JDC 101: Branding vs. Marketing


How are they different and how do they work together?

It’s quite often that branding and marketing are used synonymously when in fact, they are two very distinct functions. Businesses that can distinguish the two, and understand how they work together in tandem, will come out stronger and ahead of their competitors.


First Comes Branding... 

Your brand is who you are and your value proposition as a business. It is organic and cannot be manufactured or dictated by marketers. The first thing you should do before anything else is to listen to your customers and observe how they interact with your brand. Their perception will tell you what is your brand, your personality and your value proposition. It is their experience with what your business has to offer that will give you a solid foundation to build your marketing materials, messaging and campaigns.

In order to nurture a strong brand, self-awareness is key. Dig deep into the core of your business by asking the following questions:

  • Why did I start this business?
  • What solution am I offering?
  • Who are the people interacting with my business?
  • How do they perceive my business?
  • Will I be able to deliver on my brand promise based on their perception?

Some of these questions require you to look internally at your business and the product or service you are offering. Other questions will require you to examine truthfully who are the supporters of your business. And the last question is the most important for your brand’s reputation and brand loyalty.


...Then Comes Marketing

Where branding sets the direction and the raison d'être, marketing is the vehicle that will drive your brand story and offer to your target audience. Where branding is not something you can control, you can control your marketing. Take what you understand about your brand identity to formulate and execute your marketing campaign.

Marketing is storytelling and the logo, creative, wording, and web design are the marketing tools used to promote your business. You can control your marketing efforts by writing the message and choosing the creative, but ultimately, it is how the consumer reacts to it and their subsequent action (or lack of) that defines your brand value in the industry.


Use Both for a Killer Campaign 

If we haven’t emphasized enough, listening is the key to unlocking a strong, coherent brand for your business. Learn from brands that have successfully identified their brand positioning strategy by listening to their customers and allowing their needs, interests, wants, and desires shape your brand’s position. By going through these necessary steps, they are then able to put together engaging and targeted marketing campaigns that communicates their brand value.

When you understand that branding and marketing are two separate entities that work hand-in-hand, they become a very powerful weapon that will enhance your value over your competitors and earn customer loyalty.

Shirley Lui