Branding vs Marketing: What's the Difference?

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? The branding or the marketing?

While we can’t give you a good answer on the chicken question, we can help you with the branding vs marketing inquiry!

branding vs marketing

Basically, branding is the foundation of your marketing, and marketing is the execution of your branding. You can’t have one without the other.

Branding is the strategy you use to shape how you want people to interact with your company. It’s how you want them to feel and the messaging you want to communicate to them. These concepts dictate the look, feel, and copy of your marketing.

Marketing is the deployment of the messaging and identity you create during the branding process. It’s the strategy and tactics behind reaching your audience, presenting your brand to them, and engaging with them in a way that builds brand awareness and loyalty for your company.

Still a little confused? Here’s a visual.

This is Nike’s branding:

branding vs marketing

Their company name, after the Roman goddess of victory, their logo, now synonymous with speed and success, and their slogan (which also functions as their messaging). These elements are strategically crafted to attract, engage, and retain their target audience.

This is Nike’s marketing:

branding vs marketing

It attracts their target audience of young, active males and features short, punctuating messaging supported by the familiar Nike swoosh logo.

This advertisement conveys emotion and persuades the audience to engage with the brand. It wouldn’t make as much of an impact if Nike were to just hang their brand name, logo, and slogan on a poster in the train station instead of this ad.

Instead, the marketing is supported by Nike’s familiar brand logo and functions as a deployment of the brand’s values and recognizable insignia.

Get it? Now can you answer this question:

Q: Which came first, your branding or your marketing?

A: Definitely your branding! Without a solid brand based on a carefully crafted strategy, you can’t successfully deploy clear, consistent communication to your target audience.

Now that that’s settled, let’s get to work! Click below to download our latest eBook designed to help you create your best brand.

Click here to download your FREE Branding 101 Guide!

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