Marketing vs Branding: What is the Difference?

Marketing and branding are two terms that many businesses seem content to use interchangeably. However, doing so can be a big mistake.  Not separating the two can make even an expert appear amateurish, as well as generate questions in the minds of customers and potential investors about your marketing strategy.

There are clear differences between marketing and branding. If you or your company’s marketing department are unsure about them, you will definitely want to read on.

Marketing: Integral to your Brand

Marketing is a set of tools you use to communicate to your audience what you are all about. It involves the telling of your story, and explaining the value you offer your potential customers. Marketing is not sales – rather than directly canvassing your products and services, a marketing strategy should identify problems your customers have and position your business as the solution. These campaigns, built on what your customers have said, must work hand-in-hand with your branding to get your audience moving into a position to buy.

Branding: Who you Are

Branding is the essence of your company. It is about using words and images to capture the essence of your value proposition and company ethos. Branding is what pulls at the heart strings of potential customers and turns them into believers. Basically, your brand is influenced by everything your company does, thinks and says.

Branding encompasses many different channels, simply because so many things influence the brand experience. From customer relationships to how staff are trained, all aspects of the brand experience must align with your business strategy. Branding has to do with what the customer thinks of you and is largely influenced by their expectations. Branding can also be influenced by employees.

In fact, you can realise branding success by involving your staff in the process. Not only will this ensure you get plenty of great ideas along the way, but your employees will also feel invested in your company and what it sells.

Yin and Yang

Marketing and branding are both essential parts of every business, and in order to be successful, must work hand in hand. Just like the Yin and Yang symbol represents an eternal partnership where one is incomplete without the other, so to do marketing and branding represent an eternal partnership where the success of your business is concerned.

Marketing and branding work together to sell the ‘big picture’ of your business. They explain to your audience why you’re here and who you are. Both elements help project the human side of your business with useful, relevant elements that engage your customer.

Now that you understand the differences between marketing and branding, you can ensure these differences are clearly communicated to all of your departments.