Branding Vs Advertising: Knowing Differences To Better Align Strategies
Branding and advertising are the major tools used to promote businesses. They help brands to reach and acquire new customers and are also good drivers of sales and profits. For instance, presenting a brand on all platforms can increase revenue by up to 23%.
The two elements are closely connected on purpose, and they feed off each other, hence, it’s easy to get them confused. Also, each has the ability to make the other more or less effective. Although their major goal is to increase revenue, they do it differently. Failure to know the difference between branding and advertising can create a marketing gap, but knowing the difference between the two can strengthen your marketing strategy.
In this article, we will be discussing the differences between branding and advertising to help you better align your overall business strategy.
What is Branding
First, let’s understand…
What is a brand?
A brand refers to a compelling identity that helps businesses create a long-lasting emotional connection with their customers. It is a promise of value that gives a unique customer experience. Research shows that 89% of customers remain loyal to brands that share their values.
Businesses should know that a brand is not owned by a company, but by the customers. So, if your customers don’t buy into your brand’s story, the brand doesn’t really exist.
To build a brand, a business must develop a holistic awareness of its operations, strategy, and communications. Everything that a business does, including customer service, website design, responding to customer calls, handling customer complaints, and much more, is part of establishing its brand.
Thus, branding deals with the identity of a business and everything it does to make customers loyal to its products or services.
The identity of a brand determines what customers think about it, and it is marked by factors like its logo, colors, and tagline. For example, color improves the recognition of a brand by up to 80%. Branding helps businesses to build relationships with customers and relay a consistent theme to them. This way, customers can know what to expect from a business during the course of interactions.
Branding also has the aspect of understanding yourself. Some of the fundamental branding questions for businesses include:
- Who are we?
- What kind of people do we serve?
- How are we different?
- What problems do we solve for our customers?
A brand also includes the tone it uses in advertising, newsletters, social media posts, treatment of employees, the company’s community outreach, and all other impressions that the business makes to the public. So, it’s important for a business to establish stuff like the mission of the company, the selling features of their products or services, and the customer base to be targeted.
Let’s say you run a company that makes beach accessories. Your customers will expect it to have a certain look and feel. Your company may host beach parties, sponsor outdoor water sports events, and let workers wear beach clothes while in the company. The employees may use casual language and explain to people the importance of being in nature. It’s also important for your company to differentiate itself from other companies that make beach accessories. You can talk about the unique services that your company offers to make itself unique. All these activities are part of branding.
Everything that your business does should be reflected in your branding. Which qualities do you want your company to be associated with? Do you charge higher prices because of niche offerings, or are they lower because your product is mass market? If you establish strong, consistent, and authentic branding, you will retain your customers. 86% of consumers say that authenticity is a key factor when deciding which brands to like and support.
What is Advertising?
The relationship between your company and your customer starts and ends with your brand. For your business to remain profitable, it has to make sales. An ideal customer will come back to buy your product or service not just because they want the product or service, but because they want to support your brand. That’s why it is of great essence for you to know who your ideal customer is.
Advertising is the process of spreading awareness about your business. It is part of building your brand and it should reflect the values of your brand. Advertising is also about communicating products and services to a wider audience. It can be done through social media promotions, online advertising campaigns, or local media. Advertising does not target any single individual, but the entire audience. It is a way of convincing a large audience to take a particular action such as making an online purchase, visiting your store, because sales are of great importance to any business.
An advertisement is a way of requesting a meeting between your company and your ideal customer. There is a big difference between a customer who knows your brand and a customer who doesn’t. It is like the difference between asking a friend to go for coffee with you and asking a stranger.
So, advertising is a way of getting your company name known to the wider public. After all, no customer will visit your restaurant if they haven’t heard of you. If you are celebrating a milestone or you have a special offer, it is a good time to let the world know about your business. But it is branding that will keep these customers coming back. It tells customers what they can expect from your business. And if you deliver that, you will retain customers for years.
Traditionally, advertising was difficult due to the lack of proper tools to run advertisements. However, the invention of digital advertising tools has made it easy for businesses to reach a larger number of new and returning customers. A tool like Latana helps businesses to measure and spread brand awareness for audience and revenue growth. Such tools are also good for segmenting audiences based on their unique characteristics. This helps businesses run customized advertisements to increase their chances of making conversions.
The Role of Trust in Branding and Advertising
Trust is an important factor in branding and advertising. Research conducted by Oberlo shows that 81% of consumers need to trust a brand to buy from it.
Let us use a scenario to explain the role of trust in branding and advertising. Let’s say you are the brand, your products are cookies, and your friend is the customer.
Scenario A: You make a call to your friend and request them to come and buy cookies. Your friend is most likely to think that you are only interested in selling, but you (the brand) don’t care about them, their feelings, or their experience. There is a big truth in this because you are putting your product and profit before your relationship with them.
So, what is missing in this case?
A brand relationship.
Scenario B: You make a call to your friend and request them to come over for cookies because you want to have a conversation with them and have ample time together. This way, you are cultivating a good relationship between you and your friend. It is a clear indication that you are putting the relationship between you and your friend first, hence, they will experience you as a trusted and genuine person (the brand).
So, you should always consider the different ways that you can use your brand beyond colors or logo design to provide your customers with the experience that they are looking for. After knowing who your ideal customers are and what they are looking for, you can come up with new ways to customize your brand to gain trust from your customers and provide them with what they want. Your brand will then get loyal customers who will keep coming back for more.
Branding is what a company believes in and how consumers feel about it and its products. It helps businesses promote loyalty and long-term commitment. Customers recognize brands using their visual elements like logo, company name, fonts, tagline, and color scheme. Such elements identify a brand and create an association in the minds of consumers between their desires and the company’s ideals.
Advertising involves spreading the awareness of a brand to acquire new customers and drive sales. It is normally done through paid campaigns that are customized to reach a target audience through different media including newspapers, social media platforms, television, radio, etc.
Branding and advertising work together. Branding drives the direction and style of advertising campaigns while advertising enhances brand awareness.