What the Heck is the Difference Between Branding and Marketing?

Figuring Out the Key Difference Between Branding and Marketing

... is there a difference between Branding and Marketing?

Today's story is short, sweet, and covers a common misconception I hear a lot: that branding is marketing.

A lot of small business owners and new entrepreneurs make this mistake - and in doing so, miss the value that leveraging both branding and marketing can provide.

Let me explain -- firstly, branding is its own thing.

Your brand is how people think and feel about your business, and your brand identity (your logo, your tagline, your website, etc.) makes up the foundational pieces you use to present your business to clients and customers. The actual presenting - aka getting eyes on these materials - is marketing.

Sometimes people make the mistake of thinking that branding is marketing unto itself. Like "If I build it, they will come" (to paraphrase "Field of Dreams.") It = your brand / logo / website, and they = ideal clients and customers. But that's not the right story.

Branding is actually:
"If I build it, and they encounter it, they will like what they see!"

Marketing is About Creating Encounters; Branding is About Making Those Encounters Matter

Marketing is its own thing too. Marketing is how you choose to share and market your services or products to clients and customers. Marketing encompasses everything from Facebook ads, to speaking events, to attending networking events.  You have to market your business to be successful, period.

Branding helps make marketing easier and more powerful in execution. Having brand elements like a great logo, logo variations, colors, fonts, and the right words to use to describe your business amplifies and informs your marketing. It gives you a unified look and feel to everything from ads, to presentations, to how you talk about your business in the elevator. It makes your business more relatable and memorable, and so the relationship between great marketing and great branding translates to more clients and more income.

So in short - you can't leave marketing behind - you still have to do those ads, presentations, and more to get people to encounter your brand and your business. Branding makes that encounter have lasting impact.

Branding and Marketing Go Hand-in-Hand in a Profitable Business

While Branding and Marketing are their own individual worlds small business owners need to embrace and understand, you can already see how related they are. For your business to thrive, they need to work together and you need to care about both.

This is one of the reasons we equip so many of our clients with brand assets designed to power their marketing. It's also why a great marketing plan can deliver clients to your brand - allowing that brand that brand to get clients to trust you, find you credible, and choose to invest with you. It's a relationship that can and will transform your business when done well. 

If you do one thing this week, I'll ask you to consider the current status of both your brand identity (your logo, words, graphics, business cards, and website) and your marketing activities and strategy.

1. Branding Action Step: How's your brand identity? Do you have a logo and website that reflects you? Do you know what colors and fonts to use to be consistent? Do you like the words you use on your "About" page? If you're not happy with your current brand identity or you are missing some of these things, let's talk. Maybe I can help.

2. Marketing Action Step: If you have great brand assets, but you aren't actively marketing your business, pick one new marketing activity you'll do this week. Great ideas include sending out emails to announce your latest offering to past clients/customers, attending a networking event, or put together a graphic for your Business Facebook page advertising an article or something valuable on your website.

Let me know what you do!

Now that you know how branding and marketing work together, I'm rooting for you to find ways to use them powerfully in your business.