Marketing and branding. Branding and marketing. These two things frequently get lumped together and are often talked about as if they are interchangeable. Now, while they should absolutely work together and support one another, similar to marketing and sales, they are NOT the same thing.
Marketing is how you get customers and clients to know you exist. These are the different ways that people learn about and find your business. Think social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing, advertisements, networking events, sponsorships, SEO, etc. Marketing comes down to the different channels in which your message and your value propositions are being distributed in order to reach existing and future customers.
Branding on the other hand is going to be what customers experience when they engage with your business and how they feel about you overall. Branding is foundational and it is consistent. It is something that guides the rest of your business decisions, whether that’s what font and colors you use in an Instagram post or who you choose to feature in a campaign.
This is why we say that branding and marketing must work together and support one another. Without a strong brand, marketing can quickly become disjointed and ultimately confuse the audience. And without a strong marketing strategy, a brand will struggle to get in front of the right customers.
Marketing is the medium. Branding is the message. Sometimes they are interchangeable. A lot of times they are not.
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About The Author
Olivia Wisden is the Founder + CEO of UnderBelly Creative. She has worked with dozens of brands over the years ranging from city initiatives to product launches and beyond. When she’s not fan-girling over the design team’s illustrations she can probably be found reading a novel or attending a boxing class.