The Two Most Commonly Confused Terms: Branding & Marketing

Many business owners confuse their marketing with their branding.   When  talking about branding they often refer to their logo, or other design elements.

That’s understandable because most people are confused about the difference between the two terms and use them interchangeably.

Because they are so closely connected it is very easy to become confused about the difference and therefore lump them together.

For this reason many business owners spend time and money developing their designs and promotional materials without first clearly defining their brand and their brand vision.

In reality, your clearly defined brand should drive everything you do in your marketing and sales processes.

Simply put, branding is all about who you are BEING, marketing is about what you are DOING.

In essence, your brand is who you are and your message, while marketing is how you communicate that message.

Creating Your Brand

Branding is about defining your business mission, your culture, and your core message… to influence  your customers experience when they engage with your business.

It’s the experience/feeling people get when they connect with you.

When we discuss branding, we are talking about defining or re-defining your core message to impact your customers experience.

Your Brand Is Defined By:

  • Your mission or purpose (Why are you in business? What value do you deliver?)
  • Your brand name (Does it meaningfully reflect your mission or purpose?)
  • Your customers (Who are you communicating with? Who is your Customer ‘Avatar’)
  • Your values (What do you stand for? What is important to you?)
  • Your unique selling proposition (USP) or your point of difference (What makes you stand out from competitors?)
  • Your visual style (Your colours, fonts, graphics – are they congruent, reflective of your brand and consistent?)
  • Your oral and written style (are you speaking the language of your ideal client?)

What Is Marketing?

Marketing is the overarching term used to describe the tools and processes you use to share your brand message or story with the world. Your Marketing focus needs to reflect your brand with clarity.

It’s your marketing that connects your brand with your audience.

Your Marketing Tools May Include:

  • A branded website
  • Custom photography or imagery
  • Branded business cards and other stationery
  • Branded email templates or email signatures
  • Printed promotional pieces (posters, flyers, ads)
  • Digital brand assets such as social media artwork and digital ads

Your Marketing Processes May Include:

  • Website Content
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Content creation (e.g vlogging, blogging, podcasting)
  • Auto Responders, Nurture Funnel Sequences, Email & Newsletters etc.
  • Webinars
  • Direct mail
  • Advertising (TV, Radio, Print, Online)
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

Marketing is how your brand message is communicated on a micro level. It’s the website, adverts, social media posts or material that connects directly with your community and customers.

Having brand clarity and focus is essential—it’s the driver of your business—but it’s useless if no-one knows you exist.

Marketing helps people to discover your core brand message.  Why you are doing what you do!

Branding vs. Marketing: In A Nutshell

Despite many of us using the words interchangeably (or incorrectly), branding and marketing aren’t the same thing.

Branding your business is a process of clearly defining your core message and how that reflects through every level of your business – from you, to your staff, to your customers.

Marketing is the processes and tools that are used to clearly communicate that core message.

The inter-connectedness between marketing and branding means that your brand strategy will inform your marketing, and feedback from your marketing will inform your brand strategy.


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