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People often unknowingly use the terms marketing & branding interchangeably. When you sit with your team to formulate a brand strategy, an important question is: Whether to start with marketing the product or should the organization launch it directly as a branded product? If the company itself is an established brand, then the product is perceived as a branded one. But, not every time, one gets to work with an established firm. An organization needs to be in the process of creating a brand via crafting unique strategies to get noticed in the competitive market out there. Let’s first have a look at the simple meaning of the terms marketing & branding:

Marketing Definition
It is the process of promoting your product/service into the market to potential consumers. It involves using tactics like advertising, public relations, & sales promotions. The aim of marketing is to generate leads, build awareness & ultimately bring-in sales numbers.

Branding or Brand Strategy Definition
Branding is forming an identity of a company or a product. It includes developing a logo, name, a suitable tagline, & strategizing an overall image which can be easily acceptable & relatable to people. The aim is to create a positive impression in the minds of people to build loyalty & increase the sales figures.

The difference Between Marketing & Branding
Consider brand strategy as a movie script & marketing as the production company. While formulating a brand identity comes before creating marketing strategies, both of them have shared goals. Both, branding & marketing are essential to making a business successful & look to convince a customer that the product being sold is the best in the market.

Some points that highlight the difference between branding & marketing:

  1. Branding comes before marketing:
    A brand strategy is the foundation of all your marketing plans. Without a meaningful logo, you can’t make an ad. Unless a brand persona crafted, your social media content will not have a unified tone to it. People need a reason to pay attention to your brand. This opportunity can be converted into a profit by crafting an emotional story into the brand story to increase your brand value. A lot of entrepreneurs, while crafting branding strategies hastily, formulate unpractical ideas which fail miserably as they focus first on marketing part. Awareness seems more important initially, it is a common mistake. But, branding always comes first, it is a golden rule.

  2. Marketing grabs attention, branding holds it:
    Over here, again a customer needs a reason to trust you. A customer might have noticed you in an ad campaign but they need a reason to trust you. Brand strategy helps you build a connection with your customers, while marketing piques their interests & gets more people to hear your brand’s story. The main difference between marketing & branding is- marketing asks “how” while branding asks “who” & “why”.

  3. Marketing gives reminders, brand strategy maintains loyalty:
    Marketing strategies are expected to deliver on short-term sales goals. For eg. Sports related ads would be a great way to grab attention & spike sales around the time of the events. But what your brand & your company stands for doesn’t change- whether it is talking about that particular sport or not. Your marketing campaign compels people to purchase, but your values & how your message resonates with them keeps them loyal.

  4. Context of target audience changes in brand strategy & marketing:
    In marketing, the activities mainly revolve around identifying & targeting potential consumers who are likely to purchase the products or services. The focus is on attracting & engaging with the target market. In branding, the aim is to resonate not only with customers but also with stakeholders such as employees, investors, & partners. It seeks to build a strong relationship with all individuals connected to the brand.

Advantages of knowing the difference:

  1. Determining the scope of tasks:
    By separating the brand from marketing, you’ll be able to identify two distinct areas of processes & tasks. It will be much easier to answer questions like:
    1) What your brand is like objectively & what does it lack to achieve its goals?
    2)  What can be done to promote it at this stage?

  2. Prioritizing:
    Viewing brand strategy & marketing as separate processes lets you see the failure corners & prioritizes the tasks before you. Should you pour more effort into promotion or focus on improving & polishing the brand? Can these tackles be handled simultaneously? By weighing all your options & prioritizing, you will save yourself lots of time & money.

  3. Selecting the right strategy:
    Evaluating the current state of the brand and the efficiency of branding helps you work out a marketing strategy. You’ll be able to see at once if launching a promotion campaign would do any good until a specific branding issue has been resolved. The more developed your brand is, the larger your choice of strategies. Analyzing the pain points & implementing the right marketing tactics leads to sustainable & profitable success.

  4. Enhancing growth & development:
    An unfamiliar brand raises eyebrows & seems as unfruitful at first. Make your brand perspective look good & charming first then introduce it in the market. Go out there, & meet new people & identify that what needs to be improved. A true marketer is well aware of the fact that branding & marketing reinforce each other. Together, they encourage the business to grow & conquer new heights.


Brand Strategy & marketing are different in that branding focuses on forging an identity for your company or offering, while marketing is about getting customers to make the purchases. No doubt, both these aspects require a customer-centric approach that effectively communicates your company’s image. Using the above strategies you can systematically create new approaches that build an effective identity & motivate customers to buy your product or service.