What's the Difference Between Marketing and Branding?



The art of branding can not be discussed without mentioning marketing and vise versa. While both are distinct and separate topics, they are so closely related that they converge on many different theories. Both marketing and branding work in favour of each other and are complementary concepts.

In simpler terms, branding is the value and personality of your company, while marketing is the way you relay this to your customers. Imagine your brand as an important letter. In this metaphor, branding would be the very letter you've written - with the contents containing your intentions etc. - and marketing would be the post office vehicle that delivers this letter to whom it's intended.


Branding is about who you are. What does your company stand for? What are your goals and ambitions? Branding is the art of creating a distinct identity for your company, on every intrinsic and extrinsic level. At the intrinsic level of branding, there's mission and vision statements, as well as your brand purpose. On an extrinsic level, branding creates a verbal and visual identity for your brand which makes your company recognizable, unique and distinct. Branding is about building connections with your customers, whether it's feelings of nostalgia or the loyalty that is slowly built as customers begin to recognize your brand. At its core, branding is about playing on how customers feel towards your brand. Fostering connections, building loyalty and aligning customers with your values are some of the most common outcomes of effective branding.


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In contrast, marketing takes advantage of more logical tactics to entice customers to your company. If branding is an art, marketing is a science. Using selling points like product features, prices, sales and promotional events, marketing is the science of presenting the core of your brand in the most appealing way possible. Marketing communicates how customers will benefit from engaging with your company, and encourages customers to pursue your brand not necessarily because of who you are as a brand, but for what you can do for them. Thus, marketing looks at the logic behind why or when a customer will engage with your brand. Using theories, algorithms and other indicators, marketing aims to expose the right customer to your brand at the right time, and in the right way.

Ideally, strong brands are built through both effective branding and marketing. The balance of gaining customer loyalty from your brand values, and considering how your brand can positively impact customers is the recipe for achieving an effective business plan. The same way using both outbound and inbound marketing methods creates the most solid marketing approach, branding is reliant on marketing (and marketing on branding) in order to build a brand with a relevant and desirable offering.


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