May 2016 Special Section

Peas & Carrots: Why Marketing and Branding Go Hand in Hand


Written By: Maria Juan

MARKETING IS NOT BRANDING, AND BRANDING IS NOT MARKETING

All too often, these two words are used interchangeably or one is deemed more important than the other. Nonetheless, their definition and the order in which they should be created is very specific, and most importantly, they should each be used to complement the other’s efforts.

So, what defines your brand?

Some people think it is your logo or your colors, yet those are just elements that are part of a larger system. Your brand needs to be your message: your personality, tone and voice, vision and mission. “Branding” is the act of establishing that message.

Your branding is essential to gaining and keeping audiences, those that are willing to shout from the rooftops about the benefits and integrity of your brand. Branding should be strategic — an ever-evolving foundation on which to build upon all other marketing campaigns. It should be your guide to staying focused and thus reach your audiences on an emotional level via your messaging.

After the brand comes the marketing

Marketing describes the avenues, channels and tactics used to communicate the brand message. A marketing campaign cannot be complete or successful without a strong brand in place. Campaigns should be tactical by creating actionable tasks to result in an end goal. Through marketing, you bring to the surface buyers who are looking for your specific product or service; however, it is your brand that is going to keep them coming back.

 

 HOW SHOULD YOUR BRANDING AND MARKETING WORK MORE HAND IN HAND?

Lay the brand foundation

Conduct a discovery process to help establish your brand. Create your company values. Establish your value proposition. Discover your audiences. Know your WHY. The brand should be the compass for your organization to help create strategies and plans and should continue to evolve as you grow as an organization.

Establish and Implement Your Marketing Strategy

Once your brand is established, your marketing strategy should be geared around how to best communicate the messaging. Where does your audience frequent? Is it through social or print? Are your audiences searching online through buzzwords or key topics? Is your product or service so unique that it is best sold face to face? Your strategy should answer to who you are speaking, where they look for information, what questions they ask and how to get them to buy-in.

Analyze and Revise

Know that your branding and marketing need to be constantly evolving. Think cyclically. Always re-evaluate your brand to help guide your marketing efforts, and re-evaluate your marketing efforts to allow your branding to grow and change.

Marketing is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Branding is not a set-and-let-go strategy. With your brand in place, your marketing should be geared around implementing campaigns to where your audience lives. You do not need to be everywhere for everyone. Choose carefully where you market your brand because whether or not you have a successful marketing campaign, your brand remains. However, remember to always keep adjusting, re-evaluating, and changing to stay ahead of your audiences and to continuously grow.

 

Bio: As relationship director for Gainesville-based Parisleaf, Maria is the fast-talkin’, no-B.S. B.F.F. for all of the company’s partners. Her holistic approach to client projects stems from her digital marketing experience and weekly yoga practice. A stickler for details and deadlines, she is a client’s biggest champion.

 

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