Consider some of the world’s most famous pairings: Mickey and Minnie. Abbott and Costello. Bert and Ernie. Calvin and Hobbes. Romeo and Juliet. Jack and Rose (I’ll never let go!). Branding and…Marketing?
Yes, just as with the world-famous pairs listed before, branding and marketing can’t—and shouldn’t—exist without each other. One simply can’t work as well without the other.
If you’ve been focusing strictly on one or the other—or perhaps you work with a branding firm and a marketing firm—then it’s time to consider the harm you’re doing to both by not combining them and focusing on them together.
Maybe you need to understand why these two concepts are tied together so strongly. It’s hard to consider them as two peas of the same pod, since so many agencies have separated them for so long. Perhaps after considering how much they really need each other, you’ll never keep them apart again.
Branding Without Marketing
What is your brand, really? Many marketers consider the brand such a nebulous thing that they don’t really give it much thought or attention. Your brand is your company’s identity. It’s how your buyers and the world in general perceives your company, right?
What do you think of when you think of Amazon? What’s their brand? Convenience, sure. Cutting-edge technology, absolutely. Futuristic thinking? Yeah, they’ve got that one covered, too.
Why do you think these things about Amazon? How do you even know what they can offer you, the customer? Where did you even begin to develop a concept of their brand?
Well, without marketing, you probably wouldn’t even hear of them at all. Without some way to educate the buying public on what your company does, your branding efforts are in vain. There is no public perception of your brand if there is no public perception, period.
Marketing Without Branding
Now, imagine a world where marketers educated the buying public about Amazon’s products and services without taking the brand as a whole into consideration. What would the perception be for a company that has its fingers in so many different pies?
Confusion, most likely. A company that publishes books, drops off your groceries, gives retailers a marketplace, and eavesdrops in your house to provide weather information or play your favorite songs? Well, without some kind of guiding force to bring these services and products together and explain the why of it all, Amazon might appear to be a company that doesn’t have its stuff together.
Marketing without branding simply creates an image problem, and these issues can get worse over time without attention to your voice and messaging. Without a solid brand in place, could Crock Pot have weathered the storm of that devastating “This Is Us” episode? Would the iPhone have managed to get through the firestorm after their phones bent in back pockets?
These two need to work together, side by side, at all times in order to maintain public perception while also educating your buyers on your products and services. If you’re trying to make that happen with two separate agencies, you could find a disconnect that brings you more headaches than higher sales.