A business worker accepting payment at a store.

The Battle of Branding vs Marketing vs Advertising: What You Need To Know

You didn’t start your business because words like “marketing strategies,” “advertising campaign,” or “brand equity” makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Not like a warm cup of hazelnut hot chocolate in the middle of winter when you know you don’t have to go outside and drive on three inches of ice.

But when it comes to promoting and growing your business, there’s a lot of terms that get thrown around.

And sometimes it’s enough to make you question why you started your business in the first place.

Because your goal is to make money.

And you make this happen by effectively promoting the different activities and products your customers need and the specific goals you have set for your business.

But as a small business owner, if you want your company to last longer than your toddler’s bedtime goodnights (in a good way, of course) you also need to understand the difference between branding, marketing, and advertising.

So, consider this a free impromptu coaching session with me.

My goal is to give you the 411 on the key differences between these three business essentials and at the end of this article you’ll learn how you can join our free community of business owners and entrepreneurs.

A community of workers sitting around a table together. One is drinking from a cup.

How To Build A Strong Brand Awareness

Let’s start with branding.

To put it simply, brand management is showcasing the personality of your business.

It’s the heartbeat of your company and how your business is identified and seen by your target audience and potential customers.

Think back to your high school years (sorry for the flashback), but, do you remember in your yearbooks those “Most Likely To” pages?

Well, in terms of branding, you want to be the company that’s most likely to:

• Provide amazing customer service through best business practice

• Create a unique product that stands out from the competition

• Put customer experience at the forefront of everything you do

• Stand behind your new product or services

• Be passionate about what you do and provide value to help your potential buyers’ awareness levels.

Your brand should be consistent across all platforms and channels – no matter if you’re on social media or engaging with others in person.

And if you didn’t have those peer popular voting contests, then I bet if we walked down the halls of your school together, you could tell me the names of the:

• Upperclassman football star

• Smartest kid in your class

• One student who takes the pictures for the year book

And why can you name these kids from you past, even today?

Because even in high school, people quickly learn who stands out with certain personality traits and behaviors.

The same goes for your business.

When you create a brand that will stand out in the minds of your customers, you’ll ensure that your customers can recognize and trust your company.

A woman sitting with coworkers smiling at the camera while all the other workers are looking straight ahead.

How Your Business Can Stand Out In A Saturated Market

If you do a search on Instagram for “digital marketing” you’ll find over 29.3 million posts.

Digital marketing search results on Instagram.

That’s a lot of competition!

If you want to stand out in a saturated market, whether you’re diving deep into content marketing for your audience or trying to build a tribe of loyal customers, then you need to learn strategic storytelling.

Stories are powerful—they affect us emotionally and they can spark almost anyone to take action.

Once business owners master the art of storytelling, you can take your brand, and your customer experience, to a whole new level.

Send me a DM on Instagram with the codeword “Storytelling” and let’s chat about how you can stand out in a saturated market.

I’m here to help!

A business woman handing a customer her purchase.

Building Brand Loyalty From The Beginning

Launching your first business is like trying on a lot of different outfits.

You love the red dress, but your eyes really pop when you wear navy blue.

You hate wearing flats, but there’s no denying that your feet don’t want to run off on you at the end of the day.

Once you find a particular brand identity you love and that your audience will support, then you can begin working on your brand loyalty.

Being consistent with your branding in the beginning will help you build trust and loyalty.

Consistently delivering value to your customers is the best way to start building brand loyalty for your business.

You don’t need to sink money into fancy brand managers or a brand strategy that would make Joanna Gaines blush.

What you need is a branding strategy that strengthens customer relationships and brings a beautiful awareness of your company to the world.

So how can you create the best marketing campaigns for your target customers?

A business worker accepting payment at a store.

Marketing Efforts That Won’t Break Your Bank

Branding is who you are as a company and the experience you want to create for your customers.

And marketing involves promoting and selling your specific products or services to your people.

It includes all the activities you need to do to reach your target audience and convince them to buy from you.

Like all the ways your five-year-old convinces you for another drink of water because they suddenly get so dehydrated after 7 p.m.

Your marketing plan might include various media outlets including social media marketing like ad campaigns – including Facebook ads, native ads, or ads in search engine optimization.

You might spend your time talking with your dream clients as you dive into your market research and product development.

Or your marketing activities may include traditional media such as radio, print media, TV, and print ads.

No matter how you decide to market your brand or run your marketing campaign, the most important part is always serving loyal and new customers.

Small businesses cannot survive without knowing their customer base better than their favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Specific strategies and the success of your business will depend on the personal relationships your business builds with your customers.

And how can you and your marketing team create those lasting relationships?

Well, the best way is to get creative with your advertising.

A marketing team working together setting business goals.

Timeless Marketing Messages You Can Use

A successful marketing strategy that is both timeless and relevant is creating content that resonates with your target audience.

I know, easier said than done, right?

Brand marketing is ever-evolving, but you cannot quit just because a handful of posts don’t get the likes, comments, or reach you were wanting.

For starters, tapping into universal emotions like nostalgia, excitement, and even hope can be great for getting people to interact with your brand.

In your content creation process, the main difference between a successful and unsuccessful message is the ability to make your customers feel something.

Whether it’s joy, curiosity or even comfort – let that emotion shine through in your messaging.

I think this is why 90 memes do so well for Millennials, or why nearly everyone loves people like Ryan Reynolds or Taylor Swift – because they’re both marketing geniuses.

At the same time, don’t forget your buyer persona is the hero of your marketing goals.

A successful marketing strategy will always show your customer as the hero with the help of your company’s products.

This will help you stand out from competitors and build relationships with potential customers who may have never heard of your brand

Other timeless strategies include using humor in your content, creating a sense of mystery around a product launch, and even offering exclusive deals that are only available for a limited time to your most loyal customers (hint, hint: your email list).

So, now that you have different business goals for your marketing strategy, it’s time to create a reliable plan you can rinse and repeat.

And that beautiful subset of marketing is called advertising.

An advertising team working together at a work table.

Advertising Strategy

Advertising is a child of marketing and refers to the actual communication of your marketing message to your target audience.

Your advertising needs is the process of promoting your brand, product, or service.

It’s the most visual components of your brand and part of the marketing process.

But, can I share a little advice?

Don’t get lost spending time on your color scheme and the visual identity of the brand elements of your business that you forget to serve your people.

Your customers need more than pretty pictures for you to solve their problems.

You and your team should be focusing on building connections, public relations, and business activities that convert strangers into leads and finally into lifelong happy, loyal customers.

A group of people working together and collaborating on business projects.

Quick Digital Advertising Tips

First things first, don’t get too caught up in the visual bells and whistles of your digital advertising.

Sure, flashy graphics and neon colors might catch someone’s eye, but they won’t necessarily make them stick around and engage with your content.

Instead, focus on crafting concise and compelling copy (and video) that speaks to your audience’s pain points.

Is your content so good that you could sell it?

Are you adding so much value that your content can stand out among the competition?

If you can do this, then you know you’ve got something special.

And speaking of audience, make sure you’re targeting the right people in the right places.

Take advantage of social media collaborations, use relevant keywords, and study the data in your social media interactions.

These tips might seem simple, but trust me, they can go a long way in improving your digital advertising game. 

Having a clear understanding of each branding, marketing, and advertising is necessary to create a complete and engaging strategy to promote your business and drive sales.

By understanding the differences you’ll be empowered to create a visually and emotionally appealing representation of your business that connects with your audience, compelling them to choose your business again and again.

As a specialist in helping entrepreneurs like you, I offer tailored coaching and guidance that can transform your business.

My proven methods will not only improve your sales but also help you establish a strong emotional connection with your target audience, allowing for long-term customer growth.

Don’t let the digital world overwhelm and paralyze you.

Reach out to me on Instagram today with the codeword “COACH” and let’s work together to take your business to the next level!

My DMs are always open and ready for you.