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What’s the difference between branding and marketing and what’s more important?

The world of marketing is very complex and for some it is very difficult to navigate and even know where to start.

As a branding consultancy we know the work we do is pivotal to the success of a business and its Marketing efforts, however we are firm believers that Branding and Marketing are NOT the same thing and should be approached differently, but harmoniously.

What’s more important Branding or Marketing?

Depending on who reads this, your view may differ. Some of you may think Marketing is more important than Branding, and others, like us, will believe Branding is far more important than Marketing but one thing is certain, the two HAVE to work hand in hand. However, a business must invest in its brand; without doing so your marketing will never be effective.

“In a nutshell, marketing is more tactical (short-term selling) and branding is more strategic (long-term positioning). Therefore marketing should report to branding, not the other way around. Most companies still get it backwards.”*

Our take on this is this; without a Brand you have nothing to market and without a Brand there is nothing Marketing can do. It all starts with the brand. This is a fact. Your Branding is the foundation of everything you do, everything you say and everything you stand for, which in turn feeds into your marketing. You can’t do one without the other and do it well, so businesses should see Branding as a priority investment.

How do I differentiate between Branding and Marketing?

To help you understand the difference between Branding and Marketing, here are a few points:

  1. Branding is who you are, or rather what your customers say you are / Marketing is how you build awareness
  2. Branding is your story / Marketing is how you deliver it
  3. Branding is why you are different, better, relevant… / Marketing is how you attract, engage and influence
  4. Branding will attract the right leads / Marketing will find the number of leads
  5. Branding is the pull / Marketing is the push

Marketing is like sending out an invitation to a party you are hosting. The invitation is important. It’s got to look good and it has to entice the reader to come. If people show up to your party, your invitation is considered a success. Branding is the experience people have when they get to the party. If the party is great, your audience will look forward to the next party you are hosting. If the party sucks, they will never come to another party of yours again regardless of how well you market it.*

You can have some limited success without ‘proper’ Branding but that’s only if you take an ignorant view of what Branding actually means.** If you market and advertise any products or services at any level you will always gain some traction. However you will rarely, if ever, have a company that grows successfully for the long term if the “perception” of your business, AKA your Brand, doesn’t resonate with an audience. Without a strong brand you’ll generally be relegated as “another option” or even a commodity and will simply coast along and never stand out. Read what we did to help Corrigenda grow 25% year on year.

Brand is not a subset of marketing anymore. It’s the root of everything and always should be. Those that don’t understand this or don’t value what Branding is or means, will suffer in the long term. Branding is a worthwhile investment that delivers real growth. It doesn’t happen over night but staying true to what your Brand / Business stands for is pivotal to its success. So to conclude; Branding, when understood properly, is the bigger picture of which marketing is a part of and that’s where we come in.

If you want to discover how we help Businesses succeed through delivery of our Strategic Branding programs then contact the studio today. Email gary@frostcreative.co.uk or call 01489 892 602.

*Quote and extracts taken from Marty Neumeier and Danny Kuerin.
**Branding is not just your logo and website. Yawn!