Branding vs. Marketing: Is There Really a Difference?

branding vs marketing.

When I first talk to new customers about branding, they think one of two things: 1) that marketing and branding are the same thing … simply shouting out to the world why your brand is best and drawing in customers and potential buyers or 2) that branding is a sect of marketing – a smaller, more specific niche of a broader effort to build your customer base.

Unfortunately, both of these assumptions are wrong.

The latter, at least, is in the right vein, but it has the roles reversed. You see, branding isn’t a subset of marketing. Nope! It’s actually the other way around.

Marketing is a subset of branding!

It sounds crazy, because most people hear a lot more about marketing than branding. They think branding is some new-fangled idea brought about in the last couple of decades to help companies make a splash in today’s overly commercialized world. But in reality, branding has been around as long as time. It’s marketing that’s new – and marketing that offers less return for companies that invest in it.

Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look at a few of the key differences between marketing and branding:

  1. Getting customers vs. keeping customers – Marketing is all about the act of getting customers – getting them to notice you, to need you and to buy into what you’re selling. While branding helps you get customers as well, it’s also about keeping those customers – and turning them into advocates who will bring others on board too. It’s a much more all-inclusive effort that can lead to more success in the long run.
  2. Push vs. pull – Marketing is a “push” effort – pushing your product, service or brand onto potential customers. Branding is more of a “pull” – developing a lifestyle that customers want to buy into and become a part of on their own accord.
  3. Strategic vs. tactical – While marketing is more of a tactical effort – a quick action to get a desired result – branding is more strategic, aiming to build up a long-term base of loyal, passionate customers who shout your name from the rooftops.
  4. Activation vs. advocacy – In terms of buyers and potential customers, marketing simply activates those people, turning them from onlookers into real, paying clients. Branding, on the other hand, does more than that. Rather than just getting them to buy a product, it gets them to buy into the organization itself. It creates passionate advocates who want to see your brand succeed and will stop at nothing to make that happen.

Most importantly, branding precedes marketing. You can’t have a good marketing campaign without first establishing a solid brand – a brand with a personality, a voice and a face that customers can get behind. Great branding is the keystone of any effective marketing campaign, and it’s something you should invest ample time and resources into before throwing your money toward advertising or other lead-generation strategies.

Need help perfecting your brand? Contact the B2B branding experts at Haley Aerospace today. We’re here to help.

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