Branding vs Marketing

Branding and marketing – these two terms are often lumped together and used interchangeably. However, they have very different functions, even though these functions complement each other perfectly. Perhaps that’s why non-industry professionals usually confuse their definitions. Breaking branding and marketing down will help in understanding their key differences and misconceptions.

What is Branding?

Branding is the process of giving meaning to your business, products or services by creating perception and emotional connection in the customer’s mind. It is strategically designed by corporations and organisations for easy and lasting identification, and to give consumers a reason to choose their business over the competition’s.

A brand is a promise to your customers and tells them what they can expect from your business. Branding will help you distinguish your offerings from your competitors and focus on your USP. When you think about Apple or Nike, what perceptions and associations do you have of each brand? Logos, designs, names and packaging barely scratch the surface, don’t they? That’s because brands are so much more than that. They’re systems designed to create a specific visual, verbal and emotional experience for the customer, and that’s the foundation of brand loyalty.

Why is it Essential to Get Your Branding Right?

Getting your branding right is crucial. Your brand identity is what makes you stand out from the crowd, adding value to your business. The best branding is done based on strong and clear ideas. Without effective branding, there is no distinction for your business. When you understand your brand and define it, you’ll be able to lay the proper foundation for your marketing initiatives, creating better ROI.

Developing a strong brand is often a tedious and complex process. However, asking yourself the following questions can set you on a clearer path to defining your brand:

  1. What’s my brand’s personality?
  2. How do I want my customers to see me?
  3. What are my brand values?
  4. What problems does my brand solve?
  5. What emotional benefits does my brand give my customers?

These questions will help you identify the building blocks of your brand.


What is Marketing?

Marketing is a lot easier to understand, and it’s what most professionals are familiar with. In a nutshell, it’s how you promote your brand and business to your target audience. Marketing refers to the tools you use to deliver the message and purpose of your brand. These tools can include traditional advertising, printed collateral, social media, digital marketing and your website.

While a brand tells you why you should engage one business over its competitors, marketing is how you get that message across.

At its core, your brand is the foundation on which your marketing strategies will be built. It must be honest and in line with actual customer experience. Branding is never a one-off exercise at the start of a business. It must be a continual effort that communicates your company’s values and evolution. Your marketing efforts should always incorporate your brand to create effective customer loyalty.

Branding is a long-term investment that creates loyal customers. If you intend to develop your brand professionally, choose a branding agency that understands your business and fits your needs – that’s how you’ll take your business to the next level.


Did you know that the Singapore Government is helping local companies with up to 80% of their branding initiatives? We’ve helped our Singapore clients do just that, and we can do that for you as well. To find out more about the Enterprise Development Grant (EDG), get in touch with us today.

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