Marketing vs Branding: What’s the difference?


Are you wondering the answer to this question: What, exactly, is the difference between marketing and branding, and how do the two interact with each other?

I love this question! We talk to business owners often who haven’t yet defined the specifics of their brand. They were so excited to launch their business (and rightfully so) that some of those “pesky” details were left to the wayside.

Some of those businesses have been in business for years without a logo. 

Others have been inconsistent about using a logo or their brand colors, forgetting that those elements are visual cues to consumers about who is talking to them.

Branded elements are important to use consistently whenever you appear in print, online, or even in-person. It makes your brand recognizable to consumers at a glance. And that makes you more memorable.

It takes most people 5-7 times to see something before they recognize it as familiar. This is one reason consistency pays off. The seventh time might just be the charm!

For this reason, billboards are a strategy for branding campaigns; they are placed in high traffic places where people often commute, therefore everyday they pass by, they glance at it and imprint its content into their brain.

Since 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, your logo, colors, and chosen imagery will speak to consumers before they ever read your message. That is the magic of branding.

This gets us to the root of your question – what is branding?

Branding is a combination of all the elements that make up the personality of your brand. It is the essence of the company behind the product or service.

A brand at its core is immaterial. You can’t touch it, but you can feel it in your soul.

Branding includes all the impressions made on consumers by your product or service. Everything from sound, tone, smell, color, and imagery matter to your brand essence.

Your branding is what provokes emotion and reaction from your customers. It is what consumers become loyal to. It is unique and recognizably you.

So, how does branding compare to marketing?

Your marketing is what sells your brand to consumers. It is the strategy you implement to present your product or service to the right people, at the right time, in the right place.

Marketing is what entices or inspires consumers to buy from you. 

This is why marketing and branding go hand-in-hand: Branding builds relationships with consumers. Marketing gets you in front of the people who will be inspired to buy from you.

At the end of the day, a brand needs both a solid branding strategy and a robust marketing strategy. To have only one leaves a lot of money on the table, or a lot of product on the shelves, so to speak.

When you consider your brand’s image, here are a few questions to get your started:

What colors do you feel best represent your brand? (If you want some color science tips to help your decision-making, click here.)

What ideas do you have about imagery that best represents your organization? 

Are there any cultural or regional connections you want your brand imagery to incorporate?

What fonts do you prefer for your brand? (If you’re not sure, you can browse Google fonts here.)

If you had to pick 3 words that describe how your brand makes people feel, what would those words be? 

When you answer these questions, really think about them. Thoughtfully. Taking a deep dive into these questions and their answers can lead you to a starting point about where you want to begin conceptualizing your brand.

If you want more inspiration to define or redefine your branding, we’ve got a free worksheet just for that! The worksheet has  27 prompts to help you think critically about your brand in order to create a clear image of how it will inspire people to feel and how you will present it to the world. 

Download the worksheet here.

Interested in getting 7 Tips for Making High-Quality Signage? Click here.

Whatever your next project, our team will get it done.

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