I am the president of Anchor Marketing. However, sometimes the hardest part of my job is explaining how marketing is different than branding. When you say “marketing,” a lot of people think you are talking about advertising and sales promotions. And while that is true, it’s only a small part of what Anchor does. The lion’s share of the work we do for customers deals with branding, an entirely different concept that is even more important to a company’s success.
The key to understanding how branding differs from marketing starts with the process of making and selling products and services. A company takes raw materials (they can be tangible like steel and plastic or intangible like the skills of its employees) and adds value to them (by building something, for example), resulting in a product or service that is worth more than the sum of its parts. That’s where profit comes from, obviously. Branding and marketing happen at two different stages of that process, and that’s what makes the two concepts distinct.
Marketing is a little easier to understand because it happens at the end of the process – we use it to sell the product or services. Marketing focuses on lead generation and sales. It is very product-centric, and you can pretty easily measure it on the income statement.
Branding, on the other hand, is part of the “adding value” step. A strong brand adds extra value to the product or service, allowing you to charge more in the end. It isn’t necessarily focused on any one product or service, and it shows up on the balance sheet, though it is more challenging to measure. Why can Apple charge three times as much (or more) for an iPhone than a competing Android phone? Part of that is a result of materials and software, but a huge chunk of that premium price comes from the name and logo on the device.
Think of it this way: marketing is a job, but your brand is an asset.
In fact, for many companies their brand is almost certainly the most valuable asset they own. Where would lululemon be without its branding, for example? Are their products worth twice as much as their competitors? Thanks to their logo, name and overall cachet, yes.
Is your company building its brand? Are you using it to set yourself apart from your competition? If you aren’t, why not? The more you work on that asset, the more it is worth – and the more profit it can earn you.
Anchor can help. Marketing might be in our name, but branding is in our DNA. Let’s talk, and I can show you how we can put that experience to work for your business.