Branding should both precede and underlie any marketing effort. Branding is not to push, but pull. Branding is the expression of the essential truth or value of an organization, product, or service. It is communication of characteristics, values, and attributes that clarify what this particular brand is and is not.
Good branding will help encourage someone to buy a product, and it directly supports whatever sales or marketing activities are in play, but the brand does not explicitly say “buy me.” Instead, it says “this is what I am", "this is why I exist". If you agree, if you like me, you can buy me, support me, and recommend me to your friends.”
Branding is strategic. Marketing is tactical.
Marketing may contribute to a brand, but the brand is bigger than any particular marketing effort. The brand is what remains after the marketing has swept through the room. It’s what sticks in your mind associated with a product, service, or organization—whether or not, at that particular moment, you made the purchase.
The brand is ultimately what determines if you will become a loyal customer or not. The marketing may convince you to buy a particular smart watch, and maybe it’s the first Motorola product you ever owned, but it is the brand that will determine if you will only buy Motorola products for the rest of your life.
The brand is built from many elements. Very important among these elements is the lived experience of the brand.
Did the Motorola watch deliver on its brand promise of reliability?
Did the maker continue to uphold the quality standards?
Did the sales or the service representative were helpful in the timely matter?
Marketing unearths and activates buyers. Branding makes 'brand loyalists' and 'brand advocates'.
Organizations must sell. How they sell and persuade the customer differs, and everyone in an organization is, with their every action, either constructing or deconstructing the brand. Every action, ad or marketing campaign effect brand loyalty, and sales. The effect can be positive or negative. Poorly researched and executed marketing activities can be a burden to a cost center, however well-researched and executed marketing strategy is an investment that pays for itself in sales and brand reinforcement.
You may ask what is the ROI for branding? It's the Brand Loyalty.
Which helps sales and operations do their job more efficiently with minimal cost center reliance and support from brand ambassadors. Branding is vital to the success of any business.