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Is branding the same as marketing?

We hear these two words used interchangeably ALL the time. To set the record straight: they are NOT the same thing.


Branding is all about the “who” and the “why” of your company. It should answer questions about why you exist and why you’re different. It should explain why you solve the customer’s pain, and who that customer is that you want to attract. Brand is timeless — it’s your North Star, there to guide you at all times and define your company’s ethos.


Marketing, on the other hand, is all about the what, where and how of your business. This piece should include what you say in all your communications, as well as where you say it. It should also prove to your customer exactly how you can solve their pain. Unlike brand, marketing can (and should!) shift as platforms and customers change over time.

The Bottom Line

Branding and marketing are NOT the same thing. Your brand is the tangible way the market interacts with your business — your company’s soul! Marketing encompasses what and how you interact with the market — essentially giving the customer a good reason to interact with your brand. While your brand SHOULD be constantly evolving as your competition and customers change (it’s not just a strategy deck that lives in your desk drawer!), it should be strong enough to give your business some direction that transcends trends.

By investing in brand, you grease the skids for marketing and create measurable efficiencies. Without brand, your marketing is like throwing darts at a dartboard.

Giddy up!

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