Branding vs. Marketing: What’s the difference?

Marstudio is a Brand Strategy Firm and Creative Marketing Agency, so we work on a lot of branding and marketing initiatives. One thing that we’ve noticed over and over is that there is a lot of confusion about the difference between branding and marketing. Are they the same? Are they different? How do they work together?

These are questions that go to the core of our services. Marketing and branding are distinct but related activities, and it’s important for clients to engage in both. Here, we answer the three most important questions about branding versus marketing.

What is branding?

Simply put, branding is communicating your purpose, values and value proposition in a way that resonates with your target audience. Branding can be visual, like your logo, website and the typeface and colors that your company uses – or intangible, like how you shake a client’s hand when they walk into the room. Both help to present your company in a certain way.

The goal of branding is to create awareness and generate trust, not convert clients. For example, have you ever noticed how companies purchase the naming rights to sports arenas and stadiums? That’s branding in action. It cultivates an awareness of the company in the public’s mind, even though by itself it doesn’t cause people to buy from or hire the company.

What is marketing?

Marketing is the natural follow-on to branding. As branding is establishing a presence and value, marketing is taking that brand and putting it out into the world with a specific goal in mind. Unlike branding, marketing incites the viewer to take action, and is done deliberately to convert clients. You can think of branding as getting a makeover for a date, and marketing as actually going on the date. One prepares you to take action, and the other is the action itself.

How do they work together?

Branding is a prerequisite for effective marketing, and marketing without perfected branding is like going on a date in your pajamas. You’re taking action, but you’re not putting your best foot forward and you won’t have the results you hoped for. However, if you’ve already established your brand, your marketing will be easier and more effective.

Branding and marketing work together to attract clients and convert them. With branding that resonates and marketing that gets you in the door, you’ll be able to attract passersby and turn them into clients or customers.

Interested in learning more about branding, marketing, and how they can help your business? Give us a call.

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