Marketing Vs Branding: An easy guide to understand the real meaning in the current context

Authored by Ramasubramaniam, Brand Manager – FHL Once read somewhere “Ask two economists the same question and you get three answers”. So do Marketing and branding experts! They just broke the record by economists overwhelmingly by giving more answers to a simple (only if I am allowed to term like that) question like Marketing versus Branding. The discussion so far never failed to create confusion than clarity. Experts clearly start belonging to different school of thoughts and each one of them is totally confident about what they know. If I have to broadly place all the thoughts (confusion would fit here better), there emerge in total three divisions of people. #1: Marketing is a mother of all activities and Branding is a subset/part of Marketing #2: Marketing is a process that abstracts benefits from a brand. In other words, Branding is Marketing+ #3: Marketing and Branding are the same in the contemporary world and also are inseparable But in the current context, are these all three schools of thoughts relevant? Answering to this would make our life easy in understanding the difference between Marketing and Branding. Relied strongly upon Commodity versus Brand debate, the first school of thoughts firmly states “one can have marketing without branding (refers to commodity selling), but cannot have branding without marketing”. Also this section of experts draws similarity between promotion – one of the 4Ps of marketing, and branding. Before one falls prey to the above argument, one needs to understand the real meaning of branding. The word “branding” for years has been overused, rather used in a  One can have marketing different context, to the point that its originally intended without branding, but cannot meaning is obscured. It is more than just creating a set of have branding without ‘Marketing’ communications intended to reach the marketing targeted customers; and it should not be confused with different promotional activities alone. It is just one  Branding is what you stand aspect of branding, rather ‘Brand Management’ or for. Marketing is how you ‘Brand Thinking’. It should lead to ‘Brand Health’ that in entice consumers to purchase turn makes way to healthy relationship between a product or service and the customers.  Successful marketing creates more profitable rupees. Gone are days when customers valued only the physical Successful branding creates features attached to the offerings. In the contemporary history world where customers has evolved and also started demanding more from the providers in terms of  Branding is indirect sale and behaviour or attitude shown by them. In the context, the Marketing is direct sale first school of thoughts becomes outdated and the new  Branding is the work done on breed of thought emerges – While marketing encourages the DNA of a company, a product, etc.

a first time purchase, branding encourages a first time purchase and also a repeat purchase by delivering economic, experiential and emotional value to customers through organizational capabilities and commitment. Nonetheless, the first school of thoughts holds partly true i.e. one can have marketing without branding, but cannot have branding without marketing. That does not mean - marketing is superior to branding. Marketing should preferably take cognizance of the brand value. Hence there is a subtle difference between these two. Though branding cannot be for sure considered as superior to marketing, it is wise to infer “branding as marketing plus”. They are inseparable, but they are not same. I would like to conclude with one of the analogy I have come across - “Branding is like building a ship which requires planning and dedications as it has to last long and prove its worthiness, where as marketing is a process through which one can abstract benefits of brand built. Marketing is a set of various activities that go into developing the brand or building the relationship. It helps maintaining and assesses the life worthiness of the ship-brand build and without ship-brand, marketing is of no use. Thus, both are equally important.”

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