Branding vs Marketing: Outlining the Difference to Benefit Your Business


You’re browsing the web and you stumble onto a landing page that is put together and polished. The graphics are nice, the logo is memorable, and the colour scheme works. This looks like a great brand, but there’s too much information — it’s information overload and you’re getting jumbled and lost in words. Or perhaps there isn’t enough information, and the landing page isn’t pretty but static and flat.

You’re on this site looking for a product or service, but nothing is leading you to that shopping cart with a smile on your face. There’s no greater incentive to purchase because the marketing is lacking. And that’s when you realize a layout like this is a simple eye-catcher. It’s aesthetically dazzling, but it’s not reaching it’s marketing potential. This is a case of force-fed branding. The company is beautifully put together in terms of character and style, but it is not enough for achieving business sales goals.

This happens constantly. So let’s start by stating that branding and marketing are not the same. They can influence each other, but sales goals cannot be obtained if a business is solely reliant on one but not the other. Undoubtedly, you can sell products and services without branding, but you won’t yield your desired results. It’s simply not beneficial nor profitable.

So what is the difference between branding and marketing? Here are a list of questions to help you understand the correlation and differences.

Branding: Who You Are

  • What are your principles and values?
  • What inspires you?
  • Why are you in the business?
  • What is your tone and style?
  • What are your unique characteristics?
  • What is the company culture like?
  • How do you want people to perceive you?
  • How do you want to be remembered or described?

Branding comes straight from the source. Branding is the core of your company and how your internal establishments — such as principles and values, style or company culture — influence external consumers; it’s how your buyers perceive you and how they give you status. If it’s done right, branding is consistent and rarely changes.

Then what is marketing and how does it correlate to branding?

Marketing: How You Build Who You Are

  • How do you target your market audience?
  • What tools do you use to convey or deliver your message?
  • Are you going to use text, images, graphs and/or videos?
  • Is your marketing target offline or online, or both?

Common mediums and tactics for marketing:

  • Print (newspapers, flyers or brochures)
  • Radio
  • Television
  • Mobile Marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • PPC (pay per click) Marketing
  • SEO and Analytics Research

Unlike branding, marketing is constantly evolving and changing. You may use one tactic for one campaign, but turn to a different strategy for another campaign. Effective marketing is a result of being on top of industry needs and social and cultural trends. Knowing when and how to act within your business sphere are characteristics of good marketing.

Why Do You Start With Branding?

Naturally, branding comes first. Businesses start with an idea, a vision or a dream; and this is the essence of creating a brand. Establish who you are and what you want to achieve. If done well, this is the aspect of your business that consumers will latch on to. They want to be able to correlate your name, your logo or your style with trust and value. They do this because they associate your brand with reliability. If you have reliability attached to your brand, than you have a loyal customer.

McDonalds doesn’t make the best burgers on the block, but when consumers see the golden arches, they know what to expect. At the end of the day, McDonalds is reliable wherever they’re located. However, McDonalds didn’t hoist their golden arches 50 feet high and watch a stampede of hungry customers squeeze through their front doors. Instead, they had a team of excellent marketers at the helm. With marketing strategies and tactics to back up the franchise and brand, consumers were able to give the brand value. To some degree, your brand is ultimately in the hands of the consumer and how they respond to you.

As you can see, marketing is determined by how well you can utilize tools and strategies for your sales objective, but it also thrives off of the brand. Consumers are lured by brands because they convey a message that relates to them, but that wouldn’t be possible unless they had a product lead or service to hook on to. Branding is up-keeping and marketing is maintenance.

Ensuring that employees know and act upon your company’s core values is an example of up-keeping your brand. And using different methods and strategies to sell your products, services and ultimately your message, is an example of maintaining the success of your business — your marketing strategy!

Understanding how to effectively build your brand and marketing strategy for your business can be tricky. It takes practice, trial and error and time, but starting with the basics of branding and marketing will give you the foundation you need for long term success.


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Bob Mangat is a 2 Time #1 Best Selling Author and 2-time Two-Comma Club Award Winner. He has worked with over 1500+ small business owners sharing with them the EXACT same strategies, techniques, and tools that he’s used in his businesses resulting in accelerated growth (doubling, tripling, or even 10x-ing their net profits).

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