A question mark in a talk bubble on a yellow background

Branding and marketing… Are they the same? Are they interchangeable? Can my business succeed without them?

The short answer: no, no, and no.

Branding and marketing are two very different (yet equally important) methods of promoting a company, and in order to build and maintain a successful business, it’s important to understand the difference between the two methods…

How they are different.

Branding is defined as the promotion of a particular product or company by means of advertising and distinctive design

Marketing is defined as the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.

When you brand your company, you define and shape the image you want to deliver to your target audience. This includes outlining the mission and values of your team, developing and employing a logo and color palette, and designing and building a website that combines these elements to accurately promote your company.

When you market your company, you strategically promote your company’s products or services using traditional and digital marketing methods to get your target audience’s attention and pique their interest in your product or service.

In other words, branding is the act of packaging your company while marketing is the act of selling it. If your company isn’t properly and effectively branded, your marketing strategies won’t be effective. When your branding is strong and consistent, you can use that branding to efficiently and successfully market your product or service.

How they work together.

No matter what product or service your company offers, it’s essential to use traditional and digital marketing strategies to promote the product or service to your target audience.

With traditional marketing, you might…

  • Send a postcard or flyer to potential customers with a special offer
  • Put an ad in a local newspaper or magazine
  • Talk about your company on television or the radio

And with digital marketing, you might…

  • Optimize your website and directory profiles for search engines
  • Use paid advertising to reach your target audience more effectively
  • Utilize social media to further connect with your clients and customers

These traditional and digital strategies work together to build brand awareness, pique interest, and ultimately increase your conversions. But in order for these strategies to reach their full potential and be truly effective, it’s important to have a strong brand in place first.

When your brand is consistent and accurately represents your company, this makes brand awareness easier to achieve. When you have a logo and color palette that is unique but recognizable, and it’s consistently used across all marketing tools and elements, your potential client or customer will be quicker to recognize and trust your company when they connect with you through various channels.

Let’s say your potential customer receives a postcard in the mail from you, when they’ve never heard of you. It has your logo, some information about your product or service, and a small offer of 10% off their first purchase. They might save that postcard in case they’re interested later, or it may get tossed out with the junk mail. A day or two later, they’re scrolling through Facebook and see a paid ad with the same logo and color palette as the postcard they had just received. 

Because of the consistency in your branding, they don’t have to wonder if the two pieces of advertising are connected—they recognize that it’s your company, and that consistency builds their trust. Maybe they don’t buy something right away from the Facebook ad, but they sign up with their email for future updates. Then, they get a “thank you” email from you with a 20% offer on their first purchase. Because this email matches the consistent branding they’ve seen twice now, they immediately recognize again that it’s you, and they’re significantly more likely to jump at such a great offer and give your product or service a chance.

How they benefit your business.

Marketing gets the attention of your target audience but branding keeps their attention by building recognition, trust, and loyalty. Your branding sets you apart from the competition. The more your clients and customers recognize your brand, the easier it is for them to connect with you and return to your products or services in the future.

And when your satisfied clients and customers trust your brand, they’re not only more likely to be loyal to your company but they’re also more likely to market your brand for you—they’re more likely to engage with your brand on social media and even share your company with friends and family.

If you’re a new business or startup, carefully consider how you want to represent your company now and in the future. What thoughts or feelings do you want to evoke with your logo and color palette? What mission and values do you want to align yourself with and reflect in your branding? These elements are important to keep in mind when establishing a strong brand, and it’s essential to establish your brand before you begin marketing your company.

But no matter how long you’ve been in business, it’s never too late to improve your brand or even rebrand altogether. If your marketing campaigns seem to yield little results no matter what you do, take a look at your brand. Is it consistently and accurately representing your company? Are your potential clients and customers able to recognize your brand online or offline and in traditional and digital marketing channels?

Brand (or rebrand) your business in a way that builds awareness, fosters trust, and piques interest. Then, employ marketing strategies to promote and advertise your brand to your target audience. When you use these two tools hand-in-hand, you’ll take your business to the next level and increase your leads, conversions, and revenue.

How we can help.

When we design a website for a client, we work closely with them (and, if applicable, their branding agency) to evaluate and implement their logo, color palette, and any other brand assets. Then, we design and develop their website to tell a story that reflects and markets that brand. This ensures consistency and guarantees a seamless user experience when a potential client or customer visits a website from any marketing channel.

Once we’ve developed the website, we deploy custom digital marketing strategies to promote the brand and increase the business’ online visibility. This helps our clients reach their target audience and increase their traffic, leads, clients, and conversions.

If you’re interested in improving the online presence of your brand and reaching your target audience, contact us today so we can discuss your branding and marketing campaign.