Although often mentioned interchangeably, branding and marketing are two separate things. Knowing the difference between the two is key to mastering both parts of your business. Branding and marketing are both equally important to the success of your business. Being strong on both sides will put your company on a path to success. Ask around, and you will get various answers regarding the distinction of the two, and some may even tell you they are the same. This will explain 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 be carried out in many different forms that will cost varying amounts of money depending on the potential customers that each specific activity can reach. 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 easily identify your business to consumers and be distinct from competitors. Taking it a step further, the colors and fonts you use will become a part of your brand, so the small details cannot be overlooked. 

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 most from having a strong branding foundation in place at the beginning. This will allow the marketing to highlight the products and services and show off the characteristics of the brand. People to more easily become familiar with the brand and what it stands for. 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 play a role through the different stages of any business. Early in a business’s life, it is most beneficial to build a solid branding foundation to develop clear and constant brand characteristics. Marketing activities can follow and will flourish, being led by the branding foundation a company already has in place. Combining a well-planned marketing campaign with the momentum of a solid branding approach sets any business on the right path to continued success. 

It’s important to understand how both branding and marketing are different. Understanding them each separately will allow the two components to be combined correctly and efficiently. This will keep the business moving in the right direction.


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.