manager looking for unique ideas to pitch to your boss, it’s clear that one of the most effective ways to get results is through business branding. A successful business that makes a sustainable impact will always have a well-planned strategy in place, so take stock of all that you know about your products and keep learning new strategies that you can employ to see better results.

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