Strategic Branding vs. Marketing: Which is the better focus?

Here's the difference between these two approaches to business growth.
Branding is not marketing. Marketing is not branding. But they’re both critical to the success of your business. The truth is that branding and marketing work together to bring customers in the door and keep them coming back for more. That’s why you need both a brand strategy and marketing plan in place if you want your business to grow.

What is the goal of marketing?

Marketing is the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods and services to create exchanges that will satisfy individual and organizational objectives.
Marketing can be measured and improved with feedback. This feedback can come from internal sources like sales reports or customer surveys, or external sources including social media platforms. Marketing generates the means of reaching an audience by selecting channels appropriate for target consumers;
  • identifying key points in their decision-making process;
  • creating a message designed to persuade them to act;
  • delivering this message via various communication channels;
  • monitoring results so as to decide on future policies/strategies for each channel/target consumer base/message type etc.;
  • adapting marketing strategies accordingly.
Marketing is deciding where and how people will come in contact with a brand — whether it’s through ads on Facebook or billboards on highways.

What is a brand strategy?

A brand strategy is a plan for how you will use your brand to achieve your business goals. It’s the reason behind why you do what you do, and it affects all aspects of a business. It’s not a marketing plan, but rather dictates the language and tone of marketing campaigns.
A well-defined and executed brand strategy affects all aspects of a business and is directly connected to consumer needs, emotions, and competitive environments. A successful brand strategy creates value by delivering on perceived promises while meeting or exceeding expectations along an emotional journey from awareness through purchase to loyalty over time.

Marketing and branding work together

Marketing and brand strategy are closely connected. A strong brand strategy is the foundation of a successful marketing campaign, and vice versa. While both can work independently, they should never be separated from one another.
Marketing affects your reputation; Brand strategy determines how you want to present yourself to the world in order to achieve your goals.
A good brand strategy works over time—you don’t have one for a few months or years, then abandon it suddenly when it becomes inconvenient (or no longer lucrative). Instead, think about how you want your customers to perceive you over several years at least; this will help ensure that what you do today doesn’t contradict what you did last year or five years ago (and vice versa).