Is Branding or Marketing More Important for a Local Business?

Although branding and marketing can overlap, they are distinct in what they do for a brand. Which begs the question: which is more important for my business?

Find out the differences between the two and learn four ways how having a comprehensive brand identity influences your marketing efforts.

What is Branding?

Branding is about creating a distinctive identity for a product, service, or company that helps it stand out from the competition. 

Typically, branding work includes a brand name, logo design, visual work like product packaging, and curating the customer experience. While all this sounds external-facing, branding begins as an internal exercise – a brand needs to ensure everything aligns with its mission so customers can connect with its messaging (the marketing aspect!).

Essentially, a company invests in branding to create a strong and comprehensive brand identity that resonates with its desired audience and provides an added competitive edge. 

What is Marketing?

On the other hand, marketing is about how you talk about and introduce a product, service, or company to the world. It communicates what your business does best and how it can benefit and improve their lives. 

Marketing plans are generally more short-term because they can change depending on the consumer’s fluctuating wants and needs. You need to figure out how to promote what you offer and ensure that customers are satisfied with what they receive.

Marketing work naturally requires market research, which determines other factors like deciding how much to charge for a product or service, advertising budgets, how to build a loyalty loop with customers, and so on. 

Essentially, the point of marketing is to create demand and make sales (or whatever indicators of success your brand outlines). With the right marketing plans, your business can consistently attract new customers and grow beyond the local market.

While marketing can be done without branding, having a brand identity makes marketing much more effective.

Can Marketing Be Done Without Branding?

Yes, but it may not be as effective. 

Without a strong brand strategy – which works as the foundation for your brand – it is challenging to ascertain what marketing strategies are best suited to reach out to your target audience.

Having a brand identity also gives you assets and collateral to work with when executing marketing strategies. For example, how can you create an ad without a proper logo that is easily recognisable for people to remember you?

4 Ways Branding or Rebranding Helps Your Marketing Efforts

  1. Differentiation 

Think of branding as a transformation or a makeover. One major component of a branding exercise with a branding agency is to find a brand’s unique selling proposition.

With so many competitors providing a similar product or service, what is the overarching thing that your brand offers that a customer should pick you over them?

A branding agency finds out what this quality is, and ensures the brand identity reflects it, so your brand is differentiated from the rest. 

  1. Recognition

Recognisability and memorability are vital when it comes to visual branding.

If a brand is memorable and familiar, the chances of customers choosing it over another increase. A well-designed logo that is highly recognisable can trigger a response from consumers who either appreciate its aesthetic value or harbour curiosity. The desire to interact with the brand therefore increases!

  1. Consistency

As more customers familiarise themselves with your brand identity, keep it consistent. A brand agency helps by creating a brand guidebook or manual.

What should you keep consistent? Visual identity markers like brand colours, typography, photography style, etc. These elements must be maintained, especially for social media and product packaging

Consistency establishes trust and reliability.

  1. Increased Value

Generally, customers are willing to fork out more for a brand they perceive as high-quality and reliable.

A strong brand identity created through a branding project can increase the perceived value of a product or service, which allows businesses to charge higher prices and generate more revenue.

Branding and marketing are essential for the overall success of any local business.

Which is More Important: Branding or Marketing?

Neither is more important, but you could prioritise one first, depending on how your business is progressing. Branding is the foundation for effective marketing. Without a strong foundation, your marketing plans might not be as solid as expected. 

Ultimately, both branding and marketing are necessary for a business.  

A strong brand identity can ensure a clear and memorable presence that resonates with your customers. With this identity created, marketing efforts will promote and amplify your brand to attract more customers. 

For a shot at long-term success, we recommend businesses execute branding and marketing together.