Branding vs. Marketing: Are They The Same Thing?

Branding and Marketing are two words that are often intertwined together; we hear the two phrases all the time, but do you ever wonder what they really mean and how are they different? They are two words that are often overused and sometimes used in the same context and because they are so closely related people might mistake them to mean the same thing. Today I will talk about why they are so similar and also how they are different. So first, we will take a look at how they are similar:

1. Both are about communicating to the customer.
Marketing and branding are about what you want the customer to see, feel, think and hear. Both phrases are used to communicate to your customer; they just communicate two different things. Marketing and branding is essentially used to communicate who you are, what you do, what your story is, what product and services you offer and then information about those products and services, among other things.

2. Both can create a competitive advantage
Sometimes a product can be the best in the marketplace; whether superior because of the technology it uses, the design or the combination of features, but that product can still fail because a competitor is able to market and brand their product better , for example the company can have a brand that the customer likes and trusts more or markets the product in a way the customer can understand better or relates to more.

3. Both are about creating awareness and uniqueness in the marketplace.
Companies (and people) don’t engage in marketing and branding just to be the same as their competitors. Creating a brand and marketing strategy is about creating awareness in the marketplace, you want your customers to recognize you, your company or your products and services and be able to tell you apart from the competition. In that same vein, marketing and branding are also about creating a uniqueness in the marketplace to position yourself in a way that you are able to demonstrate how you, your company or your product and services are different or superior.

Now while, Marketing and Branding are similar and overlap in many ways; they are not the same. They are two different concepts. They both are about improving your business, but they do it in a different way. So here is how both terms are different:

1. Branding is strategic and marketing is tactical.
When you create a brand, you have to focus on the long-term perception of your image or your company’s image. Creating a brand is like creating a personality for your entire company and the last thing you want is your company to look schizophrenic, so you have to create your brand with a emphasis on the long term focusing on creating one personality that you can live with for a long time. Marketing, however, addresses some of the more short term items such as launching or promoting current products and services, or other items like upcoming events and short-term business initiatives.

2. Marketing is the message you want to tell customers and the avenue to get those messages out and branding is attracting people and letting customer who you are and what you are about (mission statement, values, vision, etc.)
As I stated earlier, both branding and marketing both are about communicating to the customer, but they communicate different things in different ways. The easiest way to describe marketing and branding is to think of a person; his voice, how he speaks such as the words he uses and tone of his voice, etc. he uses to appeal people to him is marketing. On the other hand, branding is the way he attracts people without talking; for example, what he wears, how he dresses, as well as his character and his personality. They both communicate to the customer, but in a sense, marketing is vocal and branding is visual.

3. Marketing is measured by reach; branding is measured by recognition.
Finally, the last point is that marketing is typically measured in terms of how many potential clients you can reach and how many potential clients you can convert into customers while branding is measured by how many people recognize your company and what is the overall image your company has in the marketplace. To sum it up, marketing finds customers and branding makes customers recognize who you are.

About Damien L. Horn

Damien Horn is the C.E.O of Horn and Shield Consulting, a personal development and management consulting company and the creator of the Optimize 360 System and Optimize University. As a Peak Performance Strategist and Optimal Living Expert, speaker and coach, Damien empowers everyday people to live extraordinary lives by helping people optimize their lives. Through biblical and marketplace principles, Damien helps people create strategies for success to further their own personal development, their career or business. Join the Success Movement at !

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