Although often mentioned interchangeably, branding and marketing are two separate things. Ask around, and you will get various answers regarding the distinction between the two. Some people may even tell you they are the same thing.

Knowing the difference between branding and marketing is key to mastering both parts of your business.

Branding and marketing are both crucial to the success of your business. Being strong on both will put your company on a path to success. Read on to see how and why they are distinct and, most importantly, how to build them both into an advantage over your competition.

Branding vs. Marketing

Marketing can be described as an activity a company takes to promote its products or services. Marketing’s primary goal is to generate interest in the product or service. Marketing is a set of actions designed to communicate the benefits of a company and what it has to offer to its target consumers. 

Marketing can take many different forms that will cost varying amounts of money. To develop and manage a successful marketing plan, a business will first need to determine the message it wants to convey and that target audience to serve that message to. 

Branding, in comparison to marketing, is more internalized. It is about defining who you are. Defining your brand is paramount to the success of your marketing efforts and your business in general. 

The characteristics that make up your brand, including your name and logo, should quickly identify your business to consumers and be distinct from competitors. The colors, fonts and images you use will become a part of your visual brand. 

Beyond your visual identity, your brand includes your core headlines and your personality. Eventually, your brand includes the expectations you build in someone’s mind about what it will be like to interact with your product or service.

Branding needs to be clear, concise, and consistent. Staying consistent in all aspects of your brand will allow for recognition and an easier path to building a solid reputation.

Branding vs. Marketing

Branding and Marketing Need Each Other

While someone may see your branding — for example, your logo on a truck or your packaging in a store — and be intrigued, it is rarely enough to generate enough interest to lead to many sales. That is where marketing comes in.

Branding and marketing are two different components of a business. However, they both rely on each other, and both contribute to the success of the other when applied correctly. 

Marketing efforts will benefit from having a solid branding foundation in place at the beginning. This will allow the marketing to highlight your product or service and show off the brand’s characteristics. People will become familiar with your brand and what it stands for if they always see a consistent design and message from you. Having good branding in place will set up a strong marketing campaign that can produce a maximum return. 

Help Branding and Marketing Find Each Other

Both marketing and branding will need attention in your business. Building a solid branding foundation early in a business’s life is most beneficial to develop clear and constant brand characteristics. Marketing activities can then follow.

It’s essential to understand how both branding and marketing are different. Understanding them each separately will allow the two components to be combined correctly and efficiently.

Combining a well-planned marketing campaign with the momentum of a solid branding approach sets any business on the right path to continued success.

Tip: Branding Compass will make it easier to do your marketing. After you receive your Branding Compass report, select just 1-2 typefaces and one color palette. You will be able to use these in all of your marketing materials, including posts, ads, newsletters, and your website.