People seemed a little bit confused about what branding is and then how that differs from marketing. Either business owners or creative professionals struggling with it.
So we’ll try to describe and get across what the differences are between the two.
Definitions of “branding” and “marketing”
"A brand is a name, term, design, or symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers."
Now, branding on the other hand, "Branding is architecting and managing the meaning and experience of the brand with intention."
So said another way, branding is managing the meaning of the brand. So managing the meaning of the names, the terms, the designs, the symbols that go into making any company distinct and different from its competition.
Here's another great quote that describes brands in a very interesting way.
"A brand is a promise. It's a promise that your company can keep. You make and keep that promise in every product, experience, marketing activity, every action, every corporate decision, every customer interaction."
Definition of marketing
"Marketing outlines the specific activities of how, where, and when a brand will promote its products and services to its customer targets in the marketplace."
Key differences now between branding and marketing
- Branding is the what and the why, and marketing is the how. So branding is concerned with the what of the product. What are the products and services? What do they do? What is the value that's delivered? We also call this the value proposition. Branding is why the seller does something. Marketing on the other hand is about tactics. It's about how the seller will go to market, how they will promote their goods. Marketing is about advertising. It's about communication. It's about communicating benefits, both functional and emotional.
- Number two is branding is long-term and marketing is short-term. Branding is concerned with long-term equity, and long-term value. It's about establishing a stored memory, stored experience, a stored perception in the consumer's mind. It's about a deep emotional resonance that lasts over time. Marketing on the other hand is concerned with generating immediate action. It's about the short-term activity.
- Number three is branding is macro, and marketing is micro. Branding is concerned, as I said, with that big picture. It's about overarching perceptions and attitudes. It's about zooming out. It's not about the short-term activity. Marketing is concerned with details. It's concerned with actions being taken. It's concerned with activities that are happening, activities that are generating sales. What we do, where we do it, how we do it.
- Number four is slightly along the same lines. And that is branding is trajectory and marketing is tactics. So branding is really concerned with the long-term direction. What is the north star? Where are we going with the strategic direction of the brand? Where is the company positioning itself in the marketplace in relation to its competition? Now, marketing on the other hand is really about tactics. It's concerned with the actions that we're going to be taking. What is the action we're going to take? Where are we going to take that action? When are we going to take that action? It's about moving forward. It's about taking short-term action.
- Number five is kind of about results. Branding builds loyalty while marketing generates action. Branding is concerned with, again, what the consumer feels long-term about the brand. How that loyalty is built. What is that long-term preference, those long-term buying habits? Marketing on the other hand is concerned with short-term, quick, immediate action. Anything that is going to create immediate results for the brand.
- Number six is about value. Branding creates value while marketing monetizes that value. So branding seeks to instill that deep emotional resonance, that deep emotional meaning, into the consumer about the brand. It seeks to create that long-term affinity, that long-term preference. How do you get people to share about the brand by word of mouth? How do you get them to pass it down to their kids, their preferences about what brands to use? Marketing on the other hand is about turning that value into money. Marketing seeks to extract tribute, extract money from the consumer for those functional benefits, for those emotional benefits that the brand is delivering. So monetizing the value is what marketing is about.