I want to talk to you about the differences between branding and marketing because it seems a lot of the time when I’m talking to clients, they seem a little bit confused about what branding is and then how that differs from marketing.
I’ve even heard creative professionals struggling with it, so I created this article to try to describe and get across what the differences are between the two.
So first of all, let’s start off with some definitions.
A brand is a name, term, design, or symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers. Now branding, on the other hand, is architecting and managing the meaning and experience of the brand with intention.
In other words, branding is managing the meaning of the brand the names, terms, designs, symbols that go into making any company distinct and different from its competition.
“A brand is a promise. It’s a promise that your company can keep. You make and keep that promise in every product experience, marketing activity, every action, every corporate decision, every customer interaction.”
Now let’s look at a quick definition of marketing. Marketing outlines the specific activities of how, where, and when a brand will promote its products and services to its customer targets in the marketplace.
Key Differences: Branding vs. Marketing
Let’s talk about six key differences now between branding and marketing.
1. Branding is the What and the Why, Marketing is the How
Branding is concerned with the what of the product, what the products and services are, what do they do, what is the value that’s delivered (value proposition). Branding is why the seller does something.
Marketing, on the other hand, is about tactics it’s about how the seller will go to market, how they will promote their goods. Marketing is about advertising, communication, and communicating benefits, both functional and emotional.
2. Branding is Long-Term, Marketing is Short-Term
Branding is concerned with long-term equity, long-term value. It’s about establishing a stored memory, stored experience, a stored perception in the consumer’s mind. It’s about a deep emotional residence that lasts over time.
Marketing, on the other hand, is concerned with generating immediate action it’s about short-term activity.
3. Branding is Macro, Marketing is Micro
Branding is concerned with the big picture, overarching perceptions, and attitudes. It’s about zooming out it’s not about short-term activity.
Marketing is concerned with details, actions being taken, and activities that are generating sales.
4. Branding is Trajectory, Marketing is Tactics
Branding is concerned with the long-term direction, the north star, and the strategic direction of the brand. Where is the company positioning itself in the marketplace in relation to its competition.
Marketing, on the other hand, is about tactics it’s concerned with the actions that will be taken, where, when, and how.
5. Branding Builds Loyalty, Marketing Generates Action
Branding builds loyalty, while marketing generates action. Branding is concerned with what the consumer feels long-term about the brand how that loyalty is built, what is that long-term preference, those long-term buying habits.
Marketing, on the other hand, is concerned with quick, immediate action, anything that is going to create immediate results for the brand.
6. Branding Creates Value, Marketing Monetizes That Value
Branding creates value, while marketing monetizes that value. Branding seeks to instill that deep emotional resonance, that deep emotional meaning into the consumer about the brand. It seeks to create that long-term affinity, that long-term preference. How do you get people to share about the brand, word of mouth, how do you get them to pass it down to their kids, their preference about what brands to use.
Marketing, on the other hand, is about turning that value into money. Marketing seeks to extract tribute, extract money from the consumer for those functional benefits, for those emotional benefits that the brand is delivering. So, monetizing value is what marketing is about.