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The 3 Key Differences Between Branding and Marketing

February 25, 2022

What if your startup had a steady repeat customer rate? 

What if your brand’s identity was fully fleshed out and attracted your soul clients? 

What if you knew how to entice and engage with your audience? 

Having a solid understanding of branding and marketing strategies and how they differentiate from each other can give you the confidence boost you need to make educated decisions to cultivate your brand’s magic.  

“Wait, aren’t branding and marketing the same thing?” 

The way that people try to use these words interchangeably, it makes sense why founders are confused. These two are so intertwined that it can be difficult to note where one ends and the other begins. 

So let’s shake off the mystique, unpack what they both mean, and how they’re both vital for a wholesome and impactful brand. 

First things first, let’s define what branding and marketing mean. 

Branding is your business’s identity. It’s what makes you unique. Think of it like your brand’s soul. 

Branding is… 

• How you make other’s feel. 

• How you speak to your soul clients (brand messaging). 

• Your core principles & values. 

• How you look (your typography, logo, colours, design).

• What makes you unique (USP). 

• Your mission. 

• How well you understand your soul client’s needs (brand positioning). 

On the other hand, marketing is all about building awareness for your brand. It’s what finds potential buyers and invites you soul clients in. 

Marketing is… (but not limited to):

• Paid ads (boosted posts, banners, billboards, etc.).

• Influencers. 

• SEO.

• Blog posts.

• Social media.

• Email marketing.

Think of it like using Tinder. Marketing is what gets you a date because you’re on the app ready, willing, and able. Branding is what gets you a second date & beyond. Your branding builds trust and loyalty over time, not only through your appearance but how you talk and make your date feel.

So now that we got that out of the way, here are the 3 key differences between branding and marketing.

1. Branding comes first. 

To have an effective marketing strategy, you need to know who you are and what makes you unique. 

You could have a flawless marketing plan, but if you don’t have a strong sense about what you’re marketing, then, well… 🤷🏽‍♀️

2. Marketing constantly evolves. Brands are forever. 

Yes, rebranding is totally a thing, but what we mean by this is that the market changes. New app features are released, algorithms change, trends go out of style. Your marketing strategy has to adapt to those shifts. Your brand, however, doesn’t change with the trends. It’s an identity, a soul. It might be refined, but constant brand makeovers can confuse your audience. 

And if you confuse them, you lose them. 💁🏻‍♀️

3. Marketing creates sales, branding establishes loyalty.

Things like ads and influencers are meant to encourage sales and can be part of short- and long-term strategies. Branding, on the other hand, is more about the long-term. It might take years to earn customer loyalty, but once you do, you’ll see that your endurance is worth it.  

Did you know the difference between branding and marketing before this blog post? Please share it with a fellow founder so they can learn too!

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