Brand vs. Branding vs. Marketing

Brand vs. Branding vs. Marketing

It’s not unusual to see these three words used interchangeably. Consumers and even business owners frequently don’t fully understand the difference between them. As branding and marketing experts, we hope we can shed a little light on their meaning.


Your brand lives within the hearts and minds of customers, clients, and prospects. It is the sum of their experiences with and perceptions of you.

Examples of “Brand”:

  • Joe Smith visits your store to purchase a new pair of sneakers and experiences exceptional customer service. That interaction impacts the perception he now has of your business and he tells his friends. Andrea, Joe’s friend, hears about his experience and visits your store to purchase her next pair of running sneakers.
  • An avid environmentalist, Alison Marks purchases a winter coat at Patagonia – not because she loves their products or has purchased from them in the past – because their “brand” is one of environmental activism that actively promotes a lifestyle that resonates with her.


The act of defining who you are, what you do, why you do it, and what sets you apart.

Examples of “Branding”:

  • Development of a logo + visual identity for your organization
  • Writing a messaging platform (mission, vision, values, company descriptor, etc.)
  • Creating a brand style guide that is shared and adhered to by your entire organization
  • Identifying the target market(s) for your products or services


Marketing is the means by which you communicate to, connect with, and engage your target market to tell your brand story, build a relationship over time, and ultimately sell your products and services.

Examples of “Marketing”:

  • Execute a social media strategy, digital marketing campaign, or direct mail program that is geared to your target market and uses the messages and visual identity that have been developed during “branding”
  • Send an email newsletter that focuses on the vision and values of your organization

Now, with a clear understanding of these different terms, you are equipped to use them to take your business to the next level. Start by developing a strong brand through verbal and visual branding, then get your brand in front of your target audience through strategic marketing efforts! Need help? We’re just an email away.