Branding vs. Marketing: How Do They Differ?

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Branding vs. Marketing: People often confuse the two terms or lump them together into a single entity. Although they’re closely related, branding and marketing differ from one another. Think of branding as a subset of marketing. First, let’s look at what marketing is and how it differs from branding.

What is marketing?

Marketing is the process of understanding customers, their wants and desires, and building a relationship with them. The ultimate goal is to get them interested in your products or services.  To achieve this objective, a marketing team identifies an audience with a problem, need, or desire, and shows them how their products or services can fulfill that need. One way to do this is by developing advertising campaigns.

What is branding?

Branding is the act of turning a product into a recognizable entity. For example, who doesn’t recognize the Nike logo? Companies build a brand by carefully crafting and controlling the messages consumers receive and the visuals they say. Think of branding as the persona a company builds and maintains. They do that through advertising campaigns and public relations efforts, but also through product design, price point, and an eye-catching logo. It’s all geared to create an image that is recognizable and resonates with the target market. Some brands, such as Apple, have created brands that transcend product categories and become cultural phenomena.

The importance of branding

The importance of branding in marketing cannot be understated. Strong brands can create enormous value for a business, providing an intangible asset that is harder to duplicate than a physical asset. Strong brands may be associated with a product or service that is in high demand, or even with a company that has a reputation for quality.

A strong brand is something every business owner strives for. Crafting a brand involves the use of various techniques, such as targeted advertising and public relations campaigns, to create a perception for consumers.

Branding vs. marketing: identify the differences

Branding and marketing often work together to sell a product or service. Branding focuses on the promotion of a product while branding is responsible for crafting the image that a particular product conveys.

Companies use a variety of strategies for branding. For example, they might use product quality, price, packaging, convenience, as well as other factors. To create a successful brand, these factors must be consistent. For example, a product with a high price point should have upscale packaging and impeccable customer service. The presentation and logo should reflect value, elegance, and reliability.

The strongest brands are often associated with products that have some unique functionality, but even brands that promote low-priced consumer goods can be powerful if managed correctly. Marketing specialists are generally concerned with addressing the market directly, while branding specialists work to influence consumers indirectly, through methods such as advertising or public relations campaigns.

Importance of branding

The importance of branding in marketing cannot be understated. Strong brands can create enormous value for a business, providing an intangible asset that is often harder to duplicate than a physical asset. Strong brands may be associated with a high-demand product or service that is in high demand or a company that has a reputation for quality. A strong brand is something every business owner strives for. Clever branding involves the use of a variety of techniques, such as targeted advertising and public relations campaigns to create a perception for consumers.

Marketing vs. branding: key differences in practice

Many business owners choose to hire both branding and marketing specialists to help manage marketing efforts. Though these two fields of expertise are often separate, some businesses combine the practice of branding and marketing into a single department known as “marketing communications. “

Branding may be a useful subset of marketing, but an effective marketing plan can only be put into action if the right branding strategies are in place. When crafting a marketing plan, business owners must consider how to best position their product or service in the marketplace relative to the competition. That means differentiating from competing products and services.

 A strong brand stands out from competing products. The goal is to create a strong perception among consumers that one brand is superior to the others. This can be accomplished through various tools, such as advertising campaigns and public relations efforts.

In addition to considering how to create the perception of differentiation in the marketplace, business owners must also make sure they are advertising their products and services in a way that is relevant to potential consumers. For example, advertising efforts should focus on generating awareness about a product or service among existing customers and/or potential customers who have shown interest in purchasing the product.

The Bottom Line

Marketing is a single discipline that involves management of the sales and distribution of a product or service, but branding is creating a distinct and recognizable persona. Without a strong brand, marketing will be less effective. So, it’s important to get both right!

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