Branding Vs Marketing: What’s the Difference?

How Do They Work Together?

In This Article

Let’s talk about the difference between branding and marketing. While the terms are often used interchangeably, they are actually two distinct concepts that play different but equally important roles in building a successful business. In this blog post, we’ll define both branding and marketing, explore the difference between them, and provide examples of when you should focus on branding or marketing

What is Branding?

Branding is the process of creating and maintaining a unique image and reputation for a company or product. It is how a business presents itself to the world and how it is positioned in the minds and hearts of your clients. 

Most people are familiar with the visual elements of a brand like a company’s logo, colours, photography and other consistent visual elements. But brands are recognizable for more than just their logos. If you have a physical location, you can take the sensory aspects of your business even further, considering scents, and textures. Music will also contribute to your overall brand feeling if you use audio/visual content such as videos, podcasts or commercials.  

To be truly notable, great brands go beyond aesthetics and create depth. Have you ever noticed that you can tell who an ad is for without seeing a logo or hearing a tagline? There is just something familiar about it that you can immediately recognize. That’s because a brand also includes messaging components such as the company name, tagline, tone of voice and messaging. 

The Importance of Strategy

At this point, you might wonder how these identifiable elements are defined. The answer is that they’re all influenced by strategy.  Strategic aspects of your business include mission, vision, purpose and values. When you understand these key elements of your business, you can start working on your brand positioning – how your business is positioned in the market relative to other businesses. 

Brand positioning takes into consideration how you want to be perceived relative to your competitors. Ideally, you want to consider things like price, quality, convenience, or any other factor that might be important to your ideal client. Make sure you back up your positioning by aligning it with your execution. Remember, your brand isn’t what you say it is, it’s what other people say it is.

Your brand lives in the hearts and minds of your customers. Successful branding is about creating a unique identity and reputation for a business, which is essential for building a strong and recognizable brand. It is a long-term, slow-burn process that takes time and patience to develop.

Ven Diagram featuring the visual and sensory elements of your brand including logos, colours, photography, scents, music, textures. This is contrasted with the strategic elements of your brand including voice, vision, mission, purpose and values. Together they overlap in the middle to create your brand.

So, What is Marketing?

Marketing, on the other hand, is the process of promoting and selling a product or service. It includes tactics and activities that get your business noticed including, advertising, public relations, and sales. 

Marketing is all about communicating your brand messages by reaching potential customers and convincing them to buy your product or service. Marketing relies on campaigns, activations and publicity to get your business noticed. Unlike branding, marketing is a short-term strategy that focuses on promoting and selling a product or service.

Chart comparing branding and marketing with icons to denote each element. Branding is a long-term strategy, focused on building a recognizable brand, creates a unique identity and reputation, includes company name, messaging, logo, tagline, colours and visual elments. Marketing is a short-term strategy, focused on reaching and communicating with potential customers, promotes and sells a product or service, includes advertising, public relations and sales.

How Do Branding and Marketing Work Together?

It’s important to note that branding and marketing are not mutually exclusive.  They work hand-in-hand to create a successful business. A strong brand can make it easier for a business to reach and communicate with potential customers, and effective marketing can help to build a strong and recognizable brand.

Marketing catches people’s attention, while strong branding keeps people connected and loyal. While having a brand without marketing is possible, it’s not really possible to create marketing without building a brand. The reason for this is that your brand is your identity and reputation. Even if you choose not to actively invest in developing a brand, you are creating a brand no matter what.

Which Comes First?

You could argue that marketing can come first, and in some instances it does, but putting the time into building a brand will help you market your business with greater impact. By creating a brand first, you will understand the fundamental aspects of what your marketing is trying to achieve. You will understand your clients, know what makes you unique, and be able to clearly communicate why customers should choose your product or service over the other available options. 

A solid brand will also help you understand how to reach your customers. Having a brand strategy in place allows you to thoroughly understand the pain points your customers are experiencing and how you can help them overcome those problems. You will also know how to communicate those benefits to your audience. For example, if your clients value luxury and quality, you will be able to use words and tones that convey this to your customers.

Marketing will support your brand and help you build your reputation by delivering your message to your audience. As a branding agency, we always advise our clients to create their brand before diving into the marketing process to get the best results. It also makes our job easier, since we have a better understanding of your business objectives, target marketing and the purpose of your campaigns.

Final Thoughts

Just to reiterate, branding and marketing are two distinct concepts that play different but equally important roles in building a successful business. Branding is the process of creating and maintaining a unique image and reputation for a company or product, while marketing is the process of promoting and selling a product or service. 

A strong brand can make it easier for a business to reach and communicate with potential customers, and effective marketing can help to build a strong and recognizable brand. While they have different focuses and goals, together they can help you build a wildly successful business.

Branding on a Budget?

Get our free guide to the essential items you need to get started branding your business.

Share With A friend

Read Our Latest Posts

Confused About Where to Begin Your Branding Journey?

GRAB OUR FREE GUIDE NOW

Let's Build Your Brand

Did this post get you fired up to start building your brand? Book a free 20-minute discovery call to find out how we can work together to bring your vision to life.

Copyright Cedar Creative Inc. 2022

We use cookies to improve user experience and analyze website traffic. By clicking “Accept“, you agree to our website’s cookie use as described in our Cookie Policy. You can change your cookie settings at any time by clicking “Preferences.”