The key differences between branding and marketing

We all know branding and marketing like to do a little dance in the business strategy world. They’re the tangoing duo that often end up stepping on each other’s toes. They’ve been swapping places on the dance floor for so long, we’ve almost forgotten who’s leading who! Sure, they waltz around together a lot, but they’ve each got their own solo moves that can really light up the dance floor. So, let’s put on our dance shoes and take a twirl around the ballroom of branding and marketing, and see why understanding each one’s fancy footwork is super important for all business owners and marketers. 

What is branding? 

Your brand is the perception that customers have of your business. Imagine branding as your business’s personality – its beliefs, its looks, its voice, its aura – all the jazz that makes it, well, it. It’s the way your customers feel when they bump into your products or services. It’s that warm, fuzzy (or exciting, or cool, or whatever vibe you’re going for) feeling that envelops them when they see your logo or hear your tagline. So, in simple terms, branding is a bit like being a perception puppeteer, you’re pulling all these strings – your values, visuals, words – to make your business dance the way you want it to in the minds of your customers. And this isn’t a one-time performance, folks! Branding is an ongoing, encore-demanding show that keeps your audience coming back for more. 

Sure, picking out a shiny new logo and choosing some fab colours and fonts is a part of it – a fun part, we won’t lie. But that’s just the shiny tip of the branding iceberg. What lies beneath is developing a brand strategy – a master plan, if you will. This grand scheme of yours should define the why, who, what, how, and the distinctive persona of your brand. Sounds serious? It is, and it’s crucial too! This strategy lays the groundwork for your brand, ensuring that every word you utter, every image you flash, every ad you run, echoes with the same tune, resonates with your audience, and most importantly, makes sense. So, branding, my dear friends, isn’t just about looking good – it’s about making sense in a uniquely charming way! 

What is brand strategy? 

Brand strategy is the process of defining and articulating your brand’s purpose, personality, and positioning.  

Picture it as the GPS for your brand – it maps out where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. You see, all your branding escapades – all your messages, all your campaigns – they need to have a sense of consistency, relevancy, and meaning for your beloved audience. And a brand strategy is your ticket to achieving that. 

But it’s not just about going with the flow. No, no, no! Your brand strategy should march to the beat of your business goals, showing off what makes you, you. Got competitors? Of course, you do! Your brand strategy helps you stand out from the crowd, shining a spotlight on your unique quirks. It’s not just about playing the game, it’s about playing it with your rules, your style, and a whole lot of panache! So, whip out those notepads and let’s get strategising, shall we? 

To cobble together a spiffing brand strategy that makes you pop in the bustling marketplace, bonds you to your audience like superglue, and fosters relationships that last longer than a box set binge, you’ll need to answer some key questions. 

Your brand strategy should answer questions such as: 

  • Who is your target audience? 
  • What are their pain points and needs? 
  • What is your unique value proposition? 
  • What is your brand personality? 
  • What is your brand promise? 
  • What is your brand voice? 
  • What is your brand visual identity? 

Don your detective hat and start unravelling the answers. Trust us, it’s more exciting than a crossword puzzle and a game changer for your brand! 

What is marketing strategy? 

Picture this: Your brand is a shiny, new superhero ready to conquer the world. Your marketing strategy? Well, that’s your superhero action plan, your secret weapon in capturing your target audience’s attention and whisking them off their feet! 

You see, marketing strategy is your grand scheme to put your brand and products under the spotlight, creating a razzle-dazzle with campaigns that shout out your brand message and value from the rooftops. It’s about bringing your brand strategy to life, strutting your stuff across various stages to charm your target audience. 

Your marketing playbook might include: 

  • Billboards and Adverts: Get your name in lights or at least on a mega-sized poster! 
  • Smooth PR Moves: Charm the socks off journalists and influencers! 
  • Content Marketing: Woo with words, enthrall them with images, or captivate with videos! 
  • Social Media Mastery: Make waves and win hearts on the digital stage! 
  • SEO Sorcery: Become the ‘chosen one’ on search engines! 
  • Email Marketing: Slide into inboxes with style and substance! 
  • Events and Sponsorships: Show up, show off, and make memories! 
  • Sales Promotions: Dangle the carrot and watch ’em bite! 

In the end, it’s all about getting those leads and sales, shooting up brand awareness, and creating an unbreakable bond with your customers. Your marketing tactics are your secret spells to create a buzz around your products and services and stand out from the sea of competitors.  

When is marketing not branding? 

Whilst marketing usually cosies up under the broad umbrella of branding, there are instances where branding goes solo, not needing its marketing sidekick. Think of these as brand expressions that don’t quite fit into the marketing mould. 

For example, those little messages you receive after making a purchase? That’s not marketing, that’s pure branding. The friendly ‘thank you’ email or a follow-up call post-purchase aren’t trying to market anything. Still, they subtly shape your perception of the brand. 

Likewise, product packaging with its flashy design and clever taglines, top-notch customer service always ready with a smile, and the user experience that glides as smoothly as butter – these are all touchpoints that influence your view of the brand without resorting to direct marketing. 

The bond between branding and marketing 

Both branding and marketing are two peas in a pod, essential for a business to flourish. While branding sets the compass for marketing, marketing acts as the loudhailer, broadcasting the brand far and wide. 

For businesses, understanding the subtle dance between branding and marketing is crucial. It provides a clear roadmap for all marketing efforts. When your brand identity is crystal clear, and your marketing strategy is on point, you can reel in new customers, forge a strong bond of brand loyalty, and ultimately hit your business targets. 


Do you need help creating your brand identity? Get in touch today to see how we can help you. 

How To Lead The Way and Gain Trust On Social Media

Housing Associations, you’ve got a mixed bag of folk to reach out to, which means your marketing communications, especially social media, need a touch of TLC. Your social media managers will be juggling a whole circus of news, from shiny new builds to the latest buzz from the local community. The question is, how do you shine out from the crowd and really connect with your audience?

Well, we’re here to give you a leg up. Stay tuned for our savvy tips on how to master the social media game and win over your audience’s trust. Let’s dive right in, shall we?

Be different by being authentic

Authenticity isn’t just a buzzword; it’s the star player in the game of trust, particularly in the digital playground of social media. Let’s wave goodbye to faux smiles and posts that paint an incessantly rosy picture. It’s time to bring some raw honesty into the frame.

Social media is the stage for authenticity and transparency, so don’t tuck away your mistakes in a corner. Be brave enough to admit when things have gone pear-shaped and address your followers’ concerns head-on.

But remember, it’s not just about holding your hands up; it’s also about how you right the wrongs. Discuss how you’ve tackled the problem, and elaborate on the new measures you’ve introduced to prevent a replay. That, my friends, is how you build trust with your followers and keep them coming back for more!

Bromford – Cyber Incident: How would you talk about it?

Choosing the right social media channels

Social media is a brilliant tool to connect with your residents and stakeholders. But remember, not all channels are created equal. So, it’s about creating content that fits like a glove for each audience.

Think TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook for customer and resident engagement, and keep LinkedIn and Twitter in your arsenal for business and corporate communications. There might be some overlap, particularly for companies who’ve got their ears to the ground to understand how residents feel.

However, it’s always a smarter move to create bespoke social content for different platforms than to churn out the same message across all channels. Trust me, your followers will thank you for giving them a tailored experience!

Respond quickly, and honestly

To show your followers you genuinely value their two pennies’ worth, it’s crucial to respond promptly and honestly to their comments and messages. This shows you’re all ears and ready for a chat.

Setting up alerts can be a handy trick to ensure you don’t let any interactions slip through the net. But, let’s not forget the personal touch. Avoid sounding like a robot, and mix up your responses so they don’t all kick off with the same old line. Remember, it’s not just about what you say, but how you say it.

And when it comes to complaints, honesty is always the best policy. Avoid biting off more than you can chew by promising something you can’t deliver. Always aim to take the complaints off the public stage as professionally as you can.

With this approach, you’re all set to build a loyal following and bolster your relationship with your audience. After all, every good conversation starts with good listening.

Use social media to showcase your work

Social media is a great way to share stories and highlight the good work that your organisation is doing. Share photos and videos of your work, and share testimonials from satisfied residents. People will trust reviews over the Housing Association’s word, so get lots of reviews and case studies that external parties can research into themselves.

Consider hiring a social media manager

If you don’t have the time or resources to manage your social media accounts effectively, consider hiring a social media manager to help you. This person can handle day-to-day tasks like responding to comments and posting updates, freeing you up to focus on other important tasks.

Ready to lead the way? Contact us today.