The Difference Between Branding and Marketing — Explained

OK—so this post should probably be titled “A Difference Between Branding and Marketing.” The truth is, there are a bunch of subtle differences, and a bunch of similarities between the two. However, we see the terms “branding” and “marketing” used interchangeably, which we believe is a mistake.

A strong brand strategy is an important element in your business. It helps you connect with your audience on a deeper. It is what helps you to be memorable in the eyes of your customers. But, it’s not marketing.

Marketing is also an important element in your business and your sales processes. It helps you spread your message and drive sales opportunities. It helps you get people in the door. It helps get people to know you. But, it’s not branding.

Think of it like this:

Branding is what others say and feel about you.

Marketing is what you want others to know about you.

See how they are connected and similar, yet unique?

Branding is “showing.”

Marketing is “telling.”

Obviously, we speak often about branding and brand storytelling. A solid brand strategy should communicate your brand values and key messaging, and it should explain to your audience what you’re all about as a business. You know, what you do, why you do it, and whom you do it for. People are oversaturated by messages (both sales and not) these days, so they tend to cut off the noise by focusing on what is important to them. Webpages, newsletters, social media posts, and online searches are all littered with messages and businesses trying to get the attention of the consumer so they can in turn get them to develop a relationship with them. A solid and compelling brand story can help you do just that. It can influence your audiences decision to pay attention to you and intrigue them to learn more and start to form a relationship with your brand.

So what role does marketing play and why is it NOT the same, Patrick and Vanessa?


Marketing is the vehicle in which your message gets spread, it is not the message itself. Marketing is the medium you use to tell your audience about your brand and brand story. Marketing is used to create awareness, inspire your audience, and get them to connect to you so they transact with you.

Marketing spreads your brand story. Marketing targets your ideal customer through smart ads and messaging. Marketing informs your audience of promotions, products, and offers.

You must live your brand. Every interaction with a company is an opportunity for you to live up to your brand standards and tell your story.