Branding vs Marketing: What's the Real Difference?

difference between marketing & branding

When it comes to starting a business, there are so many terminologies that it can be difficult to keep track of them all. But, there are two terms that are often confused by people - Marketing & Branding.

Marketing and branding are, in fact, two distinct concepts. And if you want your business to flourish, you must know the differences between the two—and how to use each wisely to drive your company ahead.

What really is branding? What precisely constitutes marketing?  We will find the differences between the two, and how can you connect the two to create a successful and meaningful journey.  We'll simplify things for you in this article.

What is Branding?

branding design
     Source: Imaginasium

The process of defining a company's brand identity is known as branding. When you build a brand identity for your company, you give it personality and a complete story about what you offer, why you do it, and where it all goes. Branding is all about the company’s identity and how it is perceived by its customers.

It's about who you're talking to (your intended audience), how you interact with them and providing significance to your engagements. Branding components such as your logo, color palette, and typefaces are visual representations of your brand identity. However, the whole experience you deliver to your consumers is really important.

There would be no incentive for people to pick you above other businesses selling the same products and services if you can't afford to build a brand identity. You don't have to try anything new, fortunately.

A professional branding and marketing agency will lead you through the development of your brand identity by using tried-and-true branding concepts (such as consistency and visibility) and learning from exceptional instances of branding.

What is Marketing?

man writing marketing

                                                                                         Source: Ally Marketing

Marketing is the process of promoting and selling a product or service to the customers. It is not just about which marketing channels are used but also how they are used. Market research, advertising, sales, and branding are among the disciplines covered.

Specific and aggressive marketing methods are used to engage your intended audience, transform them into loyal customers, and expand your brand.

Strengthening your website and social media platforms to establish a robust online presence, using basic branding principles to ensure every location feels comfortable and familiar, and interacting with your target audience through online and offline brand awareness and engagement campaigns are all common marketing activities. Your branding approach determines how you carry out your marketing strategy.

What Is the Difference Between Marketing and Branding?

Marketing is the publisher while branding is the author. Although developing a brand identity takes precedence over developing marketing tactics, the two have similar objectives. It's not a case of marketing vs. branding, but of how the two blend together.

1. Marketing comes after branding.

All your marketing strategies are built on the foundation of your brand identification. You can't produce an advertisement without a memorable logo. You can't have a consistent tone of voice in your social media captions without a brand identity.

People instinctively seek a cause to listen to you, therefore the emotional value of your branding takes precedence over the product or service's actual value. Your brand identity is a toolbox from which your marketing team draws depending on the goal.

2. Customer loyalty is built through branding, while marketing improves sales.

Short-term sales targets are expected to be met by marketing methods. People will buy because of your marketing effort, but they will stay loyal because of your beliefs and how your statement connects with them.

3. Marketing captures your audience's attention and it is maintained by branding.

Your customer may have found you through an advertisement, but they still need a reason to believe in you.

A branding agency employs branding concepts to connect with customers and tell your narrative, whereas a marketing agency piques their interest and gets more people to pay attention to you. A competent branding and marketing firm creates tactics based on a long-term business plan to ensure that your brand remains relevant for future generations.

The key distinction between marketing and branding is that branding responds to the queries "who" and "why," whereas marketing responds to the question "how" — two distinct but equally important concerns.

Branding can be seen as the embodiment of company values, while marketing is a tool to communicate those values and the utility.

How Does Marketing & Branding Work Together?

Marketing and branding work together to create a unique identity for a company or product.

Originally, people's understanding of branding was limited to design elements such as the logo, color palette, and other design elements. However, in recent years, the value of the customer experience has been highlighted, with what customers feel being as vital as what they see.

Being distinctive, engaging with your audience, being unique, and motivating client retention are all important aspects of branding.

When both branding & marketing  are combined, they create a powerful force that can influence customer behavior. Here are two ways how marketing and branding work together:

1. Establishing a Relationship with Your Audience

When your customers back your company, it's likely that they share your ideals. Branding inherently connects people together in this way, but marketing is really what keeps them connected. Finding out what your target audience values and the best means to reach them is one of the most critical duties for a branding and marketing firm.

2. Prioritizing Your Efforts

You won't be able to effectively build your firm if either branding or marketing is neglected. For example, if your marketing campaign does not connect with what your brand stands for, you may be wasting money, but you really do not want to be locked out of marketing chances when your target audience's values shift.

A consistent effort to harmonize branding and marketing objectives can help you achieve your primary goal of boosting your business.


The conflict between branding and marketing isn't going away soon.

Because of their similar goals, shared responsibilities, and audience interactions, they will constantly be compared and confused.

It is, nevertheless, your responsibility as brand managers, leaders, and builders to control the narrative. It's indeed our responsibility to identify and determine the origin of each to anyone and everyone who interacts with your products.

About Seattle New Media

Seattle New Media is a leading digital marketing agency that provides marketing & branding services to help companies connect with their customers and create a lasting impression. Get in touch for a free consultation today.


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Editorial Team