At How to Build a Brand, we have built our own brand around what you, the business owner, manager, or entrepreneur, needs. Often, the branding advice we offer comes as a result of the questions you ask. Today’s branding advice comes more as a result of the word choices we see.

Miles and I have been noticing a trend. Through language cues, we have concluded that a large portion of the business community uses the words “branding” and “marketing” interchangeably. This tells us that we’ve got some ‘splaining to do.

What is the Difference between Branding and Marketing?

Because both branding and marketing are both somewhat abstract terms, we’ll present the distinctions in a few different ways – in an effort to create a memory clue for each of you.

Here are a few example of how you can differentiate between marketing and branding in your own business:

  • Marketing is the actual billboard, the sandwich board, the banner ad, the Facebook posts, the television ad…and branding is how consumers react to that marketing, the notions they take away, and the lasting impressions they’ll hold.
  • Marketing is a sort of startling scream, whilst a brand is more of a seductive whisper.
  • Marketing tells consumers why a product is great, whilst branding demonstrates it.
  • Marketing creates a list of reasons why a purchase would be in the best interest of the consumer, whilst a brand makes values declarations and subtly invites others to take part.
  • Branding supports, shelters, guides, and backs up marketing. It comes before, after, over, and under marketing efforts.
  • Marketing is what compels consumers to make a one-time purchase. Branding is the residual effect (in the form of lasting impressions and memories) that compels consumers to buy again and again, into the future.
  • Marketing is a narrow beam, whilst a brand is a sweeping flood light.


  • Marketing is about impulse. Branding is about loyalty.
  • Marketing consists of tactics; branding is the strategy that prescribes those tactics.
  • Marketing gets the initial sale, whilst branding is responsible for making consumers into dedicated brand advocates.
  • Every marketing effort holds the potential to either enhance or devastate a brand.
  • Branding supports marketing. Effective marketing reinforces a brand’s strength.
  • Branding has far more power to affect employee experiences and retention than does marketing.
  • Marketing is a stepping stone to navigate the present; a brand is an endless path to the future.
  • Marketing cannot stand alone; it is just one component of a branding strategy.
  • Marketing is a method for boosting sales, whilst branding is the creation of a brand’s universal feeling.

For some – particularly those who are just entering the world of branding – these concepts can be difficult to grasp; however, we don’t ever want you to see branding as perplexing…or even worse, as unnecessary.

Branding is essential to your business’s success; and marketing has a place within your branding strategy. To learn more about how you can differentiate between the two – and better yet, to use both to your ultimate advantage – contact How to Build a Brand (Sammy Blindell or Miles Fryer) on [email protected] or message us via our Facebook page today.

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