What is the difference between Marketing and Branding?

This sounds like such a simple question but people often get mixed up between what branding and marketing are. It is really quite straight forward.

The market is where you sell your product. Marketing is the presentation or communication of your product to potential buyers within that market. Therefore marketing includes establishing target market (who within the total market would be intersted in your product), product (having a product that the market want or desire), advertising (vehicles to tell the people who are interested that your product is there), pricing (setting a price that is attractive to the consumer), place (being in the ideal location for your market to find your product), promotion (giving consumers a reason to buy your product) and experience (offering the market an opportunity to touch, feel, see or experience your product.

Branding is not the actual product but the perception the customer has of what your product is. It is the build up of impressions that your customers have of your product (trust, quality, ethos, values, performance etc). This is built up from the branding of your product (name, tagline, logo, packaging etc)  and through the experience of your product.

It is vitaly important therefore that the marketing and branding of your product reflect what your product really can do. e.g. if your marketing and branding communicates high quality and luxury then the product must follow through on that promise.

I recently attended the National Womens Enterprise Day and one of the speakers talked about the origin of both words. Understanding the source of the words may help you distinguish the difference between them. The language comes from the tradition of cattle being sold at a mart. The place where they were sold was called the market. The farmers before they would bring the animals to the market would feed, wash, brush and shine up the animals. When they arrived they would show off their merchandise to the potential buyers by parading their products in the central ring. This was all marketing. Before the animals were brought to the market a hot iron was placed on the animals behind to tell the potential customers what farm they came from. This was called branding.

Muireann Fitzmaurice, MF Marketing Consultancy

Ph: 0868932768  Mail: Web:


There was an issue loading your exit LeadBox™. Please check plugin settings.
Posted in Marketing.