What Is the Difference between Branding and Marketing?

Marketing and branding are two common terms generally used interchangeably, and confused to be the same thing. In this blog, we’ve got you covered from being confused again so here’s a little cheer to one less problem as you try to make your brand stand out in the digital world! 

Simply put, branding is how your people perceive your brand while marketing sells the unique selling points of your business. We’ll get into detail right below so hang in there!

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What Is Branding?

Branding is how the community identifies your business. It’s less about what you sell and more about what the brand is, what it advocates for, and how people see it. Is your brand really fun, or is it a gloomy brand that wants customers to sleep in? 

Let’s bring in my favorite beverage that I keep going back to, especially as a finishing touch to a hearty pizza or poutine – Coca-Cola! The brand has constantly communicated that it will always be a part of the happiest moments in life – and I can’t disagree. From its visual elements to simple messages on every bottle – it’s always a joyous moment with Coke. That is what their branding advocates for!

What Is Marketing?

Marketing is how you promote your products and services using the attractive and unique selling points of your brand. Let’s not forget my fizzy buddy here – Coke’s prominent “Share a Coke” marketing campaign where users were allowed to personalize the bottle’s wrapping to one that said ‘Share a coke with a popular name’ helped the company experience greater profits and reach a larger audience simply through its customers sharing their bottles and evidence of participating in the campaign. 


Why Branding and Marketing Are Not the Same

Yes, they share the common goal of ultimately making your business succeed, but they differ in the permanency and consistency of branding against the temporariness and varying tactics of marketing. Both branding and marketing are important. But, we need to know the difference to know what we need to tackle first to make sure whatever follows is on point!

Branding First, Marketing Next

You can’t market a brand that has no personality or message – unless you want a sad mess. The identity of your brand is more than just a logo. It encompasses your brand’s message and its personality, setting the tone for how you want customers to perceive you. Your marketing will follow suit based on your branding. 

Warning: Lame pun ahead!
Let’s assume you own a food blog and you’re launching a new cheesecake recipe. Your site says “We are super thrilled to eat cheesecake on the Sahara, it’s our new favorite dessert!”. A pretty lame pun, but it helps sets the tone for your website. You could easily say “New cheesecake recipe out, go purchase it now”, but that would be such a bore especially if your brand loves to be humorous. So, without branding your marketing has a higher chance of being a miss than a hit!

Temporary Marketing, Forever Branding

Let’s clear the air first. You need to actively market your business, but the marketing tools and strategies change according to the product or service, the trends in digital marketing, and more. You know the beginning, middle, and end of your marketing campaign. Branding on the other hand is indefinite and has to be consistent across all your platforms at all times. 

Your branding- created by brand strategies set for success- has to be the same from initiation. Simply imagine Colgate introducing a line of frozen food, although the identity of their brand is simply a toothpaste brand for healthy and clean teeth. Just for your information, Colgate did this and failed miserably!

Marketing Sells Products, Branding Builds Loyalty

I grabbed a coffee to go with my name written on it before I started writing this article. You can make a wild guess about where I got it from. Thinking about my first time, it was all that marketing through personalized coffees that made me want to get one. But, the brand has kept me hooked ever since I started! 

While their marketing did sell their coffee once, it is their brand – from their values shared and displayed by their chirpy ‘partners’ to the cozy interior set by the green hues that promote relaxation that keeps me loyal to the brand. The brand is welcoming, as it sets out to be, and that builds customer loyalty. (Coffee included, of course!) 

It’s Starbucks – if you couldn’t guess it right!

Branding and Marketing Together – Like Cream to a Canadian’s Coffee

Branding and marketing go hand in hand and just one of them cannot make a business successful in reaching out to its target audiences and retaining them. If your branding was a Canadian’s coffee, the cream is the marketing that attracts them! Therefore, both branding and marketing are crucial to business success! Alapra takes care of the foundation- providing absolute branding services in Toronto from crafting the best brand strategy (The Awakening) to defining your brand’s persona, crafting pre-sale marketing material, and more! 

Contact our branding enthusiasts to cover your branding needs in Toronto!

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