Marketing and branding, what’s the difference?

This week’s blog is dedicated to uncovering the differences between marketing and branding while also looking at the important and valuable relationship between the commonly confused duo.

It’s particularly easy to understand why the lines are sometimes blurred between these two words. Maybe it’s all down to the sheer volume of marketing talk that’s available to us these days. 

Here at iGina we certainly notice more and more just how frequently we are asked, “what is the difference” because our clients are also confused. so, today we’ll show you.

The relationship between marketing and branding

These two things are undoubtedly essential for a successful business. You must have marketing and you must have branding.

In fact, they form the perfect partnership if used correctly, but more importantly how can you differentiate your business and then promote it. 

But before we look at anything, we must first look at your brand.

  • Your brand is an experience.
  • It is what people say about you when you aren’t in the room.
  • Your brand is intangible (but the strategy behind it is)
  • It is not your marketing
  • Your brand is not your branding
  • Your brand is strategic

So what is branding? 

When you say you need to have a logo designed, then what you need is branding. Do you have a strategy behind that logo? No? Ok, then we need to define your brand strategy FIRST.

We’ll demonstrate the concept with our cupcake example…

You wouldn’t put stars (branding) on a cupcake before you make the cupcake, would you? Nope, you don’t have a cupcake (brand) yet.

Branding is the visual expression of a brand. It’s all of the things you see: logo, color scheme, typeface, style. 

The verbal bits of your brand? Story message tagline, name? Those are part of your bigger brand strategy.

Branding you define ONE TIME and use it within other things… that brings us to marketing. This is where you use your branding! 

Ok… then what is marketing?

Marketing is how you build awareness of your business. It’s tactical. 

So, if you need a Facebook ad, press or press coverage, you need marketing. If you are publishing on social media, you are doing marketing. It’s a massive industry. Writing a blog? White papers? Trade shows, conferences, speaking, videos?  All marketing. 

The Chartered Institute of Marketing defines it as: “Marketing is … identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably.”  In human speak, this means building awareness with customers.  If this sounds interesting to you, read the CIM report here

But first of all, here are some essential definitions of marketing. 

  • You control your marketing
  • It is how you tell your story
  • Marketing is always tactical

With all this in mind, take a look at our diagram below.

Marketing and Branding

The infographic illustrates just how it’s all connected, in addition to the two subjects were discussing today let’s not forget about the other components from the infographic. 

PR Is a part of marketing = external communications and media relations

ADVERTISING = An audio or visual form of communication

Sometimes PR and advertising are also confused as the same thing, but we’ll touch on that subject further in another blog post, coming soon…

In conclusion 

So, to summarize:  Branding is the visual representation of your brand strategy and marketing is alllllll the cool tactics you are going to do to promote and build awareness of your brand. 

Finally, some of the strongest brands out there today use their knowledge and understanding of the difference to build marketing campaigns that work in synergy with their brand positioning strategy. Listening to their customers and then crafting campaigns to communicate through simple, creative, executions.

If you’ve enjoyed this topic, then here is a really great research article we’d like to share with.

And lastly, if you like what you read here today and are intrigued to know more, why not book a free 15-min discovery call and discover how we can help your business grow.  We can help you uncover the marketing and branding synergy success for your business too.

Who am I? 

I'm Gina Dunn, Brand Strategist and CEO of iGina - and my mission is to help entrepreneurs to define and build brands. Let's bring your brand to life!

Did you know that brand-led businesses outperform their competition by 83%? Get started by mapping out your very own brand strategy yourself with our Brand Canvas - get it here.