The Difference Between Branding and Marketing

brand design/aesthetics brand messaging business strategy/development Aug 04, 2021

Here’s a question I hear ALL the time: What is the difference between branding and marketing? It’s all just about sharing the message of your business, right?

To an extent, yes. However branding deals more with your business’ purpose, value, and message, while marketing is all about communicating that message to your audience. Successful businesses require both to survive!


A bit about branding:

I like to refer to branding as the perspective behind your brand. It’s all about knowing WHY your dream customers should buy from you instead of anyone else. Your mission and purpose in running your business contribute to your offering by helping you pinpoint the need you’re addressing and the way you’re solving it.


Your brand consists of these elements and more, especially your plan to present your business in a way that depicts your mission and values and appeals to your audience (like with a logo and business name that capture their interest and keep you recognizable).


A bit about marketing:

On the flip side, marketing is using a strategy to communicate all these things to your customers through content and selling of ideas and products that serve the greater purpose of helping your customers feel at home with your brand. You want to tell the story of your brand message in an appealing way, beyond simply putting a pretty face to it and getting it out there. You want to get it in front of the RIGHT people, and that’s where marketing comes into play.


The difference between branding and marketing:

Here’s an example I often use to describe the difference between these two elements of running a business:

Picture a person standing on the corner of a busy crosswalk using a megaphone to tell people to come to try their donuts in their new donut shop. They may have the best donuts in the world, but if no one knows about them, they’re not going to sell any. The megaphone user is marketing the new business, however effective or ineffective their methods are.


Branding is all about the presentation of the donuts. Let’s say that the megaphone strategy alone gets 100 people into the new donut shop to try the donuts. But, when they get there, it’s dark and dirty inside the shop and the donuts look a little less than desirable. How many do you think they’ll sell?


Contrast that with a cute little donut shop with appetizing flavors, good lighting, and a beautifully designed menu. How much better would that type of shop do with those 100 people?


The relationship between branding and marketing is a strong one and smart business owners are able to pay attention to how the two interact. While you must prioritize your branding to ensure that visitors convert to customers, you must also prioritize the marketing efforts to get people there in the first place. The cute donut shop may be worse off than the dark one sales-wise if they’re aren’t doing anything to get people in the door.


Where to start?

I recommend to my clients that while the two are crucial, branding is the foundation of good marketing. If you’re going to start somewhere, it should be establishing a solid brand as the foundation of your business. This is why I work with my 1x1 clients to refine their brand strategy before we even begin creating marketing materials.

If you feel like your brand or website needs a little help, I have a few 1x1 spots left and I’d love to chat with you to see if we’re a good fit! Let’s get in touch!

Thanks for reading!
♡♡♡ Rebecca


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