Branding vs. Marketing. What’s the difference? 

What comes to your mind when you think of marketing and branding? Do you find them similar?

People are often confused about the difference between branding and marketing. They don’t really know what each is and which one to focus on to grow their business. Well, they are both excellent tools for making your business stand out. They have their own definition and place in building a business, but one can’t work well without the other.

Whether you’re the owner of a small business, an employee or thinking about starting something off the ground – chances are that there may be a few terms that leave you a bit confused. Navigating your way through the business world can feel tricky if you’re just getting started. 

So, to help you find your feet, we’ve compiled a short list to better describe the biggest differences between marketing and branding. 

The Basics

Before we deep dive into the different aspects of each, let’s focus on what each element of your business means first. 

So you’ve started a new service, business or company – now how are people going to find out about you? Sure your close friends and family will spread the word, but that only reaches a limited amount of people.

‘We can go really in-depth about marketing, but for the sake of this topic, I’m going to keep it simple. Marketing refers to the set of tools, processes, and action plans you’ve set in place to promote your business and service.

Think of it as investing in a megaphone so your voice is heard by more people. The megaphone a.k.a Marketing allows your voice to sound louder, reach more people, and is more effective. 

Now, once people notice you through effective marketing, what is it that they’ll see – and will they stick around long enough to become a return buyer? That’s where branding comes in!

Branding falls under the big umbrella of marketing practices and refers to the intentional steps of shaping your brand. Branding is all about defining who you are as a business and communicating it effectively to your target audience. Think mission, values, what makes you special and how you’ll stand out from the crowd. Sure marketing will make people hear you, but branding is what really makes them listen. 

Branding vs Marketing: What are they made of?

Your marketing plan would have strategies designed to increase your sales. Now you may change these tactics as you like. You could think of marketing as having the follows:

  • Product
  • Price
  • Place
  • Promotion
  • People

All the above are known as the five elements of marketing. You can think of them as ingredients in a mix. Without any of the above, it would be hard to drive your business towards success.

On the other hand, branding is the reason your customers become loyal in the long run. While using the ingredients listed in the marketing mix above.

So here’s what branding is all about:

  • Brand Foundation (purpose, mission, vision, and goals)
  • Company values
  • Brand Personality (Brand voice, Tone of voice)
  • Brand Positioning and
  • Visual Style

Branding personifies, marketing promotes

So, to sum up so far: Branding is personality, marketing is promotion.

We all have big dreams. This is where the connection comes in between branding and marketing. If you decide to hire a marketing agency, you would need to have a proper brand voice. It would be difficult to generate sales without knowing what you want from your business!

Even if you start out small, it’s not going to be like that forever. Sooner or later, you’ll be having a team that helps turn your small business into a blockbuster brand. 

So, what would make your team members believe in you? A company with a clear vision motivates a team more than anything else. And for that, branding is the only answer. 

Your employees and customers need to understand your brand deeply. And in turn, you can hit the nail on the head by fulfilling yourself and your buyer goals.

Marketing vs Branding: What you will get out of each

So, to be precise, what can you expect out of these two? Well, they’re both almost in the same line. Let’s start with marketing, for it is made up of short-term tactics to boost your sales. You could devise clear plans related to the following:

  • Content marketing: What type of content would work best for your brand? For instance, you could have more videos out there compared to photographic posts.
  • A website with SEO: Every brand has a website. And without proper SEO, it could be difficult for the site to rank. This could affect your overall online marketing.
  • Social media calendar: Marketing happens in many ways. There’s a lot to handle offline, online, and on the Internet. So having a calendar with consistent schedules can help you manage sales better.
  • Monthly target goals: Marketing and goals work together. Say your target is to have around 100 customers in a month. So what steps should you take to lure in these prospective buyers?

So that’s all for marketing. But then, what role does branding play? Well, in the long run, it’s what you need to make your business a huge hit!

  • Brand recognition
  • Brand sentiment
  • Customer loyalty
  • Proper competitor analysis

For example, if you have a t-shirt business, how do you make your designs stand out? What if you’re offering customized services? Having a clear niche in mind means better brand recognition, sentimental connection, well-generated customer analysis, and ultimately – customer loyalty that lasts forever!

Where do I start? 

You wouldn’t build a new house without a solid foundation, right? Think of branding as your foundation. Once you have created a solid identity, you can start marketing it to the world. The foundation and very core of your business, like a foundation, will never change. It stays consistent. Marketing strategies on the other hand can change frequently based on the newest trends, budgets, goals, and much more. 

Ultimately, it’s never necessary to have it all figured out at once. Great marketing and great branding start with one thing – communication.

Which one is more important: Branding or marketing?

For your business to boom, they’re both equally essential! But for marketing to follow, you would need to think about branding first. It all comes down to the message you wish to give to the world. You can’t come up with strategies if the identity of your brand is unclear!

And without a proper marketing plan in hand, you might not be able to reach the right customers. So there you go – it’s all about achieving balance. But I hear you, that could be difficult.

At Maevi Creative Studio, we pride ourselves on being the go-to for all your design questions and how it relates to perfecting your brand. If you have any questions, we’d love to chat. Connect with us here and let’s design the brand of your dreams! 

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Hi! I'm Mae!

Welcome to my blog! This is the place where I share all things about Design, Business & Personal.

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