I have seen many companies and business owners, whether SME or large companies, do not really understand the key differences and relations between marketing and branding. It is misunderstood in many companies, what is even worse is that even in their own marketing departments.
I have been actively involved in the marketing and branding field regionally, and had worked as Head of Marketing for several large corporations such as AKEMI, Senheng, SenQ etc., and have crafted countless international marketing plans and best-selling brands throughout Southeast Asian markets. Indeed, both marketing and branding are my passion. So let me shed some light here, explain why knowing the two are extreme important, what is more, to give you ideas to navigate your way to improve your business in terms of marketing and branding.
Marketing is a Process Satisfying Customers Profitably
In my opinion, marketing is a planning and implementation process responsible for defining and satisfying customer needs and wants profitably, efficiently. Marketing serves as an integral part of your brand, communicating the message and promise that your customers expect based on appropriate brand positioning, characteristic, personality and tone.
Branding Delivers Promise
Branding is something about delivering promise. For instance, your brand promises to customers with top graded quality of product and service, your brand must deliver the promise every time, without fail. The idea that branding is a fancy logo with good name and colour combination is just superficial, they are just small fraction of what a brand actually should represent. The key to unleashing the power of your brand is involving all your stakeholders and employees.
In sum, marketing is what you plan and implement, conveying your messages of promise to target customers, and your brand then fulfills the promise, therefore, building an extraordinary competitive advantage ultimately.