What is the difference between branding and marketing? I get asked this question a lot by small business owners and it’s a fair question. It often feels like the lines between branding and marketing are blurred and this is because they are very much connected or at least they should be.

When people think about branding, the first thing that generally comes to mind is a logo, while the first thing that comes to mind for marketing tends to be Google or Facebook ads or some form of digital advertising. Now these answers certainly aren’t wrong, but they only represent a small portion of the answer.

The shortest explanation I like to use to explain the difference is branding represents the Who, What and Why while marketing is When, Where and How.


The Branding Breakdown

Your business brand is formed from your business vision and purpose. Your branding is your business being represented as a person – it’s identity. Your business brand is made up of many factors such as your business name, colours, fonts, imagery, logo, layouts, and messaging. All these factors work together to give your customers an overall ‘feel’ of what your business is about. Your branding should clearly state who you are, what you do and why you do it in everything that you do.

Your business brand can only be your vision, not someone else’s (like your competition). Get clear on your values and what you want your business to stand for. Most importantly, work out what you are and aren’t willing to compromise on. If you are thinking, this sounds much deeper than just a logo, you’re right. Even your logo needs to go deep. Your logo needs to encompass everything mentioned above. You’ll most likely find that you need to update your logo and branding as your business evolves and changes. As your values change, so will your branding.

So, does your branding (colours, logo, business name, messaging, imagery) represent who you are, what you do and why you do it?


The Marketing Makeup

On the other side of the coin, we have marketing. Marketing is how you introduce your business (branding) and build relationships with your ideal customers. It’s about meeting your potential customers where they are, when they are ready and using their preferred communication methods.  

These days people are actively searching for information and information is far more accessible than it has ever been. In fact, our world has swung the opposite way, where there’s almost too much information!

As a small business, it’s important to note that you do not have to be everywhere. You only have to be where your customers are. How do you do this? By understanding your audience. Who are they, what do they value? Do their values align with your business values?

There are many different types of marketing activities you can use to reach your customers and ideally you use a bunch of different activities to help your customer along their buying journey. These could include Google Ads, social media, print advertising (magazines, brochures, flyers), events and tradeshows, emails, networking and the list goes on.

Remember, you are not for everyone and that’s ok! Not even Apple has convinced the whole world to use macs. To market effectively align your business values with the values of your ideal customers and meet them where they are.

So who is your ideal customer? Do they align with your business values?


How can I get my branding and marketing working together?

Great question. One word - strategy. It’s that age old quote (thanks Benjamin Franklin) ‘if you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail’.

Start with your values, get clear on your branding direction first. Then create a marketing strategy which will act as your blueprint for how when and where you plan to reach and connect with your target audience.


Put On Your Marketing Hat with Wild Orange Strategies

At Wild Orange Strategies, we peel back those marketing myths and showcase your business to those who matter most, your customers. We help businesses look at the bigger picture, to develop holisitc strategies that focus on your customers needs. We do this to clarify, who they are are and where, when and how to reach them and most importantly, how to keep them for life. 

If you want to know more about working with us you can click here.


30 Oct 2022 Alyce Clothier