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The Difference Between Branding and Marketing

What’s the difference between branding and marketing? Let’s start with basic definitions: Branding is the process of creating your brand; your company’s identity. Marketing is your business taking action. It’s positioning, offering, gaining a reaction. The two, as you can tell, are interconnected.

What is Branding?

Lots of definitions for this here. Kind of like, “what is art?” Lots of lingo and posts that lead to a click on how to “Get Started Branding Today!”.

Get a firm grasp on the difference between branding and marketing.  Essential information for anyone running a business.

Here’s how I would put it to you, in simplest terms:

Your brand is your business’s identity. Branding is the running story of how that identity forms.

Let’s look at some pictures of brands and their mission statements. Think about what these images say about who they are. What kind of person do these describe? Would you date them? Would you even friend them?

What is Marketing?

Now onto marketing, the even more disputed of the two. Marketing is Click Here Now!

Did you try to click that?

Here’s my simple definition to you.  If the brand is the person.  Then marketing is the person’s words and actions.

Even though these are super prevalent concepts, there’s something slippery about them.  If I had recorded every marketing job interview I’ve been on, you wouldn’t find much of a common denominator in how the employer defined marketing. So, don’t feel bad.

Here’s a video to help satisfy your brain strain. Seth Godin is a marketing master who talks about modern-day marketing.

Transcript: hi I’m Seth Godin I’m the founder of the Alton ba and the author of a book called this is marketing marketing used to be a side effect we had a factory it was busy we said to the marketing team here’s some money Cosell average stuff to average people not true anymore marketing is at the core of what we do that unless you make coal or oil marketing is the story you tell who you’re telling it to why people are gonna buy it it’s the center of the universe and what that means is that you’re responsible they’re responsible for what you make how you make it how you bring it to the world what the side effects are who you’re talking to everyone works for you because what we know is that a product well marketed is a product that people want to engage you and an amazing product that no one knows about or cares about isn’t amazing because we don’t get to use it so I I coined this term modern marketer to identify somebody who isn’t a Holden to buying mass media TV ads to be in front of average people with their average product that’s old-school marketing that’s Mad Men it’s faded away it’s almost gone the idea that you can buy enough gross rating points to interrupt enough people to make enough money to do it again God and so what we’re seeing on the internet is a whole bunch of companies tried to simulate TV they tried to come up with viral stuff they tried to come up with scams and hikes just to get a lot of hot dogs it doesn’t work the fact is that TV was a mass medium and the Internet is a micro medium you can’t buy Facebook you can’t buy even buy Yahoo you can’t buy all the ads it’s lots and lots of tiny slices so pick your slice and measure when you need to measure don’t measure when measuring doesn’t make any sense and realize and what we are seeking as an asset is connection attention trust and not spam or interruption Simon is brilliant as always and understanding your Y is critical but it’s also usually awfully general my why is because I need to make a living my why is because the beach is too full my why is I want to feel fulfilled by doing this work which leads to the next question well what am I gonna do now which is how do I know if I’m doing a good job which is what is this all for and so for me it begins with seeing who we seek to serve and figuring out how to make things better for them not for me but for them because if I can make things better for them then I’ll get a chance to do it again and if I can keep doing it and doing it making things better weaving things together earning trust turning attention into a promise and that promise into a brand that matters then regardless of what I do for a living regardless of what my why is my practice is a professional one because I’m not leaving behind victims instead I’m opening the door for people to do better everything we do as a marketer has an effect I’m not even gonna say side effect just in effect and you have to own the effect that if you sell a product that’s gonna cause people to get lung cancer that’s on you you didn’t have to sell it they didn’t have to buy it either but if marketing works you’re on the hook because marketing works and you did the marketing so what we get the chance to do is make stuff we’re proud of and do it in a way that causes the effects to be things that we are proud of so yes you could build a social network that hits people against each other and gets them in each other’s throats that’s on you that each one of us has all these levers available to us little known fact that the person who invented the gas free on gas that put a hole in the ozone layer also invented leaded gasoline same God not a good run for him was on him those to invention what are we gonna invent can we invent things that will make things better because that’s how we change the world we better make things better by making better things hi it’s Seth Godin and I’m here on the HubSpot Academy Channel if you’re into marketing like I am subscribe and you’ll learn more Link

Seth Godin is a pretty big name in marketing today. Here’s the essential marketing wisdom blog: Seth’s Blog

Why are Both Branding and Marketing Important

Why is this relevant? Why do you need to know the difference between branding and marketing if it’s all buying and selling?

Because taking action to develop each separately, allows them to play nice together. Knowing the distinction helps anchor your motives.

Here’s where they connect:

Your brand determines how you market. How you market determines how your brand will grow, change, or…ya know…die.

How Your Brand Determines How You Market

Maybe you’ve got an idea of what your brand is. What do you do with it?

Your brand will tell you, if you listen. There’s you, and there’s your brand. It’s your market identity, as we mentioned before. Let your market identity tell you who it wants to hang out with.

Different industries work better in different channels. Here’s what I mean by branding and marketing channels:

  • Direct Mail
  • Email
  • Over-the-phone
  • In-person
  • Storefronts
  • Social Media

Which Social Media Platform is Right for Your Brand?

Lots of new platforms these days. Lots of special groups, and fish in the sea. What to do…

You’re likely already thinking in the right direction, if you’re looking at it like “where do I hang out?” Narrow it down.

If you wanted to make new friends, would you walk into a meet-up full of people who aren’t your age, gender, profession, or share any of your interests? Probably not. 

As a business (a brand that markets something to someone), you want to find your best audience. Who wants you around? Who’s hungry for what you’re cooking when it comes to your branding and marketing?

Here’s a short list of social media platforms and what’s different about their common users:

  • Facebook Lead Demographic: Everyone! 
    • Culture: Friendship and Advertising
  • Instagram Lead Demographic: Teens, with a leaning towards females and black/hispanic.
    • Culture: Engagement through photos/video and Branding
  • Twitter Lead Demographic: Young adult, also leans toward black/hispanic ethnicity.
    • Culture: Short and catchy posts, News broadcasts and Topic by hashtags
  • LinkedInLead Demographic: Middle-aged and Truly wealthy.
    • Culture: Professional Networking, Sales and B2B.
  • Pinterest Lead Demographic: Mostly women, young to mature Adult.

Culture: Highly visual with little communication, Visual search engine and Social bookmarking.

Influencers and Personal Branding

Ready to get started as an influencer? Go here: What is an Influencer?

If you’re curious about personal branding, then go here: What is Personal Branding?

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