Written by Canon Wing

I teach entrepreneurs and organizations the proven action steps to stand out within their market, improve the perceived value of their business, and better connect with their audience through naming, branding, storytelling, and communication platforms.

January 14, 2022

Marketing vs. Branding – What Comes First and Why

Marketing vs. Branding – What’s The Difference and Why You Need Both

Prioritizing a quick sale over customer relationships has put 74% of brands on the chopping block. Take a moment to really absorb that. 74% of brands that don’t prioritize brand loyalty over a quick sale find themselves on the chopping block. The only way to not be on the chopping block is to develop a consistent, long term relationship with your ideal individuals. Only those brands can retain their top spot in the marketplace. And branding and marketing are both vehicles to do just that. 

Think about OTT content platforms you’ve used – if I were to ask you about a clear market leader, you would likely say Netflix. Hulu does not seem to have the same brand cachet and people just don’t have the same affinity for a brand with a pay per view business model. So apart from its massive content library that speaks to every kind of viewer in the world, what else is it that Netflix excels in? Well, it is something that I call Continuing Customer Connection. It is how you create a brand that connects over a long term relationship and effective marketing that tells customers all about the product/ service/ offers and so on.

The Maybelline branding case study.

Way back in 1915, Thomas Lyle Williams created mascara for his sister Mabel. This started off Maybelline as a mail-order company offering American women “the first modern eye cosmetic for everyday use.” Over a hundred years, the brand Maybelline has remained relevant, accessible, desirable, and beloved. Look at how the brand managed to create one of the most recognizable straplines of the past 150 years: Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s Maybelline. Before that, it was Maybelline, Maybelline Ooh La La, which resonated for that time. Later in 2016, it was a more direct, powerful, Make It Happen.

In each of these phases of branding, they managed to appeal to the woman of the day; managed to capture the zeitgeist of the time. It appealed to women back when women assumed more traditional roles in society. Equally, the brand remained relevant at a time when women were going out and claiming their own place in professional and nontraditional spaces. Also instructive is the way that Maybelline used technology to communicate with its ideal audience. The company was one of the first to create online quizzes – much before online quizzes were a thing. Later, the kind of content they published helped create online conversations that people continued offline as well.

Marketing sells, branding makes you memorable.

For your business to succeed you need both! Marketing and branding are different but complementary, and both are like two branches of a tree that rely on each other for the tree to flourish. While marketing is like a casual friendship that may or may not turn into a long term relationship, branding is like the relationships you have with your family: close, connected, long term… it is something you identify with.

So as a business you need to ask yourself – what is it that your ideal individuals are looking for, and what is it that you’re looking for from them? Is it a quick sale you’re aiming for, or is it a long and meaningful connection that will survive the fickle vagaries of a market with infinite choice? How do you achieve your goals? In my latest episode about branding vs marketing, I explain how you can achieve business success using both these tools in a complementary manner, and create that all important Continuing Customer Connection.