Brand management and marketing are two concepts frequently lumped together, and for a good reason — both terms seem to overlap, and the line between them can be a little fuzzy.
But in truth, brand management and marketing are two entirely different ideas. And it’s important to comprehend the distinctions between the two and learn how to use each one to advance your company as you grow.
In this article, we’ll break down brand management and marketing and explain the differences so you can use both tools to further your business.
What is marketing?
Marketing is any action taken by a company to attract an audience to its product or services through high-quality messaging. Its long-term goal is to demonstrate product value, strengthen brand loyalty, and ultimately increase sales by delivering standalone value to prospects and consumers through content.
This goal is achieved by constantly researching and analyzing customers to answer one underlying question: "Where, when, and how does our consumer want to communicate with our business?"
Marketing includes the following:
Increasing product and company visibility: This is also known as increasing brand awareness, and it entails getting your product in front of a large number of people. Advertising campaigns, social media activity, and content marketing are all common ways to accomplish this.
Identifying the target market: To identify your target market for advertising campaigns and sales outreach, you must conduct market research and audience analysis. Surveys, interviews, and focus groups are the most common market research methods. The insights from your research can then be used to create your ideal customer profile and determine the best-fit target audience for your products.
Introducing your brand to your target audience: Your marketing department develops and implements campaigns to generate and nurture leads. All of these use your brand's visuals and messaging to get your brand in front of target customers through your website, campaigns, and other marketing content like emails or social media posts.
Marketing compliance software is often utilized by marketing departments, as they are heavily involved in brand development and rely extensively on brand assets and messaging for their creative campaigns.
Because the marketing team often owns the initial brand development in startups and smaller companies, it can be difficult to distinguish between the two functions.
What is brand management?
Brand management is a marketing function that employs various techniques to raise the perceived value of a product line or brand over time.
Effective brand management allows product prices to rise while also building loyal customers through positive brand associations and images or strong brand awareness.
In other words, brand management is critical because it shapes people's perceptions of your company. It includes the following:
Creating a brand strategy: You define and formulate your brand’s values and mission, guiding its evolution over time so employees connect with the brand and build internal brand equity.
Improving brand recognition and consistency: You develop centralized brand guidelines that detail color schemes, fonts, images, tone, and values for everyone to use when communicating with customers and prospects. It allows your departments to be consistent in their visual identity and messages, allowing you to present a consistent brand image to the market.
Boosting brand engagement: You train each department on how their specific roles affect how customers perceive your brand. Then, you provide them with the guidelines and resources they need to properly represent your brand. You also make all brand resources and materials available to everyone in the organization through a shared drive or a dedicated digital asset management (DAM) platform like Artwork Flow.
Brand strategy vs. marketing strategy: key differences
Here are some key differences between branding and marketing.
Marketers create your brand while brand managers refine it
Before a company has a dedicated brand department, the marketing team is often in charge of managing the brand's development.
They lay the foundations for formalizing your brand and take ownership of its development in the earliest stages because it’s hard to establish brand recognition. And inconsistencies can also dilute brand messages and damage customers’ positive associations with your products.
As your brand grows, your marketing department can no longer handle managing your brand. It’s at this time that companies frequently assemble a specialized branding management team to take ownership of the brand.
A brand management team works to define:
- Your brand's visual identity, including logos, color schemes, and visual design
- Your brand's voice and tone are how it sounds.
- What your brand represents in terms of its values, purpose, and mission.
Marketers promote your brand externally, while brand management teams promote your brand internally
Marketing teams use your brand to create an emotional connection with your existing customers by using the tone and visual style of your regular marketing emails, newsletter, or social media activity.
They use your brand guidelines to produce social media posts, write scripts for YouTube and video ads, and write blog content.
They also incorporate the color schemes from your brand guidelines into your email newsletters, advertisements, and multi or omnichannel campaigns.
Brand managers boost internal brand engagement so that all teams are aware of how to represent and express the brand externally.
They make brand resources, resources for developing things that are consistent with the brand, and guidelines available to every department.
So, regardless of whether a customer views a social media post or talks to customer service for 30 minutes, their experiences are consistent with what they anticipate from the brand.
Marketers drive sales, while branding managers drive recognition and loyalty
The main goal of the majority of marketing tactics (such as SEO, content marketing, or advertising) is to produce results, and these outcomes are almost always related to sales.
But if you want to increase revenue, managing a brand isn’t the most ideal strategy as it gives long term results.
Branding is the greatest option if you want to increase brand awareness, encourage positive brand sentiment, and cultivate customer loyalty, which are equally as important—if not more so—and which, ironically, will have a significant effect on your capacity to increase sales over time.
Branding helps you build long-term relationships with your customers, while marketing produces outcomes related to sales.
And brand managers help promote your company internally, while marketers use brand guidelines to set up campaigns that attract customers.
However, they’re both crucial to getting long-term results for the company and helping it grow.
About Artwork Flow
It helps you create templates, workflows, and checklists to collaborate with team members and go to market on time.