Blog > Branding > What is the Difference Between Branding and Marketing?

Branding vs. Marketing

September 9, 2022
min read

Did you know that there is a pretty big distinction between branding and marketing? 

Yeah, neither do most people. Sure, they are two sides of the same coin, but there are significant key differences. Movies and media would have us think that marketing firms are branding firms, too, and that marketing is all about style, image, and Vogue-like offices. 

This couldn’t be further from the truth. While, yes, the pretty ads and cool campaigns fall under the marketing umbrella, this isn’t the full picture. 

There is a fundamental, core difference between marketing and branding, and it’s time to set the record straight.

Let’s get into it. 

What is branding?

Think about the last time that you visited a mall. All of the storefronts looked different. From Sephora’s clean black and whites and simple logo, to Bath and Body Works blue and white plaid. Even their typefaces (fonts) are distinctly different.

If you saw a color sample with the logos on them, you would be able to tell off the bat that they are distinctly different companies that are expressing different messages to their consumers. 

This is branding. Put simply, this is the visual representation of your brand. Here are a few things that fall under the branding umbrella:

  • Typeface
  • Logo design 
  • Color Palette
  • Tone of voice

Defining your brand is impossible without a brand guideline and a strong brand identity.

What is Marketing

You know what all of those movies got wrong about marketing? That it’s data-driven

Want to see an example? Open your favorite social media platform and scroll for a couple of minutes. We’ll bet that you get a targeted ad for your favorite running shoe or an activewear brand. This is marketing.

 Go ahead and turn on the TV. See that prescription drug commercial with the clever fast-read fine print and the smiling actors? This is also marketing.

Open your email. See that message promoting a Fall trade show? This is marketing, too.

Marketers use market research to create a target audience. They then target potential customers with strong ads, email marketing, and digital marketing strategies. 

The purpose of it is to get brand engagement, to spread the word that a company exists, and to communicate their brand promise via clever campaigns and defined strategies. 

So, what is the difference?

Both of these hang out in the same office, under the same umbrella; one can’t live without the other. Without strong branding, marketing campaigns wouldn’t be very effective. 

Without marketing, branding efforts would be futile. 

The best way to remember the difference between the two is by looking at Coca-Cola. That logo, the red and white palette, all of those visuals are considered branding. You know those touching holiday commercials that they always launch after Thanksgiving? This is marketing. 

<div class="c-blog_table"><div class="c-blog_table-top"><div class="c-table_row"><div class="c-blog_table-column cc-orange cc-half"><div class="c-title-3">Marketing<br></div></div><div class="c-blog_table-column cc-half"><div class="c-title-3">Branding<br></div></div></div><div class="c-table_row"><div class="c-blog_table-column cc-orange cc-half"><div class="c-text-2">Targeted ads<br></div></div><div class="c-blog_table-column cc-half"><div class="c-text-2 cc-table">Layout and colors used in the ads<br></div></div></div><div class="c-table_row"><div class="c-blog_table-column cc-orange cc-half"><div class="c-text-2">Email campaigns<br></div></div><div class="c-blog_table-column cc-half"><div class="c-text-2 cc-table">Attending a trade show<br></div></div></div><div class="c-table_row"><div class="c-blog_table-column cc-orange cc-half"><div class="c-text-2">Social media campaigns<br></div></div><div class="c-blog_table-column cc-half"><div class="c-text-2 cc-table">Identifiable colors, logo usage, and brand identity<br></div></div></div><div class="c-table_row"><div class="c-blog_table-column cc-orange cc-half"><div class="c-text-2">Content and copywriting<br></div></div><div class="c-blog_table-column cc-half"><div class="c-text-2 cc-table">Content and Tone of voice used in all copy<br></div></div></div><div class="c-table_row"><div class="c-blog_table-column cc-orange cc-half"><div class="c-text-2">Attending a trade show<br></div></div><div class="c-blog_table-column cc-half"><div class="c-text-2 cc-table">Banner, booth, and business collateral design<br></div></div></div></div></div>

Putting the two together

When you marry the two together, your product or service is elevated to new heights. 

Creating a brand with a great tone of voice, a targeted color palette, and a great logo is only half the battle. You need to be able to create a great marketing strategy that amplifies your message and communicates your brand identity.

Ready to start your brand design journey? Contact us to start your two-week trial of Designity today! 

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About the author:
Kat Calejo
Senior content writer- Designity
Interested in content collaboration? Email at
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