Branding, Advertising, PR, Marketing…What is Really the Difference?

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Have you applied for a job and after finally being hired, you find out that the tasks do not match the description of the job you were interviewed for? The challenge of these recruiters can be likened to entrepreneurs who do not know the difference between advertising, branding, PR and marketing. Although these are closely related areas of business, they serve different functions.

Branding is creating a unique image for a product in the mind of the customer with a consistent theme. It is an area of marketing that deals with the visual elements of a business. Branding is an important part of developing your company and enabling people to connect with you. It is more than just the logo, it cuts across other marketing materials which can be used to align with the business such as letterheads, business cards, websites and more. Branding is rounded off with the experience the customer or consumer gets when purchasing a product or service.

Public Relations or PR is the way individuals and companies communicate with the public and media. Public Relations is relationship-driven and it is about managing perception for the brand before its target and the general public. The PR specialist communicates with the target audience directly or indirectly through media with the aim of creating a positive image and strong relationship with the audience. When hiring a PR agency, ensure it has track record and proven expertise within your specific market.

Advertising is a means of communicating with the users of a product and services. It draws the attention of the public to your business through the use of different forms of media. Advertising is an outbound marketing approach and it is divided into two forms – traditional and new media advertising. Traditional advertising actively engages print and broadcast media, which includes newspapers, magazines, radio jingles, TV commercials, billboards and more. Whereas new media advertising is the online form advertising, which includes social media, Google Ad words, SEO, banner ads and others.

Marketing are the activities of a company related to buying and selling a product or service. It involves four elements that are called the 4 Ps of marketing – development of a Product, determination of its Price, distribution of the product to the consumers’ Place and implementation of the Promotional strategy. It is also the canopy that covers branding, PR, advertising and others. All these areas of marketing can exist individually but smart companies understand that you need a slice of each of these entities backed with a dynamic strategy.

Don’t mistake an elevator pitch for your business brand – the elevator pitch is designed to convey whom you are and what your business is driven to achieve, in few sentences. This is just the tip of the iceberg; business owners still need to articulate other aspects of their brand. What is your unique brand proposition? The answer to this question helps you to understand what makes your business unique and gives your products/services an edge in the marketplace.

Related Post: Common Branding Errors Entrepreneurs Should Avoid

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Author: Toyosi Akinoso

Toyosi is the Content Manager and Editor for 234Finance.com

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Toyosi Akinoso
Toyosi is the Content Manager and Editor for 234Finance.com

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