Branding And Marketing: The Core Difference + Branding & Marketing Courses for Beginners

August 24, 2021
Authored by:
Kari Amarnani
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Branding and marketing are equally essential to the growth and overall success of your business. Having a stronghold of both aspects escalates your business to new heights, but the key is in utilizing them as partners for an altogether more powerful effect.

What is the difference between branding and marketing? Ask around, and you may find yourself getting a variety of answers—some of which even claiming that they are the same.

They're not.

Branding and marketing may share a fair common ground but they're quite different from each other. The article uncovers the nuanced yet fundamental disparities between branding and marketing and how you can implement this when starting your new business.

Branding And Marketing: Meaning And Importance

At different stages of your business, either branding or marketing can take the front seat of priorities. In the early stages, building a solid foundation for branding is essential in constructing a clear and consistent brand identity. Once your brand’s characteristics come to life, marketing follows. 

Marketing is essentially finding ways to best showcase what your brand is and what it has to offer. Branding and marketing need each other to render fruitful gains and engagements, and they need to be consistently developed over time. When used together, they have the potential to complement each other in the best ways.

Before you can grasp how truly powerful they are together, it is important to understand what they are outside of each other.

Marketing

Marketing is an integral aspect of your brand. To put it simply, how would potential customers learn about your business (or that it even exists) and products without the ways you can shine a light on it? 

Marketing consists of these strategic steps that make your business known to the right audience in the best possible ways.

There is a vast array of marketing strategies that businesses use, however, a good rule of thumb is designing your marketing based on:

  • Your brand identity
  • Your brand promises 
  • Your core industry
  • Your brand’s personality
  • Your business vision and mission
  • Your brand tone and positioning 

The primary goal of marketing is to generate interest, engagements, and trust among your target audience. It is not just a simple one-time task—it is an ongoing set of actions designed to communicate the benefits of a growing brand. 

To create and manage a flourishing marketing plan, you need a strong brand identity that conveys a specific message. After all, without a brand identity, your marketing won't have something strong to hold on to?

Branding

In comparison to marketing, branding is more broad and internal. It is about defining who you are as a business, how you project yourself, how you communicate, and what you stand for. Once you successfully define and determine your brand strategy, your marketing efforts become straightforward.

These are some crucial factors that make up your branding:

  • Your business name
  • Your slogan or tagline
  • Your logo
  • Your designs and brand color schemes
  • Your history and story as a brand
  • Your promise to the public
  • Your products, goods, and services
  • Your tone and expression
  • Your mission statement

These characteristics of your brand, when pursued with authenticity and drive, can easily allow your target market to recognize and identify you. Even the smallest details should not be overlooked. 

A splash of yellow in your logo means something. One word in your business slogan means something. Everything that you associate with your brand becomes a part of it, so every decision you make with your branding should be well-considered and relevant to your business.

Branding, like marketing, is something to be regularly developed. But when you have a firm plan in place from the start, that makes your job a whole lot easier. The most crucial step in branding is to be consistent—not only in general but also with the variables that make up your brand.

Your logo should be compatible with your business name, your business name should be consistent with your products, and the list goes on. Every aspect of your branding must come together seamlessly to form a solid and unified message. 

Here are a couple of steps to help you define your brand’s message:

  • Identify your target market and connect with what's important to them
  • Showcase why and how you are better than your competitors 
  • Let the purpose of your brand come through with every step you make as a business

Branding is built on culturing and developing an identity— one that can resonate with your audience. The key is to be a brand that customers can grow an attachment to.

Branding And Marketing Strategies

Though different in many ways, branding and marketing go hand-in-hand. And when strategized together, they produce profound results. A significant difference between branding and marketing strategies is short-term and long-term growth. 

Marketing strategies can change all the time, depending on the time of the year, events, trends, news, and social movements. Marketing is flexible, and success comes in short-term wins, whereas branding strategies should be as fixed as possible.

A branding strategy is a long-term commitment to your target audience, where you need to be consistent throughout all channels, no matter the external variables.

These are some vital branding and marketing strategies that promote overall business growth:

  • Identify your target market
  • Design recognizable brand features
  • Establish your brand tone and voice
  • Develop your messaging strategy
  • Develop your business name, slogan, and logo
  • Create a content marketing strategy
  • Develop marketing personas for different platforms
  • Develop your business website
  • Tap into many digital platforms like social media and forums
  • Elevate marketing plans consistently

Essentially, when it comes to branding and marketing strategies:

  • Branding strategies are the ways you uphold your brand personality, promises, and services to your audience.
  • Marketing strategies are the ways you deliver your brand message and promises to your audience.

Branding And Marketing Courses

If you want to learn more about branding and marketing strategies, there is nothing like hands-on experience. Here are a six popular online courses to consider taking to boost your knowledge of these complex topics.

1. Branding: The Creative Journey on Coursera


  • Level: Beginner
  • Presenter: IE Business School
  • Duration: 5 months (5 hours per week)
  • Certification: Yes

2. Branding Foundations on LinkedIn Learning

  • Level: Beginner
  • Presenter: Drew Boyd
  • Duration: 1.5 hours
  • Certification: No

3. Branding & Marketing for Startups: Learn How To Stand Out on Udemy

  • Level: Beginner
  • Presenter: Mac Piechota
  • Duration: 1.5 hours
  • Certification: Yes

4. Digital Branding And Engagement on edX

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Presenter: Curtin University
  • Duration: 4 weeks (3 to 4 hours per week)
  • Certification: Yes

5. Viral Marketing And How To Craft Contagious Content on Coursera

  • Level: Beginner
  • Presenter: Jonah Berger
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Certification: Yes

6. Digital Marketing Course on Google

  • Level: Beginner
  • Presenter: Google advisor
  • Duration: 8 to 10 weeks
  • Certification: Yes

Bottom Line: Branding And Marketing Need Each Other

Branding and marketing are two fundamental components of a business. They have their differences, but ultimately, they rely on each other to succeed. 

If someone sees your logo on the side of a truck and finds themselves intrigued by your business, that is branding working its magic. At times, the visual alone is not enough for them to engage with you and make a purchase. This is where marketing comes in.

Your marketing efforts will be amplified with the help of a strong brand foundation, allowing you to highlight the best of what your business has to offer with pride and conviction. Branding benefits from marketing strategies as it helps bring people closer to your products and services. 

Marketing can convince people to purchase a particular product, but it is the brand that determines if they will only buy these types of products for all time. When the two are done correctly, prepare to be on the receiving end of multiple win-wins for your business.

Ready to build your brand? Start by designing a logo!
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