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Marketing vs. Branding – What’s the Difference?

Marketing / July 5, 2022

Marketing and branding are two different things that are both vital for a successful business. So, what’s the difference between marketing vs. branding?

Definitions of Branding vs. Marketing

As Julie Andrews sang, “Let’s start at the very beginning…” It is indeed a very good place to start!

Q: What is branding?
A: Just like burning a mark on cattle, the American Marketing Association defines branding as, “A name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s goods or service as distinct from those of other sellers”. In other words, branding denotes what makes your offering unique and embodies the values and ethos of your firm. Key elements of a brand include your logo, color palette, typography, imagery, tagline, voice, and website – all of which must be cohesively recognizable.

Q: What is marketing for a business?
A: Marketing can be defined as the set of actions you take to promote your company and its products or services. It involves creating and delivering high-quality messaging that connect with and attract customers, partners, and the public.

Huh? Isn’t that what advertising does? Q: What is the difference between marketing and advertising?
A: Marketing and advertising have the same function: persuading customers to buy products and services. Because marketing is an umbrella term that encompasses several activities that are used to promote products and services, advertising is an important component of marketing. (Check out this blog that dives deeper into marketing vs advertising.)

Differences Between Marketing vs. Branding

Now that we have cleared up the definitions of marketing, branding, and advertising, let’s delve into their differences and how that affects your organization.

First, you need both branding and marketing to successfully grow your business. While marketing attracts buyers to engage with your company initially, branding keeps people coming back for more. Although they have the same overall aim, each has its own nuanced goals, KPIs, and results.

Your brand strategy vs marketing strategy work on different timelines and have different objectives.
Your marketing strategies involve advertising, search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, and social media campaigns aimed, more often than not, at driving sales. Each program has a beginning, middle, and end – allowing for adaptation to the ever-evolving landscape and the changing behavior of your audience.
Your branding strategy, on the other hand, uses a more long-term approach intended to increase recognition and positive sentiment around your brand, distinguish you from your competition, and cultivate customer loyalty. Because it aims to shape the perception of your brand, it includes audience research, positioning, personality (voice, messaging, visuals), and defining your culture. All this is used in the execution of your marketing strategy.

It follows, then, that branding is done ahead of marketing. Branding will evolve along with the growth of your business. But it lasts and should flourish over the years.

Use Marketing and Branding to Take Your Business to the Next Level

If you want to take your business to the next level, a blend of branding and marketing is needed. There is already overlap, for example, keeping your branding in mind as you map out your next email marketing or print campaign.

Ways to leverage the two include:

  • Using your brand voice in all your marketing messages.
  • Creating branding guidelines to ensure your employees and contractors use branding consistently across all channels.
  • Letting your brand help you determine the ideal audience to target with various marketing campaigns.

What are you waiting for? Get the Strand360 advantage – simplified marketing solutions, actionable advice, the backing of global partners and suppliers, and a comprehensive marketing program – to grow your business and reach your objectives. Leave us your contact information and one of our design and marketing professionals will reach out to arrange a time to talk about your business and the marketing vs branding issues you are facing.