Ah, the age-old debate. What’s better for your business – branding or marketing? Which one should you invest your time and money into?
A lot of people get really into this discussion (and we mean, really into it). Arguments have been started, fights have broken out, and friendships have ended because of marketing and branding.
But what is actually better?
If somebody sat down and did a comparative study of these two essential aspects of your business, what would come out on top? Which would be the leading strategy in the fight to gain more paying customers?
See, the thing is, they’re more like two sides of the same coin. One doesn’t really work without the other. You can’t create a brilliant marketing strategy without the power of great branding to back it up, and there’s no point in having a unique brand image for your company if nobody knows about it.
So, on their own, marketing and branding are fine, but together they’re irresistible: and the perfect combination to enhance your online presence and get new customers through the door.
You don’t believe me, do you? Okay, fine, let’s get a bit more into it and look at the differences between marketing and branding and why you need both to survive the competitive world of the web.
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Marketing vs branding – what are the differences?
Okay, let’s take a close look at the differences between marketing and branding and consider what might benefit you more.
Spoiler alert – you will have to do both. Otherwise, your company won’t get very far online, but this will help you decide which aspect of your business to concentrate on first.
So without further delay, let’s look at how marketing differs from branding.
What is branding?
Your brand is your identity online. It’s what people think of when they talk about your business and how they feel about your company and your services. Without branding, your coaching company is just another face in the sea of online competition.
With the right branding, you’ll enhance the trust your audience has in you, and you’ll improve your online reputation. An authentic brand is a key to a successful business, and 86% of customers say authenticity is one of the main reasons they buy from a brand.
Branding usually involves:
- Creating core values and principles
- Discovering a mission statement
- Understanding the feelings you want to inspire
- Figuring out what makes you unique
- Unraveling your company’s personality
I see you’ve noticed we haven’t mentioned your logo or brand colors yet? Don’t get us wrong, those are fundamental aspects of your physical branding, but they’re not exactly what your branding is about.
Your brand includes a lot more than your logo. It’s how you talk to your clients, what tone of voice you use online, how you position yourself in the industry, and how your audience sees you.
Your branding will also show your audience what they can expect from your business. The more you improve your branding and position your brand proudly online, the more your audience will trust you.
Now all you have to do is get your brand out there – if only there were a way to do that…
What is marketing?
Now onto marketing – the best way to get your branding noticed in the online space. But what is marketing, and why is it important?
Marketing is used to deliver your message online and effectively sell your products or services to your target audience. Generally, marketing uses various tools and strategies that allow you to push your offerings to the top of the search results, so your potential clients see them.
Marketing is all about knowing and asking yourself:
- What do you want your business to achieve in the future?
- Who your target audience is
- Where your target audience is
- What are your competitors doing and how can you compete?
With a marketing strategy, you’ll understand your audience and how you can reach them by targeting their pain points. Marketing is a very tactical strategy that is constantly changing and upgrading with the current trends.
There are a lot of different marketing strategies out there, but here are some of the most popular aspects:
- Pay-per-click advertising
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Content marketing
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
What is the difference between marketing and branding?
One of the most significant differences between branding and marketing is that one stays the same while the other constantly changes.
Branding should always be consistent. Whether it’s your email layout, social media, or website, your brand voice, personality, colors, and everything else that has gone into your brand should be the same.
90% of consumers expect a consistent brand experience across your marketing channels. So if you want your marketing to work well, you should always have consistent branding.
But marketing is different. Strategies, trends, and algorithms change daily, and if you want your marketing to keep up, you must continuously update and enhance your marketing strategy.
What should you focus on first – branding or marketing?
Branding is the core of your marketing strategy; without it, your marketing might seem flat or miss your target market completely. Because of this, we’d recommend you start with your branding and move on to marketing once you’ve ironed out all the kinks.
Why should you focus on branding first?
Marketing and branding aren’t the same things. One isn’t better than the other, but they work together rather nicely. A good marketing strategy is nothing without great branding. You can’t have a complete brand strategy without knowing what you will do with your marketing.
But, still, when it comes to which comes first, it’s essential to always choose branding. With a strong brand, you’ll be able to build customer loyalty and become recognized as a legitimate and trustworthy business online.
Thanks to branding, your company will be noticed amongst the sea of competition. Google processes more than 40,000 search queries every second. That’s over 3.5 billion searches every day. So many of these searches will be targeted at coaching companies but will they notice you online?
If you don’t have a great brand strategy set up and ready to go, then people aren’t going to choose your company from the pack of other coaching businesses they have to choose from.
Even if you’re only starting your coaching business, you should always define your brand first and set yourself up to provide your audience with a consistent brand experience. You won’t get noticed overnight, but by keeping it consistent every day, your target audience will eventually realize you’re the company they want to work with.
As a business, your brand is your identity online. Your marketing helps you prove you’re a legitimate business, but your branding will be at the heart of every marketing strategy you create.
Let’s wrap things up – do you understand the difference between marketing and branding now?
Are the differences between branding and marketing a bit clearer now? No? If you’re still unsure, think about it this way.
You can create a marketing strategy with all the trending keywords and the most inventive marketing strategy. It might look beautiful and get a lot of traction. But your conversions will be much lower than somebody who did branding first.
Branding is a timeless connection designed to engage with your potential customers and encourage them to trust your skills. There are a lot of companies out there online and with competition only increasing, setting yourself apart from the others with unique branding is the only way forward.
If you take anything away from this today, take this. Without branding, you might be successful, but with branding, your successes will be far more impressive, and you might even secure some lifelong customers.
Want to know how to build the best brand strategy possible for your business to succeed online? Check out this blog we wrote last month!
If you want to speed-run branding success, then we have an offer just for you.
Our team has experience helping companies craft the best brand strategies possible. Get in touch with our team today to discuss how you can start improving your coaching company’s business processes through effective branding.