View Full Version : Marketing vs. Branding

03-28-2006, 05:22 AM
In response to the following query,

"Hi Ned,

Thanks for posting. A short time ago we had a question on the forum about the difference between marketing and branding. Do you have any thoughts on the difference? Any insight you have that you could post would be helpful....

Thanks, Steve"

The differences between marketing and branding are largely theoretical. Branding is considered a more "higher level" of thought, whereas marketing is more "street-level". Branding is more integrated, and is a life-long commitment to define and maintain a company's identity, reputation, and strategies in the marketplace, whereas marketing can be on a more campaign-by-campaign basis. Marketing strategies can change, but branding strategies, though they can be improved upon and expanded, should not change. Many of the largest most rock-solid corporations have fallen because they "Forgot what made them successful" (a term coined by Al Ries and Jack Trout).

There is no clear line between Marketing and Branding, and the two must always work hand in hand. Your branding goals should always drive your marketing strategies, and your marketing strategies should always define the final output of your advertising campaigns.

03-28-2006, 05:33 AM
Hi Ned,

When you say "Marketing strategies can change, but branding strategies, though they can be improved upon and expanded, should not change. Many of the largest most rock-solid corporations have fallen because they "Forgot what made them successful"

Can you think of examples where this has happened?

I think we all learn better with examples.

03-29-2006, 12:54 AM
Hi Gopher,

I will try to think of as many examples as I can, along with the position which they should have kept... Not all have crashed, but all have suffered serious setbacks and not maintained their rightful place or leadership role...

7up - "the Uncola"

Little Ceasars - "Pizza Pizza"

Avis - "We're number 2, but we try harder!"

Coca-Cola - "The Real Thing" (After Coke's big mistake with
New Coke, they are coming back to their old stand. Smart. They have even reintroduced the polar bear commercials, starting last Christmas.)

Kodak - Tried to compete in the Polaroid market, and lost their footing in film, which is what Kodak stood for.

RCA - Tried to compete against IBM in personal computers, and lost billlions which could have been put into new communications technologies - what RCA was best known for.

IBM - Introduced a line of photocopiers, printers, laser printers. Does anybody every buy them?

Xerox - Like RCA, Xerox also lost millions in the computer business, just as IBM did when they tried to tramp on Xerox' territory in Photocopiers.

Hope that list helped... It is so important that a company KNOWS their place in the market, and remembers the thing that gave them footing, because that is where they should continue to concentrate their efforts. The world is constantly changing, but a company who is brand-aware can change with it, without stepping out of their "creneau".

03-29-2006, 01:27 AM
What's fascinating about this is it makes me wonder.

A company may try many many things before finding something that hits.

For example William Wrigley Jr (http://www.wrigley.com/wrigley/about/about_story.asp):

"He started out selling soap. As an extra incentive to merchants to carry Wrigley's soap, he offered them free baking powder. When baking powder proved to be more popular than soap, he switched to the baking powder business. One day, Mr. Wrigley got the idea to offer merchants free chewing gum with each can of baking powder."
This led to the creation of Wrigley Gum.

So then it makes you wonder, should companies be exploring and seeking out new products or ideas? Or should they stick with what works?

What if Wrigley continued to sell just soap?

I think overall we can fail at more things than we succeed in, but sometimes those successes are so big, it makes the failures insignificant.

So then which direction do you go?

03-29-2006, 01:32 AM
I think that you need to try out many different things, get a feel for many different things, but in the long run, you really need to settle down and pick one particular thing that you are great at and market the heck out of that.

For example, I love buying from companies that have been in the business for a long term with a particular product that I have used for a long time. Why is that, becasue I can trust them to know that they are experienced at that one particular product. Perfect example, is my barber. He does not do styling, he does not wash hair. All he does is cut mens hair. he specializes in one thing and one thing only. He has been cutting hair for approx 35 years. I have been going to him since my first haircut. Pretty amazing.

03-29-2006, 01:44 AM
Likewise, there is only one place I go to color my hair. They do the best color in town, for the cheapest to boot, but they give the most horrendous cuts ever! The cut is included with the color, but I go to get it cut elsewhere first.

Here is another example of a company who could really boost their reputation and categorize themselves effectively, if they marketed as a place for color. Don't bother including the cut, because that'll just embarass you and drive customers away... Let people know that you do the best color in town, and this is the "house of color".

03-29-2006, 01:45 AM
Some things it seems you can't stick with though.

For example, Ned brought up Kodak. Kodak tried to get into the instant photo business Polaroid had. But the real problem which was coming up on them in a hurry was the digital age. Now digital cameras rule the industry.

It was a total blindside. Who would have thought? Where is Kodak now? What should they have done differently?

What if a similar thing is going to happen to the industry you are in? How can you prepare for that if you just stick to one thing?

Also how can you take advantage of new opportunities if you don't explore?

03-29-2006, 01:54 AM
I think the best answer to that dilemma is to do a lot of research and development. Keep up with the trends before they happen. When products come along which seem to "threaten" your position, you should not try to crush them, but rather embrace them. Cover them, and make them your own first, but act fast. For instance, Kodak was one of the first companies in a position to buy the rights to Carlson's Xerography process, but declined, thinking that nobody would pay 5 cents for a cheap plain-paper copy, when they could get a nice coated copy for a cent. A company called Haloid, which later became Haloid Xerox, then later Xerox, bought those rights.

Unfortunately, I can't think of anything which Kodak could do to cover themselves now, since all the areas of digital photography are already covered (cameras by Canon and Nikon, scanners by Epson and Canon, Printers by Epson, Canon, and HP, paper by the same... Video Cameras by Sony, Panasonic, and Canon).

However, keeping ahead of research might have guaranteed Kodak a new product development in the field of new camera technology, before what they knew became obsolete.

03-29-2006, 01:58 AM
I do agree with both of your points. I have been seriously looking at putting green installations for a long time. I think that it would be a great market to get into, but do I want to deal with more hassle of another service.

But I haven't necessarily gave up hope on everything. Whenever I see something new and interesting I weigh the pros and cons. Could I be losing out on big money, sure, but am I dealing with less stress of not having to deal with a new product/service...probably.

03-29-2006, 01:59 AM
That is a fascinating story. It makes you wonder what opportunies are in front of your face each and ever day that you are missing out on because you can't see their potential. We all seemed to so get locked into our own point of view and can't see the larger picture.

03-29-2006, 02:03 AM
Quote[/b] (Team Gopher @ Mar. 29 2006,2:59)]We all seemed to so get locked into our own point of view and can't see the larger picture.
Right there is exactly what I always wonder. How much am I really missing because I am stuck in my own ways of what I think people want, compared to what they really want.

Sure I send out surveys every year, read the latest industry reports and selling trends, but am I just looking at that information in my own prespective.

03-29-2006, 02:07 AM
Also you are looking at information from a questionnaire you created and sent out. People have a tendency to tell you what you want to hear when they think you are listening.

Customers who really had a bad experience with you will most likely never tell you directly. For many reasons.

But if you listen, you may hear through others of the situation(s).

03-29-2006, 02:09 AM
that has always been my biggest thing, but to kind of stop that what I do is send out the questionnaire, with a pre-addressed and stamped envelope for customers can remain anonymous

03-29-2006, 02:14 AM
This may be crazy but would it be worth it to ask if they knew of anyone else who used your services and what did that person think of your service?

Maybe you could get more info out that way as well.

03-29-2006, 02:16 AM
that is something different that I never thought of before. Please explain more of why I would do that

03-29-2006, 02:29 AM
Well here is my thought on this.

Say I have a bad experience at a restaurant I tried. They can send me all the questions about their service in the mail they want and I probably won't ever waste my time responding. But I will bring up in conversation with others that I had a bad experience.

If I were the restaurant owner, I would want to know as much information I could about what customes were feeling about their experience.

They may not tell me directly but someone else may tell me what they heard, if I ask them to.

What about you?

03-29-2006, 02:32 AM
ahhh...that is a very good idea. I never thought about that