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Branding Versus Marketing: The Key Differences

Branding and marketing. These concepts are often used interchangeably. Although they share some similarities, there are some key differences between the two. To maximise your brand’s success, you need to know how marketing and branding differ, so that you can effectively use them together.

In this article we’re going to take a closer look at the differences between marketing and branding.

Let’s get started.

What Is Branding?

Branding is all about defining who you are. From a definition standpoint, branding is the act of expressing a brand in the market. But what does this mean exactly?

Well, branding encompasses the expression of everything that your brand represents, from its personality and purpose to its differentiation strategy – both visually and verbally. 

Some common questions a brand should ask themselves with regards to their branding is as follows:

  • What makes you unique?
  • What is your mission statement?
  • What is your internal company culture?
  • What are your core values and principles?
  • How do you want customers to describe you as a company?

A company’s branding will cultivate what consumers expect of you, and the experiences they will have when they utilise your product or service.

Now that we have a deeper understanding of branding, let’s look at what marketing is, and how it differs to branding.

What Is Marketing?

Marketing is described as the activities a company takes to promote its products and services. The number one goal of marketing is to generate interest in what you are selling; it is the collection of activities and tactics that brands use to place their messages into the market.

Marketing can be funny, heartfelt, or serious. It can include a mix of text, images, videos, keywords, graphs, charts and more. The act of marketing is generally performed by a range of online and offline methods, of which include:

So, now we have some solid foundational knowledge of what marketing is, and what it generally consists of. But, is branding or marketing more important? Let’s find out.

What Is More Important: Branding or Marketing?

Although branding comes first, it doesn’t necessarily translate to being more important than marketing. Branding is creating a perception, and marketing is taking that perception to market; each need each other to succeed.

In the quest to build your brand and become an authoritative figure within your industry, brands need to understand that branding is at the heart of a marketing strategy. As such, branding needs to come first as it is essential to clearly define who you are as a brand before you start driving specific marketing methods and tactics.

At the end of the day, branding is not the same as marketing. To effectively build a successful brand, you need to know how branding and marketing differ, and how focusing on each element will affect your success.