branding vs marketing

Branding sets the foundation for marketing strategies

Branding & Marketing Is There A Difference?

Branding and marketing are similar yet different, and they rely on each other!

Let’s first define these essential business functions. Marketing is used to promote a product or service, and branding is used to shape a brand actively and who you are as a business.

Each has a different strategy and purpose. Branding sets a long-term direction for a company, whereas marketing outlines short-term actions. Short-term actions would include what a company does to communicate key messages with its customers.

The end-all goal of a business is to increase sales and, consequently, profit. Marketing strategies are used to do this. A well-thought-out marketing strategy will include campaigns, content, press releases, and interaction with customers or the target audience.

A business can’t ignore the use of branding and marketing because they contribute to any business’s success.

Digital Marketing
Know Your Target Audience

What is a Target Audience?

Have you thought about what your target audience is or how you will reach this audience? A target audience is the people (consumers) you as a business owner want to communicate with, grab their attention, and connect with them through personalized experiences.

Many brands and advertisers are ready to snatch up potential customers and lure them in, so they buy their products and services. Knowing who your ideal buyer is and understanding what they need and want, you can make better decisions about the branding and marketing efforts you engage in so you can make informed decisions about media, messaging, and timing.

Target customers are people who, by age, gender, income, location, interests, and many other factors, want or need your product or services.

Millions of dollars are spent on branding marketing strategies that never reach the people interested in a business’s products or services. Depending upon what you sell, your target audience needs to be defined. Is it women? Is it men? Are you selling high-end products to a particular group of potential customers?

For example, as a pawnshop owner, who will come into your shop and need a pawn loan? What are the unique characteristics of these people? If you sell gold, silver, and fine jewelry, your branding and marketing efforts need to reach your potential customers through a connection, some meaningful communication that grabs their attention.

Lead Generation
Know Your Audience, Your Avatar

There Is An Upside to Knowing and Understanding your Target Audience

Knowing your target audience and your “avatar” is essential as you set up your marketing strategy. Branding and marketing cost money, and by defining the potential consumers, you will know your return on investment and if the strategy works.

By knowing your avatar, you can create different marketing tactics and branding efforts that speak to specific audiences. Branding efforts can focus on their interests, their needs, and wants. Customer requirements today include an expectation that they are dealing with a company that treats them respectfully through a personalized approach to their needs, wants, and desires.

Which comes first, branding or marketing?

branding vs marketing
Branding Comes Before Marketing

Branding vs. Marketing

Branding is all about how customers feel about a company and the products and services they receive. If the feeling is positive, customer loyalty is developed, and they will return. Branding will benefit a company because even if the cost of goods or services is higher at your store, the feeling of an emotional connection will bring them back.

dr. pepper
Glass of cold soda over ice

Branding sends a message that resonates with a customer and ultimately creates loyalty. If you are old enough to remember the jingle that came out in the ’70s, you will smile when you recall, “I’m a Pepper, he’s a Pepper, she’s a Pepper, we’re a Pepper, wouldn’t you like to be a Pepper, too?” It was a catchy tune that caused you to hum or sing along and even resulted in clothing and accessories featuring “I’m a Pepper.” Years later, in 2022, your mind goes to Coca-Cola and Dr. Pepper, the sweet carbonated bubbles drink.

Dr. Pepper was first served in 1885 (one year before the introduction of Coca-Cola). It was marketed for sale in the United States in 1904. Initially advertised for its “medical benefits,” it claimed that the drink could help with digestion problems. By 1970 Coca-Cola had defined a new avatar and focused its branding and advertising efforts on a younger demographic ages 13-30.

A significant aspect of Coca-Cola’s marketing success is how the company emphasizes brand over product. It highlights and connects with customers through the concept of selling “Happiness” in a bottle (now can).

happiness in a can - branding
Branding creates an image in a customers mind they can't forget

Branding Strategies

Line Extension Brand Strategy

Customers have needs and wants. The line extension brand growth strategy creates additional products or services based on the customer’s responsibility. Customers state what they need or want, and a company goes to work filling their needs. Instead of having these customers go to a competitor, the company welcomes the customer back with options to meet their needs.

Brand Extension Brand Strategy

This strategy involves a business introducing a new brand and a new market, and this branding strategy will introduce a new product within an already thriving area of the company. For instance, a pawnshop takes in name-brand tools and more extensive construction equipment like compressors, air-powered tools, and generators.

Using Coca-Cola, they sold Coke, then added other items like Dr. Pepper, 7-up shirts, caps, and memorabilia, including wall signs, soda fountain urns, napkins, pencils, and clocks.

New Brand, Brand Strategy

This strategy occurs when a business creates a new brand strategy for a new product. A new brand strategy can be expensive because costs such as advertising, sales personnel, manufacturing costs, and more contribute to the expenses related to this type of branding.

Pawnshops may buy, sell, and pawn against fine jewelry. They then introduce that they are now gold and bullion buyers and offer free appraisals. An entirely new product to the market that is already engaged will be able to capture market share by serving different needs.

Flanker Brand Strategy

A flanker is on opposite sides in sports. A flanker brand strategy is similar and described as a new brand or sub-brand introduced at the high and low end of the spectrum of products. The approach captures customers who like the brand but want one at a reasonable cost.

Fighter Brand Strategy

This strategy is used to fight brands that are competitors to target their customers to gain a share of the market.

Over the years, Coca-Cola has launched various flanker brands as part of its strategy to combat decreasing demand for its products.


Books of advertising, marketing and branding are sitting on top of each other. The books have unique texts on their spines related to brand subject.

Setting Up an Effective Branding Strategy

The first step to setting up a branding strategy is to explore and discover. It is essential to understand the industry and who is doing what. Take some time to learn areas where you can win against competitors. How can potential customers convert to loyal customers?

Where are the opportunities?

Do you know your potential customers, your avatar? What are their needs and wants? What logo will catch this population’s eye?

Branding makes your business identifiable to your potential customers and connects with these people, their needs, their emotions, and their competitive environment. The jingle for Dr. Pepper made a connection.

Branding makes a promise to the consumers and plays a role in how your customers view you. The promise is conveyed within the messages that communicate to customers. Coca-Cola connected by letting new customers know that the drink had medical benefits, or at least that was the claim at the time. They advertised “happiness” in a bottle and won customer loyalty by delivering a quality product every time, with a consistent image (red and white) labeling.

Coco-Cola customers know exactly what they can get from the brand each time they engage.

Great brands appeal to the emotions of their customers. Looking back at the Dr. Pepper jingle, “Be a Pepper” commercials featured such artists as Michael Jackson and the Jacksons, Chic, The Statler Brothers, Tanya Tucker, the Little River Band, Roy Bolgar, and Popeye the Sailor Man and the commercials included the memorable song and slogan.

Often, this emotional connection creates a feeling of community among customers. “Wouldn’t you like to be a Pepper too?” Emotional connection gives customers peace of mind and makes sense of community.

Develop and Nurture a Positive Company Culture

Customers know if your company is an excellent place by the employees who greet them. Your employees may be the best advocates for your brand strategy.

Happy company culture is felt by the service you deliver and the product you sell, and the company culture seeps into how your employees interact with customers. Something that can be felt by your customers, and it’s in the quality of the products that you produce.

Digital Marketing
Branding Personality - Sam Reading Idaho Pawn and Gold

Branding Personality

As a business owner, you need to ensure you use the correct language, imagery, and colors that target your potential customers. You reach customer requirements through your voice, personality, and message. Branding is the process of establishing these traits, so customers know what to expect.

This is true for social media and digital marketing as well. What are your brand voice, personality, and message on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram? These things add to brand personality.

Brand building is achieved through you as a business owner asking how your want your business, as an owner, perceived? Are you corporate, formal, casual, approachable, trustworthy, or knowledgable? Whatever the answers are to these questions, a consistent image will help with brand building.

Marketing strategy planning with keywords and icons for business success concept

Marketing Strategy

Shifting now to marketing strategy, one of the key differences when comparing branding efforts and marketing strategy is marketing strategies have long-term goals to increase sales and profit. Marketing strategies include campaigns, text blasts, content, press releases, a quality website, a blog post that catches the eye of a potential customer, and a variety of other interactions with the target audience.

The main difference between branding vs. marketing is branding answers two questions, “who and why,” and marketing answers “how.” Marketing strategy uses tools and methods to promote your business, and marketing strategies build brand awareness, provide information to potential customers, and launces new products.

A quality marketing strategy includes a marketing campaign that enhances a solid branding approach. A marketing campaign promotes your business’ through strategic activities that are planned, consistent, and involve the target audience.

Text Campaigns are marketing activities where text messages or short messages (SMS) are sent to potential customers about discounts, promotions, new products, and more. These messages are sent directly to the customers’ mobile devices.

Email Campaigns are marketing activities where email messages are sent to potential customers about discounts, promotions, new products, and more. These messages may include flyers, stories, funny jokes, and more.

Offers and Contests create a buzz about your business. They are engaging, and people connect.

Websites may be the first place a potential look to find out about your product or services. A website needs to be engaging, provide the information people need, and rank on search engines, so your business is found.

Printed materials like flyers, door signs, and table toppers greet customers and let them know about discounts and special events.

For the long-term success of your marketing strategies, each marketing activity needs to be consistent and focused. ‘

There is no doubt marketing takes time.

You may not have the time to follow up with marketing activities consistently. Employing the benefits of an automated marketing solution like Pawn Leads may be helpful for you in managing each marketing promotion. Every thought, every action, and the ad has the effect of either inspiring or deterring brand loyalty.

organic search results
Pawn Leads a total marketing solution for pawn shops and small business

Pawn Leads, LLC is a full-service integrated marketing solution.

Pawn Leads is a Customer Communication System and provides a complete Marketing Solution for Pawn Brokers and small businesses.

All communications from your customers are tracked in one convenient place: custom automated follow-up text, email, and webchat replies. Make connecting with your avatar easy. Get phone call feedback to help close more deals. The service provides text blasts, email campaigns, SEO, Google and FB ads, blog posts, press releases, and more tailored to your company.







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