Helen Cox Marketing Consultant Kent and London

B2B Basics – what’s the difference between branding and marketing

When it comes to branding and marketing it is all too easy to confuse the two terms; thinking that they are much the same. Whilst there are some key similarities between the two and they do go together in some ways, it is important to know that they are actually separate and therefore they should be treated as such when it comes to marketing your business. 

To help you to work out what these differences are and why they are important to know, let’s dive deeper into these B2B basics.   

The branding and marketing definitions  

It makes sense to start by looking at the definitions of both branding and marketing.   

Branding is when you turn your business or a product that you have as a business, into a brand. You will do this by becoming recognisable for the way that you look or the message that you portray and this will then become something that people follow you for.   

The idea of branding is that it showcases the values and message that you have as a business and that it ensures that your clients understand how you are unique.   

Your logo, your website, and your colour schemes are all examples of branding.   

Marketing is a way to promote your business and to ensure that you gain interest from your target audience. Your new clients will be the main focus of marketing efforts, aiming to increase sales and leads.

Marketing includes data on your clients, market research on target audiences, sales distribution and lead conversion methods too.   

Branding is for them, marketing is for you  

Branding is used to ensure that the clients that you have and want to have know as much about who you are and the values that you have as a business. This is then likely to help them to make a buying decision.   

Marketing is for you to learn as much as you can about your clients, not only those you already have but those that you want to secure in the future. Having all this key information can really make the difference in how much of a success you are in the future.   

Their aims  

Another thing to look at when it comes to marketing vs branding is their aims. These are largely to ensure that your business is a success, but the way that they do this and the focus that they have is different.   

Branding is there to build a feeling of trust and loyalty in your business. The things that branding will do is give value and ensure that those who are a part of your journey feel that they are part of something much bigger. The aim of branding is to generate likability and relatability, fostering a personal connection and a desire to be part of what you offer.

Marketing aims to ensure the completion of sales. It is mainly the resulting drive and will be focused on creating the maximum profit for your business. That said, marketing is a bridge between clients and you as a business, which means that it needs to be developed with the client journey in mind.   

Their outcomes  

It is also worthwhile noting that both marketing and branding have different outcomes for you as a business. Branding will help you to create an audience that believes in what you can do and the approach that you will take, they will often spread the word of your business and help to bring in others.   

The outcome of marketing is that you are going to generate more leads and interest in who you are and what you can do. These leads will want to know more about you, and they may even begin to relate to the branding that they see from you.   

Short term vs long term  

Marketing definitely appears shorter term. In this constantly moving world, falling behind means getting left behind in business.

Branding on the other hand is a longer-term approach. You are going to want to make sure that your audience recognises who you are and what you can do for them. You want them to develop a relationship and a sense of trust in what your business provides. This means that it is something that you not only develop over time but that you keep somewhat the same too.   

Their scale  

When you compare marketing and branding you can also look at their scale. You design branding to cover the entire business you have and who you are to your clients. Marketing on the other hand is there to drill down and learn the finer details that you need for your sales to be a success.   

You want to ensure that you fix your marketing focus on creating key leads and clients that will work best for your business. This suggests that it might appear to focus on a much smaller scale.

When branding and marketing happen  

Although this does not hold true for every individual business, marketing and branding typically follow a natural order. More often than not marketing is going to be the first thing that you do as a business.  

The main aim is to think about who you want your clients to be and what you can do for them. Having this information will allow you to consider who you are as a brand and what type of value and mission you have. Branding is then something that will follow naturally and allows your brand to grow and develop.   

As you can see, there are differences between branding and marketing that you are going to need to consider in order to make them both work for your B2B business. However, once you really look at them closely you are going to see how exactly they can work for you and how they fit together.

Take a look at some of my other blogs you may be interested in:

Mission, Vision and Values – what’s the difference for a B2B Business? 

How client surveys can help your B2B firm

Need help?

If you would like help with your marketing then bringing on a marketing consultant with a fresh pair of eyes can make all the difference. I work with B2B businesses and professional service firms in London, Kent, UK and Europe as well as specialising as a Legal Marketing Consultant. Please get in touch or book a free 30-minute consultation.