Branding, Marketing & Advertising: What is the Difference?

August 14, 2016

 

As branding and marketing consultants, we are often asked: “Is there really a difference between the two?” Throw advertising into the mix, and the waters only get muddier.

At Verv, we are intimately familiar with the differences between branding, marketing and advertising – because we live and breathe this stuff. It’s our passion and our playground. We know precisely how to differentiate between them and, more important, exactly how to apply the principles of each to meet your specific needs.

Let’s talk about what that means.

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Branding: The Critical First Step

The importance of branding cannot be overstated, especially in a competitive real estate market like Vancouver. At its most basic level, branding refers to a name and a logo. But consider for a moment just how important your name and logo are. They are your initial interaction with the consumer; your first, and most important tool to build a perception in consumers’ minds about the qualities and attributes of your product.

Your brand is visually articulated through a design system that combines graphic devices, imagery and language, painstakingly crafted to create the desired effect. Successful branding achieves two crucial objectives:

  • Differentiates you from your competitors
  • Positions your product in the market

At Verv, we have developed a brand model to establish strategy, positioning and identity (detailed in an earlier post), culminating in a brand platform that is used as a touchstone for the lifecycle of your product – from preview to completion. Branding is the foundation of all marketing efforts, and it is critical that it gets done right.

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Marketing: Feeding the Sales Machine

Technically speaking, marketing is all activity undertaken to create demand. More specifically, it is the activity whereby the right messaging is matched to the right audience. The goal of marketing is to increase sales and achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. Only by understanding the needs and wants of your consumer (based on market intelligence and insights), then answering those needs, can marketing be successful.

Your marketing efforts will focus on active promotion and communication with your target audience. Integrated marketing plans (sales environments, collateral, PR, advertising, digital presence, etc.) will determine how and where your product’s “story” is told.

By communicating on-target messaging to key audiences in compelling ways, your marketing efforts will drive awareness, elevate the value of your brand, and ultimately deliver qualified leads for your sales team.

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Advertising: A Powerful Punch

“Advertising” can be a misunderstood term. In actual fact, advertising is simply one component of the marketing spectrum. It is the action of using paid announcements to inform and influence your audience, and create awareness about your product.

Traditionally, an advertising campaign is developed based on your branding and marketing plan, and distributed across paid media channels strategically selected to reach your target audience.

Advertising is a major piece of the marketing puzzle. A bold and compelling campaign promoted in the right places can be a game-changer for successful real estate projects. It can be differentiator that gets your project sold – ahead of your competitor!

So, the short answer is that advertising falls under the umbrella of marketing, while branding is that critical first step of positioning your product and creating your visual identity before you can begin to flesh out your marketing plan.

Give us a shout if you have questions, or want to discuss what’s missing from your project. We could talk about this stuff all day. Actually, we do.

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