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Marketing and branding often get erroneously used synonymously among those outside the advertising world. In reality, the two are quite different, though, as you’re about to discover inextricably linked. SEO fits into both the marketing and branding category.

Think of marketing as the micro part of your advertising game. To ever become a $3 billion company, however, you’re going to need the macro (branding).

In the following article, we’ll be discussing the seven key differences between marketing and branding. We’ll also be talking about why you need both to succeed. Let’s get right to it.

1. Branding Is A Look And Marketing Is A Message

The first thing you need to understand about the whole branding vs marketing difference is this. Branding is how the public sees your business while marketing speaks to a narrower message.

With branding, it’s about Image. What are your colors and logo, and do you have a mantra or slugline? What are you trying to convey when people glimpse your company’s marks?

Nike did this quite effectively with its “Just Do It” swoosh. The logo and three-word tag immediately emphasized human performance and connected that idea to the products they were pushing.

Marketing may incorporate that branding into its outreach goals, but it will be more targeted in its approach. Marketing is about getting collateral in front of the right groups of people (i.e., one’s target audience).

2. Get Recognized Through Branding But Listened To Through Marketing

Business strategy branding planning concept.

Another key difference between marketing and branding is that branding can get you recognized by virtually anyone while effective marketing ensures those people slow down long enough to hear and listen to what you have to say. There are many people who instantly recognize the Coca-Cola branding, for instance, even if they don’t drink soft drinks and never will.

In 2014, the already popular company took its branding and applied it to specific marketing efforts to reach a larger number of customers. That’s when they started labeling their bottles with 250 of the most popular names. The results speak for themselves and have extended the campaign for more than six years.

3. Branding Equals Respect While Marketing Finds Your Audience

Once you jump in with both feet to the worlds of digital marketing and branding, you’ll understand that a brand can achieve respect and then carry that respect indefinitely. However, it will never get to that point if there isn’t a marketing message going out routinely, helping the brand to stand out in a crowded environment and grow its audience click-by-click. This is a top goal of almost all digital agencies.

4. Branding Is To Impressions What Marketing Is To Focus

The primary goal behind brand marketing is to achieve that at-a-glance association with the masses. You want people, even those who aren’t your customers, to see you and recognize who you are, what you’re about, and what you do immediately.

Marketing digs into the data. It works to find your true fans and audience members. Effective marketers understand that creating true fans, however, narrows the path to those true fans may be, is what ultimately establishes the brand.

5. Branding Creates Image While Marketing Creates Revenue

Branding Creates Image While Marketing Creates Revenue

Branding in marketing is important for carrying the sigil of the business and making it seen and recognized. At a certain point, that image may lead to impulse buys and residual revenues.

However, firm revenue streams and effective business practices are only established when you push your products and services to the right people. It goes back to the idea of creating fans and not just customers.

A customer may buy you because you’re familiar enough to them that they recognize you can satiate an immediate need. A fan, on the other hand, will make it a point to send their money your way, and they’ll encourage others to do the same.

6. Branding Builds Trust And Marketing Informs

The primary focus of branding is to create and uphold the public trust. You know your branding has been successful when people who don’t even use your products or services see you as an authority in your field.

Marketing gets into the nuts and bolts of what you do. It tells the public how your specific products and services will benefit them. It also delves somewhat into features, but always from the perspective of, “how these features improve the lives of our customers.”

7. Branding Promotes While Marketing Inspires

Branding is a passive form of promotion. It creates impressions every time someone sees it. Those impressions can lead to relationships, and those relationships can lead to sales.

However, it’s marketing that inspires people to buy into what you’re selling. You could be selling an idea, a product, a service, or perhaps all three rolled into one. The message of your marketing is what will lead others through the journey from prospect to devoted customer.

Launch target goals rocketship branding and marketing message

Why You Need Both

You may have recognized that there is quite a bit of nuance separating branding from marketing. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking one is superior to the other. You need them both for the following reasons.

They Do Different Things

Branding has a more generalized purpose while marketing is more specific. That said, they often overlap, and it can become a matter of simply getting your branding in front of the right audience, as Nike has managed to do for decades.

They Feed Off Each Other

The marketing creates the brand and the brand reinforces the effectiveness of the marketing. Once an effective marketing campaign connects with the public, the branding will take over as something of a force multiplier. They need each other.

They Create Opportunities

Branding gets people curious. Marketing lands with a target audience. Those relationships can intermingle to create real opportunities for sales and thought leadership, and they can help launch word-of-mouth marketing efforts.

Marketing And Branding Go Together

We hope this examination of the key differences between marketing and branding will help you see both as the effective sources of growing your business that they truly are. Best of luck as you set out on your journey to promote, grow, and establish yourself. For more business tips and advice, check out some of our additional posts!

About the Author

James McMinn

Senior Digital Strategist

James is a savvy digital marketing specialist with a Masters of Science in Internet Marketing. For the past fourteen years, he has been specializing in SEO, PPC & Marketing Strategy. He has a super sharp analytical mind and a finely tuned creative eye for marketing initiatives that optimize brands.

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