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Branding and Marketing: What’s the Difference?



If you’re thinking about starting a business, you’ll need your own brand, and you’ll also need to market your products or services. But figuring out the difference between branding and marketing can be tricky. There’s definitely overlap between the two, but they’re not the same—and you need to know the difference if you want to build a successful business.

In this post, I’ll talk about how branding and marketing differ, and how they work hand-in-hand!

What Is Branding?

Before we can discuss the difference between branding and marketing, we need to lay some groundwork—and we’ll start with branding.

So what exactly is a brand? It can be a tricky thing to define, but think of it as your business’ unique personality combined with the way the world perceives that personality.

As Pat writes in the SPI Beginner’s Guide to Branding: A brand is the idea, image or feeling that people have when they use or think about specific products. It’s who you are, who you want to serve, and what people perceive you to be.

Your brand is the foundation of your company. It’s who you are.

We live in a world of brands, whether we’re always aware of it or not. And some brands stand out above others, occupying a special place in many people’s minds. (You may even have a few favorite brands of your own!)

Think of iconic brands like Nike, Toms Shoes, Trader Joe’s, Disney, Tesla, and LEGO. These are brands that immediately bring to mind specific ideas and images. Most of us could probably readily identify what makes these brands stand out and what they stand for:

  • Nike = Empowerment (“Just do it!”)
  • Toms Shoes = Altruism (“We ‘stand’ on issues that matter”)
  • Trader Joe’s = Good food that’s fun to buy (Cookie Butter, anyone?)
  • Disney = Quality family entertainment (Creating happiness through magical experiences)
  • Tesla = Innovative electric cars with great design (that will save the environment)
  • LEGO = Innovative building blocks that encourage creativity in kids (and adults!)

Each of the products we use every day has a distinct brand “personality.” When we use those products, it conjures certain ideas and emotions, whether we realize it or not.

But creating this kind of impact with your brand isn’t automatic. Cultivating a brand personality that resonates with your target audience doesn’t just happen on its own. A company or person has to establish and cultivate their brand, to find out what their audience wants and how their products or services stand out from the competition’s.

We’ll talk more about how to start creating your brand identity in a moment. But let’s first cover the crucial difference between branding and marketing, so you can conceptualize how the two work together.

What’s the Difference between Branding and Marketing?

As we’ve discussed, your brand is foundational. It’s who you are. As a result, everything you do as a company should grow out of your brand. That includes the language you use to talk to your customers, to the way you interact with potential clients, to (yes) your logo and website design, and much more.

We’ve talked a little about what a brand is, but let’s get a little more granular. Your brand is your (or your company’s) unique personality. It:

  • Helps customers identify you or your products 
  • Helps distinguish your or your products from the competition
  • Influences how people perceive you or your business
  • Increases the value of you or your business

Marketing, on the other hand, is a set of tools and strategies that will help you promote your products and services, including your:

  • Website
  • Social media accounts
  • Email campaigns
  • Online advertising
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Content creation and design
  • YouTube videos
  • Events
  • Etc.

Everything your company does flows from its branding. Your marketing tactics and materials, your customer service, and even how you treat your employees should reflect your brand’s personality.

How Do Branding and Marketing Work Together?

Your branding and marketing should work hand-in-hand. Marketing is the way you deliver the message of your brand personality to your audience. To help demonstrate this relationship, we’ll turn to another iconic brand, Southwest Airlines.

Branding and Marketing in Harmony: The Southwest Story

Southwest Airlines, founded in 1967, branded itself as the “love” airline in the early days. Its brand personality is empathetic, fun, and casual—and this personality comes across in everything the airline does.

While the airline is basic (no assigned or premium seats), people love to fly Southwest because they still get a great experience. Flight attendants may sing happy birthday to a passenger, offer free drink coupons, or sing the flight announcements. So the whole experience is fun, and passengers feel cared for. There are no baggage fees, and it’s free to change your flight. They also treat their employees well. (They’ve never laid off a single employee.)

Everything Southwest does, from customer service to marketing and advertising (“You Are Now Free To Move About the Country”), to how it treats its employees, reflects its brand personality. 

Similarly, your brand should be the foundation of your marketing strategy. Every piece of marketing collateral, whether it’s your website, emails, social media accounts should reflect your brand’s personality.

Let’s go back to our Southwest Airlines example. The core of their brand is “love.” They want to exude empathy and connection with their target audience. How do they convey this through their marketing?

  • The Southwest logo includes a heart symbol
  • A heart is painted on the underbelly of each plane
  • The letters LUV are the Southwest Airlines stock market symbol
  • Ads include copy like “Luv a Fare” and “Luv is Never Out of Reach”
Image copyright Southwest Airlines

You get the idea! Of course, Southwest Airlines is a big corporation, and you may be a solopreneur, or maybe you haven’t even started your business yet! 

Still, it’s a good idea to get a grasp now on your branding: Who are you serving? What problem are you helping those people solve? And how is your company different/better than the competition? If you’re clear on those three things and keep them in mind when you market your products, you’ll be well on your way to finding success.

Is all that easier said than done, though? Maybe. Getting your brand right is a big deal, so if you need a little help, read on.

How Do I Create (Or Discover) My Own Brand?

Southwest Airlines is a case study in how to succeed at branding. The company created an identity based around serving passengers who didn’t want to spend much money but wanted some fun and humanity in their flying experience. Southwest knew who they were serving, and what would make them stand out from the competition.

But many business owners struggle to create an authentic brand identity that resonates with their target audience. If you’re starting your own business, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed at the thought of creating a brand for your business. How are you going to get your branding just right?

Never fear! We’re here to help out.

First, remember that your branding grows out of three things:

  1. Who your business is serving.
  2. What problem you’re helping them solve.
  3. How you can help your customers better and differently than anyone else.

Putting these three things front and center will help keep you on the right track!

Next, here’s a quick video where Pat will walk you through an exercise to help you determine who you’re serving, and how you’re helping them better/differently than others. 

I hope you find this video helpful! It’s from the first lesson of Build Your Own Brand, our completely free course that will help you get your brand up and running in just five days. You can also read the SPI Beginner’s Guide to Branding, to get a more in-depth understanding of branding.

Looking for Marketing Resources?

Last, but not least, if you’re looking for marketing resources, we’ve got you covered too. Visit our Digital Marketing Done Right page to find a wealth of resources on digital marketing, from in-depth guides on using webinars to build your business, to workshops and courses, plus marketing blog posts and case studies.

Take the free 5-day brand building challenge!

Build Your Own Brand is our FREE course that will help you get your brand up and running in just five days!

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Growing a Business

Tips from Google to make the most of the 2021 holiday shopping season



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Before looking ahead to this holiday shopping season, let’s take a quick look back at 2020, and what a year it was. Amid all the challenges came new opportunities and unprecedented growth for ecommerce. Emerging data offers insights into shifting consumer behavior and its positive impact on ecommerce.

The pandemic definitely triggered a shift to more online shopping. In fact, online sales in early spring of last year exceeded sales during the 2019 holiday season by 7%. Additional research shows ecommerce growth on hyperdrive, with 10 years of growth happening in just three months.

There’s more good news for online retailers: 39% of consumers say they’re buying more online now than they were a year ago. And 81% of consumers in surveyed countries across the globe say they’ve discovered new brands online during during COVID-19.

It’s clear that 2021 will continue to be a year of peak demand, making it a critical time to connect with your shoppers. That’s why it’s more important than ever for your business to be discoverable online this holiday season with help from GoDaddy and Google.

Get ready to reach more shoppers online

Google ad from ceramic plates

People shop across Google more than one billion times each day, searching for products just like yours. Don’t miss the opportunity to connect with customers when and where they’re looking to make their holiday purchases.

With GoDaddy’s new Google channel, you can easily add your products to Google for free and promote them with a Smart Shopping campaign to drive traffic to your GoDaddy online store.

3 ways Google can help you prep for peak moments

Use these three free Google tools to gain greater insights into the current consumer mindset as shoppers gear up for the 2021 holiday season.

1. Explore what the world is searching for with Google Trends

explore what the world is searching

Google Trends lets you see in almost real-time what people are — or aren’t — looking for across Google Search, YouTube, Google Shopping, and Google Images. You can pinpoint where there’s growing interest in products and search terms to guide you in selecting which products to promote. Take new information about what your target market is searching for and incorporate these topics into your SEO and content marketing strategy.

2. Discover what shoppers are looking for

Most shoppers today are doing more research before purchasing.

Shopping Insights gives you information on what people are searching for on Google, related to products and brands.

It’s a guide filled with articles, data, and insights that can help you navigate three critical steps in today’s shopping journey: inspiration, research, and purchase.

3. Evaluate your retail website with Grow My Store

As people spend more time online, they have higher expectations from ecommerce websites and apps. With Grow My Store, you can analyze the customer experience on your site and pick up practical tips for how to improve. You can also see how your site stacks up against retailers in the same industry and find insights on market and consumer trends to help reach new customers.

With this holiday season ramping up, make sure to position your online business in the right spot with help from GoDaddy and Google.

The post Tips from Google to make the most of the 2021 holiday shopping season appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.

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9 retail tips to increase in-store sales through on-site marketing



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Getting a customer to enter your retail store is a win, but it isn’t the ultimate goal. Your primary objective is having them walk in and walk out as a paying customer. To help you turn in-store browsers into buyers, consider these retail tips to increase in-store sales.

How to improve sales in a retail store

Before we dive into specific retail tips to increase in-store sales, let’s consider the strategies that can help you improve sales in a retail store. As you develop marketing ideas to increase in-store sales, ask yourself these three questions. 

  • What in-store assets can I leverage for on-site marketing?
  • How can you leverage omnichannel marketing?
  • How can you tie your marketing to the customer’s journey?

Let’s take a closer look at each question below.

1. What in-store assets can I leverage for on-site marketing?

As you think about how you can use these retail tips to increase in-store sales, start by considering what you have to work with. Take stock of the types of in-store marketing that are available to you.

  • Print signage
  • Digital signage and video screens
  • Kiosks
  • Live product demos
  • WiFi marketing
  • Overhead messaging
  • Store layout
  • Check-out experience
  • Product packaging
  • Your team

2. How can you leverage omnichannel marketing?

When thinking about in-store marketing, don’t completely turn off your digital marketing mind. Instead, consider how you can connect the in-person shopping experience with the online shopping experience. Consider how you can use omnichannel marketing.

Omnichannel marketing is the process of using multiple, consistent marketing channels that reach customers in a variety of places while offering a cohesive brand experience.


Customers often merge the two worlds of shopping. They shop online and then come into a store to make a purchase, or they shop in a store and then buy online. According to Statista, 74% of customers use a mobile device for product research while shopping in a store in the United States.

Two people browsing a clothing rack at a store

As you develop on-site marketing ideas, consider how you can help the customer connect their in-person experience to their online experience. Think about what a customer may have done online before their visit (or while shopping in the store) and how you can connect that experience to their in-store visit.

3. How can you tie your marketing to the customer’s journey?

As you plan your in-store marketing, don’t think only about making a sale. Keep in mind that you can use on-site marketing to move prospects through their customer journey.

Instead of tying all of your marketing to the goal of generating a quick sale, consider how you can use on-site marketing to reach customers in each phase of their journey.

  • Awareness Phase: What can you do to bring awareness to new products or offerings?
  • Consideration Phase: How can you educate or inform customers when they are considering whether or not they want to buy?
  • Decision Phase: What can you do to help a customer make a purchase or drive them toward an up-sell once they have decided to buy?
  • Post-Purchase: How can you bring customers back and stay connected with them once they have made a purchase?

9 retail tips to increase in-store sales

Now that you have some guiding principles to keep in mind as you brainstorm on-site marketing ideas, let’s look at some specific retail tips to increase in-store sales.

  • Convert print signage to digital screens.
  • Collect information from in-store shoppers.
  • Remind people to follow you on social media.
  • Create packages and up-sell opportunities.
  • Create a loyalty program.
  • Use QR codes to guide customers to online sources.
  • Create a photo opp.
  • Allow online customers to create in-store baskets or pick-ups.
  • Utilize your packaging and bags. 

1. Convert print signage to digital screens

Don’t let your static signage grow stale and get overlooked. Switch to using digital signage so you can regularly change promotions and feature multiple messages at once.

2. Collect information from in-store shoppers

Run contests or give incentives to in-store shoppers so they join your customer database by entering their phone number or email address. When you have customer contact information, you can reach out to encourage customers to come back and buy again — or to buy for the first time if they left without making a purchase.

Related: 10 ways to grow your email list in-store

3. Remind people to follow you on social media

Another way to create a connection with customers before they go is by asking them to follow you on social media. This connection gives you another opportunity to encourage interested in-store shoppers to come back again.

4. Create packages and up-sell opportunities

Increase revenue by showing customers why it’s a good idea to purchase two products or services together. Create packages and up-sells that add value to items customers are already planning to buy.

Related: 10 strategies to sell excess inventory

5. Create a loyalty program

Encourage customers to visit and buy (while also growing your customer contact database) by establishing a loyalty program that rewards shoppers for visiting or making a purchase.

6. Use QR codes to guide customers to online sources

QR code on a smart phone

Make it easy for shoppers to join your loyalty program, follow you on social media, and react to your digital in-store call-to-actions. Use QR codes that they can scan to be taken directly to relevant web pages, social media accounts, your online store, etc.

7. Create a photo opp

Give customers a reason to visit your store and share their experience with their followers. Set up a photo-op in your store so shoppers can take a photo, share it on social media, and drive brand exposure.

8. Allow online customers to create in-store baskets or pick-ups

Connect your online and in-store experience by allowing online customers to create in-store baskets that they can retrieve when they visit the store. This approach is great for clothing stores where customers may want to try on items.

Related: 10 tactics to turn impulse shopping into stone-cold sales

9. Utilize your packaging and bags

If a customer makes a purchase, use it as a gateway to get them to come back. In your packaging or bags, include a coupon or promotion that encourages them to visit again.

Start selling more in-store and online

If you have a retail business, you have a variety of ways to promote products and offerings to customers.

Use these retail tips to increase in-store sales. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, consider how you can leverage digital and in-store marketing to increase sales. And if you primarily sell online, see how a physical storefront can help you reach new customers and showcase your business in a new way.

The post 9 retail tips to increase in-store sales through on-site marketing appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.

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How technology is changing the advertising industry



  • Technology has upended the advertising business.
  • Changes in ad tracking and consumer habits are impacting how advertisers reach people and spurring new competition for ad dollars.
  • Here's a breakdown of Insider's coverage of how ad buyers and sellers are impacted.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The advertising industry is going through big changes as technology changes upend consumer habits and where and how marketers reach them.

Apple and Google's phasing out third-party cookies threatens to upend longstanding ad targeting practices. The acceleration of streaming TV has fueled the chase for TV ad dollars.

The shift to online shopping has attracted new players for digital advertising.

Insider has been tracking these trends at some of the biggest advertising buyers and sellers, including WPP, Omnicom, Google, and Amazon, and rounded up our coverage.

The crackdown on ad tracking is changing advertising

Targeting changes are forcing advertisers to come up with new ways to reach consumers. Google and Apple have sent shockwaves through the ad industry when they announced changes that would put an end to longstanding ad targeting practices in the face of pro-privacy regulation.

Those moves have led marketers, their agencies, and adtech companies like LiveRamp and The Trade Desk scrambling to find workarounds.

Read more:

Marketing meets tech

Mars Inc M&Ms
Employees work at the chocolate maker Mars Chocolate France plant in Haguenau.

CMOs are finding new ways to zap ads at people by building homegrown tools, using targeted ads, or ​​snapping up ad tech and martech companies.

Brands like Anheuser-Busch, Mars, P&G and L'Oréal have ramped up efforts to gather data on consumers as platforms clamp down on ad targeting and e-commerce accelerates.

Read more:

Adtech is hot again

Even as advertisers slashed their spending in the economic downturn, the rise of streaming TV and online shopping has benefitted adtech companies that help connect ad buyers and sellers and solve advertising and marketing problems.

Investors are pouring money into firms like like TVision DoubleVerify that are solving problems in digital advertising. Other firms are going public as Wall Street fell back in love with adtech due to broad macroeconomic changes.

Read more:

Ad agencies are getting disrupted

While the established holding companies scramble to adapt to the digital shift, new ad companies focused on digital specialities and armed with new private-equity funding threaten to take their place.

Read more:

Retailers are seeking a piece of the ad pie

Instacart Shopper Car
Instacart is adding 30-minute delivery.

A new set of companies sees an opportunity in selling advertising include food delivery companies, online retailers, and brick-and-mortar grocers. They're hoping to replicate the success of Amazon, which claimed 10.3% of the US digital ad market in 2020 and is competing with Google and Facebook for ad budgets.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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