Marketing Vs Branding

I have observed during my interactions with corporate marketing & brand managers that marketing is perceived about branding your organization, services, commodity and/or people. Creating USPs, differentiators, brand plans, strategy, sales achievements, ROI etc. is all about branding & marketing for the majority population.

There are spectrum of different thoughts & ideology here. My submission to the topic is Marketing is about aligning Mission, Vision, Strategic thrusts & promotions with end result i.e. Aspiration (99% cases-it is sales &/or profitability). Marketing is well defined in it's bibles as 4Ps-
  • Product (or Service).
  • Place.
  • Price.
  • Promotion.
While Branding is all about getting & creating space in the mind of your target audience & customer. It doesn't have anything with alignment of the marketing mix. It has its own different 4Ps-
  • Perception.
  • Perception.
  • Perception &
  • Perception.
"Marketing is all around, it's 4Ps, Branding is all around perception"
First Perception is about "Benefits of getting ally with your brand"
Second Perception is about "Quality & differentiation w.r.t. Competitors"
Third Perception is about "People & Organization"
Fourth Perception is all about "Promise with the Brand"
"Marketing may change every year, Branding doesn't"
Marketing has its own pattern. It has a game plan and we need to quantify it time to time. May be quarter to quarterly, half yearly, annual & chronologically. We relate in a way that"marketing (campaign or gameplan) was successful as it has generated an additional sale of 1Mn $ in this FY", but can we say this "Branding was successful as it has generated additional sale??"
My answer to the question is "No". Marketing has its annual targets while branding doesn't have. Debatable topic, but I have never heard that "With this branding plan, we will achieve the target".

My intention is not to say that marketing has quantifiable attributes while branding has qualitable one. No, Quantifiable is "Sales Plan", Marketing Plan is about strategies to boost sales by engaging & delight customer while the Brand Plan is about creating differentiation and compelling environment among your product/services to get prioritized in mind of the customer.
"Marketing push Sales, Branding Pull it"

Benz means "Luxury", Volvo means "Safety", Toyota means "Durability", Audi means "Technology", Ferrari means "Speed" ... This is clear cut branding with differentiators (personality). If I need a car which suits my personality-I will choose the car with a matching personality. Companies do not need to pitch sales & marketing, I will visit them.

To sell more Benz cars this year, Marketing game plan is needed. Putting it in Auto-Expo, Advertising it, in cosmopolitan magazines, opening an outlet in the suburb and new territory etc. will push sales.
"Marketing Can Be Aggressive, Defensive, Flank or Guerilla, Branding is just consistent"
Positioning Guru Jack trout has used these attacks to correlate with marketing gimmicks in one of my favorite book "Marketing Warfare". It is all about "Who you are & what you want to be"
"We are very aggressive with our this particular brand"- Generally, this is the line of communication used by the sales team for the high thrust brand. To achieve this mission, we support by different tools like frequency of advertising, sales visit, priority in pitching, spends, customer activities and engagement process.

But how can we use these attacks in brand wars?
Apple Vs Samsung is classic case here. Apple attacked Samsung on technical grounds, summoned them legally and got compensation. Post that Samsung attacked Apple by using marketing gimmicks like "It does not take a genius" campaign. Now, has that particular campaign helped Samsung to beat brand promise what apple was having???

The answer is no.
Apple did what he is doing consistently and having the last laugh. Silently.
"Marketing is all about "Why Me", Branding is all about "Why Not Me".Bingo"

When we publish our resume, we do marketing all about us. Credentials, Experience, Expertise, Skills, Career curve, Aspirations etc. We are actually pitching HR managers... Take Me!!! Take Me!!! Harsh, but true. Marketing.
But what other people think of us in our own organization and target company, is all about perception. It's all about what we have made them perceive about ourself. This is branding. It happens being consistent. Being persistent. Being committed. The promise which we are going to bear with us.
Branding is not a virtue of Marketing or Vice Versa. Just Objective, Process and end results are different.
My submission. Debatable. :)


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