When we assist new entrepreneurs working on their first businesses, we get copious amounts of questions about marketing and branding. One I want to zero in on is, “What is the connection between marketing and branding?”
According to the Chartered Institute of Marketing, “Marketing is the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements at a profit.”
Marketing can be broken down into three steps:
Segmentation – identifying groups of people with similar needs
Targeting – choosing which groups to focus your business efforts on
Positioning – aligning your business to meet the needs of the groups you have chosen.
Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink and the Tipping Point, among other great books, shares a wonderful story about how a psychophysicist by the name of Howard Moskowitz changed marketing forever in the US food industry.
Before Howard, there was the perception that there was a “best” version of every food; a best slice of pizza, a best chocolate ice cream. However, through his work with Pepsi and Campbell’s Soup, Howard discovered that there is no “best.” Instead, there are different “bests” to different people.
From this we get clustering – where we create groups based on similar likes and needs. This allowed for what everyone in marketing takes for granted today: segmentation. Without segmentation, effective targeting and positioning would be like trying to navigate a 1600’s era ship without a compass on a foggy day – you simply don’t know what you are aiming for.
Thanks to Howard, we know who to look for, but what about branding…
There is a common saying that your brand is the personality of your business. Stephanie Burns, CEO of Chic CEO, takes this a step further, saying, “I look at it as a marriage between a personality (the initial attraction) and creating a relationship (what keeps us in love).”
This makes sense. People are naturally drawn to personalities they like, be it a person or a company, but what makes it last is the quality of the relationship. Stephanie points out that showing your imperfections and creating traditions are wonderful ways to create lasting relationships. This is because they add dynamism to what is too often a flat interaction, or no interaction at all. Furthermore, this builds trust. A good brand will be recognised for certain qualities that customers can count on finding in all offerings. This creates a positive feeling of familiarity, which in turn cultivates trust.
So what is the connection between marketing and branding? In a nutshell, branding is the part of marketing that is focused on making your business appealing to your target segment through showing your personality, creating great relationships, and building trust with them.