What’s the Difference Between Branding and Marketing?

Believe it or not a lot of people often get confused about the difference between branding and marketing. They don’t really know the specifics of each and which one is used to focus on growing their business.

Did you know the actual answer is both – marketing and branding help you grow your business. However, they have their own definition and place in building a business, but one can’t work well without the other.

But before you can use them together to grow your business, you need to first understand what each is and what role each plays in your business.

What Is Branding?

There are actually a lot of definitions for branding with so many different variations, it can be hard to pin down exactly what branding is. 

Typically when someone mentions branding, people think of the visual component of a brand…like a logo. But did you know your brand is actually made up of several elements that go much deeper than the visuals on the surface level? 

Your brand is communicated through visuals, however, a brand isn’t just made up of visual elements and pretty things. Your brand is every piece of the puzzle that makes up your business. 

Your brand is your logo, colors, and style, but it is also your voice, tone, and message.

When I do branding for clients I do a lot of research on color theory, psychology of different elements, and then make sure all the visuals actually represent my client’s values and mission. 

Today, digital branding is the process of creating and promoting the online identity and brand story of your business. It typically involves using things like a website, social media, podcasts, and blogging to build engagement and drive exposure.

A brand is a business’s promise to deliver certain features, benefits, services, or experiences consistently to buyers. 

The bottom line is that your brand is the perception of your business. Your brand is a promise to the buyer about the kind of product or experience they are purchasing, and how they will feel when they use it.

What is Marketing?

Marketing is ever-growing and has changed so much in the digital world. Honestly, it can be hard to keep up with. On top of the new trends, you also have so many people out there telling you all about their magic tricks and guaranteed strategies to make more money that worked for them years ago, but just don’t work the same today.

If you want to go more in-depth about marketing and the “right” strategy for your business, I would be happy to discuss it with you. But for the sake of keeping this blog fairly short, I’m going to keep it simple here. 

Marketing is the act of promoting and selling products and services.

For an online business marketing typically consists of content creation, social media, and email marketing. 

It serves as a path for interested people to get from where they to where your product or services are available.

Okay, So What is the Difference Between Branding and Marketing?

Think of it this way: branding is WHO YOU ARE and marketing is HOW YOU BUILD AWARENESS. 

Branding is defined as what people are saying about your business and how it makes them feel. Marketing is the term used to describe anything that connects your audience with your offering (product/service).

Branding creates a perception of your offerings in the marketplace. Marketing is a continuation of your brand. Think of it as the way you present your brand in order to get a certain perception.

An example I like to share is any type of event so think of a birthday party, wedding, or anything that you would be hosting.

Marketing is like sending out an invitation to your event. But the invitation is a very important element. It’s got to look good and has to attract the invitee to actually want to come to the event. If people show up to your party your invitation is considered a success. 

Branding is the experience people have when they get to the event.

The invitation must match the experience. 

Your marketing must match your brand and bring it all together.

Does that make sense?

So How Do Marketing and Branding Go Hand In Hand?

Even though branding and marketing are two different pieces of building your business, they work together simultaneously. 

You can’t market your business well without a solid brand strategy. You can’t build your brand unless you market it. They are interdependent strategic activities that feed, inform, and drive each other.

Branding is what drives marketing because branding is strategic and marketing is tactical.

When your marketing is done right, your ideal client will get the right message and have the right perception of your brand. BUT you can’t put the right message out there through marketing unless you first understand what that is – and that is what your brand strategy does for you.

The most successful marketing campaigns are built from strong brand foundations because the marketing is fueled by a clearly defined target audience and message.

When developing brand and marketing strategies, remember it’s not one or the other, but how you can use both to work together. 

One cannot work without the other. Each needs to be developed strategically while being connected to the other.

If you need help building the foundations of your brand, let’s work together.