The failure to understand the difference between branding and advertising by many marketers in todaý’s marketing landscape is quite surprising, given the rapid evolution of marketing. While the desired end result in both may be that of increasing revenue, both have different roles to play. And understanding this difference can significantly help marketers in their brand marketing strategy.
Branding is all about creating an identity – Who are you? What’s your name? What do you sell? How do you make me feel? The answers to these questions are what define you as a brand. These factors create a brand’s personality; like a person. Just like a person is more than just a living thing, a brand is much more than a product or a service. And each one has an individual personality that will appeal to a certain set of people, and unappealing to others. There’s no right or wrong here. To illustrate, we may consider the example of Apple’s iPhone and Micromax phones in India. Both have a certain personality that appeal to a certain audience. And while they are poles apart in that aspect, both have been successful in the country.
Advertising, on the other hand, is more about communicating what you have to offer in your product or service. This may be done through multiple mediums – TV, radio, print, digital, etc. It’s more direct in nature with respect to achieving the desired objective. It’s like asking someone to come and meet you. And that’s why, it’s important to know whom you are calling – in advertising terms what we call “target audience”.
The bottom line is that branding and advertising have very different roles to play in marketing strategy. And knowing this difference is important to create a strategy that will leverage their individual roles to achieve the desired objectives of marketing.