Branding and Marketing. Is there a difference?

Ahh, the big question. Branding and Marketing. Is there really a difference? Welcome to part 2 of 6 of our Lively Communication Series. Let’s get right to it. Which came first? The chicken, or the egg? That’s the same analogy when it comes to branding and marketing. Common questions asked are “Which one should I focus on?” “Is one more important than the other?” “Aren’t they, like, the same?”. 

Truth is, although the terms branding and marketing are used often and sometimes even simultaneously, there is a huge difference between these words and concepts. 

Branding is what makes your company stand out in your industry. You know how people like to say markets are saturated (personally, I don’t believe in “saturated markets”)? This is usually the thought when a company is having issues with connecting with their target audience and identifying what truly makes them unique. Think of branding as your company’s fingerprint. It should be like no one else’s. Your customers and clients should receive a one of a kind experience where they can’t get anywhere else. That’s where the true magic lies, in your branding. 

Now let’s be clear: branding is much more than visuals, websites, logos, and aesthetics. Your messaging is what truly converts. Once your messaging is clear, everything else falls into place.

Once you have proper messaging and your unique market imprint in place, the next task is deciding how you’ll show up. This is marketing. The strategy, systems, and approach to how you plan to reach your audience. You can have great services and products, but if it is not properly marketed, you’ll get either crickets, or slow sales. No company that is striving for greatness settles for the latter. Marketing comes in a variety of channels: social media, email marketing, sales pages, events, books, video, the list goes on. Ensuring that your team has identified which marketing efforts and strategies work best for the company is essential.

It is important to know that your branding (visual and nonvisual) will evolve over time. There even may be pivots along the way if necessary. The same goes for marketing and strategies applied. Once you are clear on your brand promise, audience, and offers, showcasing becomes more intentional and results are generated. 

Next time you are using the terms, Branding and Marketing, think of these key takeaways:

Branding is the unique footprint. Marketing is the outreach strategy.

They both should work together like a PB&J. 

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