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Branding vs. Marketing: Understanding the Difference

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Branding vs. Marketing. Brand manager vs. Marketing manager.

It can be challenging to keep up with all of the terms used in marketing, and there’s no fault in using them interchangeably at one point. However, distinguishing between branding and marketing can help a business succeed in many ways, as each term is unique and valuable in its own right.

But which one is better? Is branding part of marketing? How can they complement each other? Join ADMS in examining the similarities and differences between marketing and branding.

By the end of this piece, you’ll not only understand what sets them apart but will be able to share how they work together to achieve common goals.

Let’s get started.

What Is Branding?

Branding, simply put, is all about your identity as a business. It reflects who you are to your audience. Choosing the proper branding can build a brand that resonates with your customers.

Think about your branding before you start designing your marketing strategy. Your brand must be consistent and cohesive to reach the right audience. It sets the tone for all marketing communications at each brand/consumer touchpoint. Research shows that if your brand values, image, and messaging are consistent across all marketing channels, you can enjoy a 33% increase in revenue.

Consider these things to help you decide what your brand is.

  • Core values and principles: What are the things you consider important as a company? Do you care about the environment? Are you committed to implementing eco-friendly strategies for saving the planet? Do you believe in equality for all customers?
  • Mission statement: What are you looking to achieve with your business?
  • Emotions you want to be associated with you: Do you want your customers to feel inspired, passionate, or comfortable when interacting with you? What are the associations people can make with your business or brand? How will you highlight the right ideas?
  • Unique selling point: How do you stand out from the crowd?
  • Brand personality: Are you playful and funny or intelligent and creative? What language do you use to communicate with your audience?

Your brand strategy explains to customers what they can expect of your business and what they will receive when they use your products or services.

The more you can define who your brand is, the more it will resonate with your target audience. Brands with a clear purpose are more popular than brands that don’t.

What Is Marketing?

Now that you understand the basics of branding, let us look at marketing.

Marketing is the strategies and tools companies use to communicate their brand message and profitably sell products and services.

A marketing strategy, unlike branding, is very tactical and easily measurable. Marketing determines a company’s product or service’s audience. It also identifies where and how to promote products and services.

There is one significant difference between marketing and branding. One stays the same, and the other doesn’t.

Your brand identity must be consistent throughout all years. Customer loyalty is one of your main goals. It is an opportunity to establish a lasting relationship between you and your clients based on your understanding of their needs.

On the other hand, marketing trends, methods, and activities are constantly changing. Depending on the brand you are marketing, you might consider traditional marketing avenues like billboards or TV commercials, or you might implement digital marketing strategies.

Most companies have a mix of offline and online marketing strategies/marketing material depending on their target audience.

Marketing can be classified as:

  • Direct mail and print campaigns
  • Pay-per-click advertising
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Content marketing
  • Marketing via social media
  • Email marketing
  • Podcasts and radio
  • Television and video
  • Mobile marketing

These are only a few examples of typical marketing techniques. However, you can still break it down into many types of marketing channels. These questions can help you understand the marketing plan that a business requires:

  • What is your goal for your business?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • Where are they hanging out? What media do they use, e.g., social media, TV, magazines?
  • Who are your competitors? How do they sell their products? What is their pricing? Are there any coupons, discounts, or other special offers?

Marketing communicates the brand’s value to your target audience and the public. All branding components are used (i.e., logo, colors and values, design, etc.) Marketing keeps brand messaging and interactions consistent. Consumers who interact and engage with your marketing will instantly be able to recall and recognize your efforts.

Branding vs. Marketing: Complementing Each Other

You may have noticed how important it is to understand the distinction between branding vs. marketing and how they can work together to reach your goals. While marketing is more commonly used, branding is what will drive your marketing. Your branding keeps your messages and promotions consistent so consumers can recognize and remember you.

Marketing is crucial to communicate who you are and what your offer. Without proper branding, consumers might be unable to connect the dots between what they hear and the brand that is delivering it.

Your business could not have the right components consumers want in today’s brands if it doesn’t know what’s behind branding vs. marketing.

Here are some ways to integrate marketing and branding:

Use brand voice in your messaging.

Your voice reflects the personality of your company. Use this voice in all your online advertisements and messages on social networking.

Your brand must be consistent in every call to action.

Ensure your sales and marketing team are familiar with the terminology you use when talking to customers.

Your customer should hear or see messages that sound like they are coming from you.

Enhance brand image.

Your image must be consistent, regardless of whether you post content to social media or email your audience with marketing campaigns.

Consider the type of typography and colors you should use for your brand. Also, consider how often you should use your logo in marketing materials.

You can create branding guidelines for the company to ensure that your employees and contractors use your visual branding across all channels.

Research your target market.

Understanding your target audience is key to creating a great brand. Your target audience is the key to building a brand.

You can use your brand to determine the type of audience that you want to reach with your campaigns.

You can also invest in assessment tools that will help you build a subscriber base or increase the engagement of your website.

Building Solid Branding and Marketing Foundations

Understanding more about branding vs. marketing isn’t going away any time soon.

Although marketing and branding are distinct concepts, they interact so closely that it’s difficult to imagine a world without them.

If you are thinking about how to define your brand and how to promote it, consider getting in touch with St. Petersburg SEO company Advanced Digital Media Services. ADMS understands that marketing management and branding are key to how you maintain customer satisfaction and reach your business goals.

Call us today to learn more about how you can build your brand and market it to attract customers and keep them coming back for more.

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ADMS Paul Donahue

About Paul Donahue

Paul Donahue has been in the digital marketing realm since 2009. He has an intense passion for creating a dynamic digital presence for his clients through modern websites that rank well on Google. His company’s website is Colorado’s top-ranked SEO company. Author of three books published on Amazon, he is particular about staying abreast with the constantly changing SEO and digital marketing industry trends.

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