Marketing and branding always make me excited, because it is the perfect place to let your creativity shine! At this point, you have a business idea, understand how to price your product and have a basic business plan in place. Now, it is time to understand the difference between marketing vs branding. We will learn what the 4 P’s of marketing are, and answer the question “what is branding in marketing”? We will also look at a logo inspiration example to help design our own logos. By the end of this marketing and branding lesson, you will have all of the resources necessary to create your brand color palette, your company’s logo and a marketing plan template.
Before we get started, I would highly recommend that our budding entrepreneurs check out The Tuttle Twins and their Spectacular Show Business (the entire Tuttle Twins series gets two huge thumbs up from our kids!) Also, make sure that you join our Facebook Group and follow us on Pinterest, so you that you won’t miss the additional lessons in this entrepreneurship series!
Marketing vs Branding
What is the difference between marking and branding? To keep it as simple as possible, you can think of branding as representing “who you are” as a company. Whereas, marketing is how you will make people aware of who you are. Often, people think that branding are things like your business’ logo and color palette. These are actually marketing tools! Branding is more about the actual culture and message of your company.
A Marketing Plan Template
If you completed the simple business plan from our previous post, then you already have a very basic marketing plan! In fact, if you have not done that yet, jump over here and fill out the marketing section (pages 2-3) of the simple business plan!
One-Page Marketing Plan Templates
If you are ready to go a step further in developing your marketing plan, here are two simple, one-page marketing plan templates.
- This one is based on Philip Kotler’s famous Principles of Marketing and the 4 P’s or marketing, which we will discuss further in just a bit!
- Another one-page marketing plan template is this one, which combines Kotler’s ideas with Michael McLaughlin’s Guerrilla Marketing. This one is my personal favorite! I think it really makes you think through certain points that you may not have considered.
- A slightly more detailed (but still one-page) marketing plan is this free template. It even has you break down you tactics for every month.
One-Page Marketing Plan Samples
If you are having trouble figuring out how to fill out your templates, here are sample marketing plans! Sometimes viewing mocked-up versions of the above marketing plan templates is very helpful.
- Here is the mock-up for the Kotler-inspired marketing plan.
- If you decided to use the McLaughlin-inspired marketing plan (my favorite!), here is the mock-up for it!
A Marketing Plan Sample
My FAVORITE book for reading about “real life” marketing is From an Idea to Nike: How Marketing Made Nike a Global Success. Even my 8-year-old daughter loves this book. It is an absolute must-read!
I intentionally selected one-page marketing plans in the section above to keep things simple for us, since most of us are just starting out! However, if you are ready to take your marketing plan to the next level, take a look at these more detailed marketing plan samples.
- Lush (fresh handmade cosmetics) marketing plan sample
- Software company marketing plan sample
- Landscaping company marketing plan sample
- Non-profit marketing plan sample
- If you are looking for a blank marketing plan template with more details, this 16-page plan is great!
4 Ps of Marketing
The “4 Ps of Marketing” is something you will hear about all the time as an entrepreneur. They are the following four words, each starting with the letter “p.”
What product or service will your business be offering to customers?
How much will your customers pay for the product or service that your company is selling? We already figured this out when we discussed how to price a product.
This does not mean where your company is located! Place, in this context, refers to where your product will be sold. Are there certain stores it will be sold in? Where inside of the store will it be found? For example, if you are selling lemonade to Whole Foods, will your product be found in the refrigerator section? Or will the lemonade be in the non-refrigerated beverage aisle?
How will you promote your business? How will your customers find out that you exist?
The 7 Ps of Promotion
Some people believe that there should actually be 7 Ps of promotion, rather than just four. The first four are the same as above, but there are an additional three Ps, as well!
Your product or service (same as above).
The price you are charging (same as above).
Where you will sell your product (same as above).
How you will promote your business (same as above).
How will you package the item that you are selling? This is very important, because it may be the first impression that your company makes on a potential customer.
How do you want your customers to think and feel about your company? What words will they use to describe you?
The people who you hire to do everything in your company, from sales to marketing, and all of the activities in between.
What is Branding in Marketing?
Branding is what your company promises to your customers. What can they expect when they buy something from you? How are you different from your competition? How do you want people to perceive you? Do you want to be the company known for being fast? Are you going to focus on having the best quality, even if that means you may not “win” in terms of speed? Or perhaps you want to be the least expensive option on the market. What will your company’s culture be? We want to make sure that message is loud and clear!
A Logo Inspiration
It is time to start thinking about what your logo will look like. Here is a collection 99 different logos ranging from simple (all-text) logos to detailed image logos. Another way to come up with logo ideas is to look at what your competitors are doing. Obviously, you don’t want to copy their logo or make it similar even, but it can help you think of what NOT to do. For example, if your biggest competitor has a bright red circle in their logo, you may want to avoid having a circle (or even the color red!) in yours. You wouldn’t want for your customer to accidentally purchase your competitor’s product, because they are confused and think it is yours!
Free Logo Design
Especially since we are just starting out, you probably do not want to invest a lot of money in having a logo designed for you. The good news is that it is very easy to design your own logo using Canva’s logo maker!
Brand Color Palette
Something you should take into consideration when designing your logo is your brand’s color palette. Your color palette will you use throughout everything to give a cohesive feel to your products and business. If you want some inspiration, take a look at this massive collection of color palettes used by big brands and companies around the world.
Make Your Marketing Plan, Logo & Color Palette!
Now you are ready to make your marketing plan (using a marketing plan template), create your logo (using logo inspiration) and select your brand’s color palette! Make sure to share what you come up with in our Facebook Group and Facebook Page, so that we can give you feedback! You never know what resources, help or ideas you might get by brainstorming!