Branding Strategy

Marketing vs Branding – What’s the difference? Are they the same?

Marketing VS Branding, the common questions that’s unresolved in every single business owners mind. Now let us explore what is Marketing and Branding, are they common? Are they the same thing? And what is the difference between Marketing and Branding.

The Definition of Marketing

There is a lot of definition of what is marketing on the internet. Here is a simple one marketing is an act for a business to create customers. You use various tactics, mechanism, and tools to get people to become your customer. Personally, I also like the definition of marketing by Seth Godin from his book ‘This is Marketing’.

“Marketing is the generous act of helping someone solve a problem.” – Seth Godin

The Definition of Branding

Of course, I like to keep it short and simple (KISS), Branding is an Art of Differentiation quoted by David Brier.

A fun definition if you Google, you would find: the action of marking with a branding iron. The story of branding probably started with the farmer want to differentiate their cattle from others when want to sell it. Then, they think of a good way, let’s use a hot iron brand to brand on the cow and tell people: “This is my cow, I feed them better grass, look at my brand on the cow”

Of course, you can read more on my previous post on What is Branding? And Why it is important for Small Business (SME)? to know more about what is branding.

What’s the Difference? Are they the same?

A simple answer will be NO. By definition we can clearly see it is 2 different dimension of thoughts. Marketing it is like saying Hey I’m your Mr Right to your customer, you promote to them. Branding is the perception of your customer knowing you are the right one for them (among so many competitors).

Branding is to differentiate yourself from competitors while marketing is to promote the brand to get customer. If this  works in pair with a proper and correct strategy, it will become a multiplicator. Else you going to have a big problem where you marketing and branding is conflicting. Your marketing without bringing the right brand message will destroy your brand.

Branding as the Strategy Marketing as the tactic

Branding determines everything in your business which includes marketing. Why? Are you saying branding is more important? You this hard selling branding guru? NO! Because branding is a strategy while marketing is a tactic. The strategy defines the direction and goal while tactics is the mechanism to achieve it. Therefore it determines how the tactics should work towards. Branding is to differentiate and the goal is to build your brand, marketing is way to achieve that. 

Branding comes first Marketing comes second. Strategy comes first, tactic second, and lastly to execute. Brand is forever while marketing tactics come and go, 10 years ago we use radio and tv ads, now we use Google & Facebook Ads. Coca-Cola still the same brand isn’t it?  While marketing campaign has a start, during and end.

Marketing gets Customer Branding Keeps it
Marketing helps you to get customer and to keep it you need branding. Customer want to buy from company that they are familiar and have a deep connection with. To connect deeply you need to build a brand with values that your customer can resonate. Keeping customer getting them to buy again and again increase customer’s lifetime value (LTV). If you are in business you definitely will know that the cost of getting a customer will be much higher than retaining one. By having loyal customer you save cost and increase their spending (PROFIT!!!). When marketing and branding work in sync, it’s a perfect solution, isn’t it?


In conclusion, marketing and branding are different, one drives sales, the other drives loyalty. Marketing gets customer, branding makes your customers into fans. And to make both marketing and branding works in sync, you as a SME business owner need to align your team to achieve that goal.

If you feel like to connect with us to design your own brand differentiation strategy, you can click here: Talk to Us

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