While strongly linked, there are subtle differences between branding and marketing that visibly separate them into two completely different concepts. An easy way to think about it is like this. Your brand represents who you are as a business while your marketing is any actions you take to promote yourself within the marketplace.

When it comes branding vs marketing—and which is more important—the truth is they’re both equally as important as each another. In order to market effectively, you need a strong brand. Vice versa, what’s the point of having a strong brand if you’re not going to market it?

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the key differences between branding and marketing and what you can do to establish both of these vital elements effectively for your business.


1. One is foundational while the other builds awareness

One of the key differences between branding and marketing is when they come into play in the establishment of your business. When you sit down to brainstorm your business plan, one of the first things you should be looking at is the development of your brand identity. Marketing can of course come into your initial business plan but you will need your branding established first in order to know what you’re going to market. Statistics tell us that consistent branding returns 23% more revenue so ensuring each piece of collateral (website, social media, marketing emails, advertising and product packaging, for example) unfailingly tells your brand story is vital. Read our article about how your brand is so much more than just a logo here.


2. One is about perception while the other is about persuasion

Another difference between branding and marketing is that of perception and persuasion. Your brand is how your target market perceive you in the marketplace. You can influence this by delivering strong and consistent branding that connects with people but the perception itself is in the hands of the consumer. Marketing is how you then persuade those consumers to interact with your brand to nurture a stronger relationship with it and influence their perception of it.


3. One is your identity and the other is the message you are trying to convey

When it comes to the differences between branding and marketing, probably one of the most important is the difference between identity and conveyed message. Your brand is intimately tied to your identity—it is who you are, your values and what you stand for. Your marketing on the other hand is the vehicle through which you communicate the message of your identity.


Need a hand establishing or strengthening your branding? We can help. Find out more.