Branding vs. Marketing: Know the Difference

Published: November 9, 2021

Mariah Raner


Keeping up with all the terms that make their way into marketing can get challenging, but branding is among the most important to get intimately familiar with. Branding is what defines who your business is, what it stands for, and what makes it unique and different from other companies in your industry. Your brand is what consumers resonate with, relate to, and remember.

In fact, it usually takes at least 5-7 impressions for consumers to remember your brand. If you don’t have a brand identity for them to recall and recognize, it can take much longer. Small Biz Genius also reports that as long as you present your brand consistently, you can benefit from an increase in revenue up to as much as 23%. If you use the same color throughout logos, digital content, product, etc., the report found that you can improve brand recognition by 80%.

Branding plays a vital role in marketing, but they are not the same. Here’s what you need to know about branding vs. marketing to ensure they both receive special but separate attention.

Branding vs. Marketing: Key Differences in Definition and Purpose

Chances are, you are already pretty familiar with the term marketing. Marketing refers to all the strategies and actions your business ventures into to communicate, sell, and promote its products and services. Branding, on the other hand, is the creation of who your company is and how the public perceives it: the face, personality, and even ‘person’ behind the products/services. It includes your logo, design, name, colors, mission statement, values, purpose, and much more.

The key difference between the two terms is that marketing communicates the value of your brand, and branding creates the value of your brand in the minds of consumers.

The Purpose of Branding

Branding should always come before your marketing. To reach and resonate with audiences correctly, your brand needs to be cohesive and consistent. Proper branding sets the guidelines and tone of what all your marketing should encompass at every brand/consumer touchpoint. According to research, you can benefit from a 33% increase in revenue when you present your brand values, image, and messaging consistent across all your marketing channels.

The main components of branding are to:

  • Define who you and your brand are
  • Drive consumer loyalty, recall, and recognition
  • Make a memorable impression
  • Keep the attention of your target audience
  • Improve your image and identity in the long term
  • Build relationships with consumers via a more tangible entity
  • Attract the ideal candidates to represent your company and brand (as many as 9 out of 10 job seekers would consider a pay cut to work at a company with the same values and mission).

The Purpose of Marketing

Your marketing comes after branding to communicate the value your brand will bring to the public and your target audience. Using all the major components of branding (i.e., logo, colors, values, design, etc.), marketing keeps interactions and messaging consistent with the brand. This way, consumers who engage and interact with your marketing can instantly recall and recognize the efforts you employ.

The primary purpose of marketing is to:

  • Get your customer’s attention through targeting and retargeting strategies
  • Drive sales
  • Communicate the value of your brand
  • Create and execute short-term strategies to reach current objectives
  • Nourishes and maintains the relationships your branding builds by introducing your brand to new customers and keeping in contact with existing customers.

Why It’s Important to Know the Difference

It’s essential to know the difference between branding vs. marketing because it can be easy to combine the two terms into one and ultimately lose the importance of branding for your business. Marketing is a more well-known and used term, but branding is what drives your marketing. Branding keeps your messaging and promotions clear and consistent for consumers so that they can easily recognize and remember you.

Marketing is essential to communicating who you are and what you offer. However, without proper branding, consumers may never really connect the dots between the messages they’re receiving and the brand that’s delivering them.

Without proper knowledge on the difference between marketing and branding, your business risks not having all the components consumers are looking for in the brands they support today:

  • Transparency: 94% of consumers are more likely to be loyal to a brand that offers complete transparency, while 39% say they’re willing to switch to a more transparent brand.
  • Authenticity: 86% of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support.
  • Purpose: 63% of consumers prefer companies that stand for a purpose that is relevant to the consumer’s values and beliefs, and often avoid companies that don’t.
  • Values: 71% of consumers prefer brands that are aligned with their values. Recent research also found that 46% of consumers confirmed researching brand values, with 49% checking out values before making a purchase.
  • Trust: 81% of consumers said that they need to be able to trust the brand to buy from them.

When it comes down to it, branding can shape the positive way the public perceives your brand. Thus, increasing the value of your brand and driving more sales. If done incorrectly, it can also lead to no change at all, or worse, drive sales away from your business.

It’s Never Too Late to Improve Your Branding

Fortunately, it’s never too late to improve your branding and get your business in front of the right audience. It’s best to work on your branding regularly and consistently. With the right branding and marketing strategies, your brand can be well on its way to attracting new clients and retaining their attention, driving sales while driving loyalty, and appealing to the right talent while keeping them active and engaged with your company.

Schedule a free consultation with our brand growth strategists to get more insight and resources.

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