What is the Difference Between Branding and Marketing?

brand colours

Marketing and branding are two main terms used in businesses when you’re trying to get yourself out there in the marketplace. Yet, non-industry professionals often confuse the definitions between the two and use these interchangeably.

branding vs marketingThere is a distinct difference between the two and to help utilise both effectively together, here we go through the misconceptions.

The general misconception is crossing over marketing activities and branding.

For example, if you are looking to increase awareness of your brand and relate to things – such as gaining brand mentions, social popularity, through to thinking of activities to how you make your brand visible online – then you’re looking at branding the wrong way.

All the above are marketing strategies and only scratch the surface of branding. Both branding and marketing have specific uses.

What is Branding?

Branding is about the perception and emotional connection a business has with its customers.

Essentially a promise to your customers, branding tells them what they can expect from your products and services. Most importantly, a brand separates your offering from your competitors and can be a unique selling point.

For example, when it comes to Samsung and Apple, what associations and perceptions do you have of each one? The idea that a brand is simply a physical entity of a logo, design, name and colour, is only a very top of the line of thinking of what branding is.

So why is branding so important to get right?

Getting the branding element right is crucial to any business. Your brand identity is what makes you stand out from the crowd, in addition to increasing the value of your company. The best branding today is based on strong ideas, without branding there is no distinction.

By understanding that branding defines who you are, your branding can then be utilised to precede and underlie your marketing efforts.

Developing a strong brand is often a complex process, but if you consider the following, you are on the right path:

  • What brand personality do I want?
  • How do I want customers to perceive me?
  • What are your brand values?
  • What problems does your brand solve?
  • What are the emotional benefits?

These questions are the basic building block of your brand strategy and can be perceived as a fundamental part when developing a strong brand.

What is Marketing?

Marketing is about how you promote your product, and services to your key audiences and is an integral part of your brand. When speaking of marketing vs. branding, marketing refers to the tools you utilise to deliver the message of your brand. Tools can include social media, SEO, website, and paid search channels.

So, where branding is why you should buy a business’s product and services, marketing is how you push the messaging out.

Your brand will determine the position and strength of your entire marketing strategy; therefore, it must be honest and be in line with the customer experience so that when your brand is discussed this is as close to how you want it to be portrayed as possible.

In essence, you can see how branding can be mistaken for marketing – branding is the core of your marketing strategy. Branding isn’t a one-time project you do when you first start the business, but it should be an on-going effort that communicates your values and development as a business. Your marketing should incorporate branding to create customer loyalty, therefore you should plan what you want to accomplish for each.

Branding is a crucial long term investment that creates customer loyalty and repeat purchases. If you intend to develop your branding professionally, then ensure you choose a branding agency that fits your needs.

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Victoria Ward

Digital Marketing Manager at Speed Agency
Working across various B2B and B2C businesses, Victoria specialises in digital marketing and SEO, working towards brand engagement and lead generation. She currently works at Speed Agency and help clients in solving their digital marketing problems.