Business Tips from SCORE: Understanding branding vs. marketing is key to business success

·4 min read

As a marketer, you have been exposed to a variety of different terms that define what is done in building both business and nonprofit awareness. Many individuals view marketing and branding as one in the same. But they are different. Branding is focused on the heart and marketing is focused on the mind. Branding is linking values, emotions and connections. Marketing is making sure that buyers understand and believe in the brand and what it offers.

In the 1950’s Philip Kotler at Northwestern University coined the word “marketing”. He defined it as everything an organization does from the time it perceives the need for a product or service until it is in the hands of the ultimate consumer.

Marc Goldberg
Marc Goldberg

Marketing drives awareness of an organization’s brand. Its role is to build awareness in the mind of buyers so they see no suitable substitute for the product or service that is being offered.

Branding is the personality of an organization and marketing is how the brand is communicated.

It is commonly understood that there are seven "P"s of marketing. They are: product, price, promotion, place, people, process and physical evidence. There are four types of brands: corporate, personal, product and service brands. We are going to focus on corporate, product and service brands.

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Even though branding and marketing are different, they support one another. Branding is what decides how your audience feels about your company. It's the core tenet to brand or company loyalty. A great promotion or marketing campaign may be enough to get a new customer through the door, but it's how that customer feels about the brand that determines whether or not they'll return or recommend it.

When creating a brand there are five elements that need to be considered: position, promise, personality traits, story and associations.

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What position do you want to hold in the mind of buyers or potential buyers so they seek you out for a solution to solve a problem?

What promise are you going to make to get them to take the action you want?

What personality traits are you going to display that potentially align with your buyers?

What stories can you tell that resonate with buyers so they connect with you emotionally and then physically?

And, how will you connect buyers with others who have already “bought into” your brand messaging?

Branding is why a buyer should consider a product or service to solve a problem for them. Marketing is how a buyer becomes aware of the solution.

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Branding is long-term. It is all about positioning in the mind of the buyer to generate a preference.

Marketing is short-term. It is about a specific campaign to raise awareness and building understanding of solutions being provided. Marketing initiatives include campaigns, content, public relations and interactions with your target audience or customer.

Branding is macro; it concerns itself with big picture.

Marketing is micro; it applies to tools that are used to generate awareness, understanding and believability.

Branding defines trajectory. It is the direction the organization is taking and the position in which it wants to reside in the mind of potential buyers.

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Marketing defines the tactics that provide the direction. It defines what tools, i.e., traditional or digital, will be used to achieve a preferential position in the mind of consumers.

Branding builds loyalty, while marketing generates a response. Loyalty is built by generating preference via linking values that appeal to buyers, while marketing tactics create action on the part of buyers.

Branding creates value, while marketing extracts value. Brands represent the values that the provider has applied to the product, service or organization providing the solution. Marketing is the way that values are communicated and positioned so that buyers are attracted to the brand.

Branding is about being, while marketing concerns itself with doing.

Contributed by Marc L. Goldberg, Certified Mentor. SCORE Cape Cod & the Islands,,, 508-775-4884. Source: Sarah Sarwar, Content Creator, UI/UX Designer. /Thesis Agency- Branding vs. Marketing.

This article originally appeared on Cape Cod Times: Small business tips: Branding, marketing are keys to business success