What Is The Difference Between Branding & Marketing? What's more important?

What is branding? What is marketing? What is the difference between branding and marketing? What should come first? Which is more important, branding or marketing? Donald Miller, author of Building A Story Brand recently put it out there that marketing is the first and most important thing you do as a company. Fabian and Melinda react to Donald Miller.

Marketing is what you say it is. Branding is what they say it is.

“Here’s the simplest, most jargon-free, definition of marketing you’re ever likely to come across: If the circus is coming to town and you paint a sign saying “Circus Coming to the Showground Saturday,” that’s advertising. If you put the sign on the back of an elephant and walk it into town, that’s promotion. If the elephant walks through the mayor’s flower bed and the local newspaper writes a story about it, that’s publicity. And if you get the mayor to laugh about it, that’s public relations. If the town’s citizens go to the circus, you show them the many entertainment booths, explain how much fun they’ll have spending money at the booths, answer their questions and ultimately, they spend a lot at the circus, that’s sales. And if you planned the whole thing, that’s marketing.” from Allan Dib’s 1 Page Marketing Plan.

Ep. 20 with Melinda Livsey and guest Fabian Geyrhalter.

1 Page Marketing Plan by Alan Dib.
Building A Story Brand by Donald Miller

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34 thoughts on “What Is The Difference Between Branding & Marketing? What's more important?

  1. I think I come to realise that: Brand is the "Identity" of the company (I agree it is about "Us"-what we do), Marketing is the way to communicate the identity to the Right customers continuously. To Me "The Futur" Brand is "Great insightful sharing" (what you really do). One of the marketing part is using YouTube (letting people know about it)

  2. Chris, I just wanted to say that when you mentioned Sarah and her education on marketing and the conclusion that you both came to. Which is they teach the theory but then you’re left holding the bag. I also feel this way about the education system and also about a lot of these people who claim to be experts on a subject matter but they don’t really provide the how. Yes, we want the theory or idea behind the practice but we need the how-to.

  3. I found this a very interesting subject so I decided to write my bachelor thesis about it. Well to make it short… Start with establishing the role (not the definition) of both marketing and branding, you will understand why. The role of marketing is to deliver value at a profit. The role of branding is ultimately about differentiation from the competition. So let's imagine a world where we would have to buy our oxygen to be able to breathe = survive, and we are the ONLY company providing this offering. There is an absolute demand for our market offering, duh. Do we spend our company money on marketing or branding? Marketing of course; it will make our cash register sing as we focus on making it more profitable (with all means available). Now imagine facing intense competition from other companies delivering a product near identical in performance (functional) to our; Huston we got a problem. What do we do now Mr. Max? Well yes my young padawan, use the power of the branding force we must, to differentiate from our competition (in my best Yoda impression). Simply, we must compete on an emotional level rather than functional. Tadaaa, we spend our money on branding in order to secure a unique position in the mind of the prospect. So you ask what is more important? Well, that kinda up to the level of competition your facing right? Are you able to secure the lead (invest in marketing) or do they end up buying from the competition (invest in branding)

    18:04 – What is the end goal / Branding is the tactical response to competition and an overcrowded market whilst marketing is the tactical response to optimizing value exchange

  4. How is brand not product benefit? I could care less about why a company makes good beer. I care that they make beer that I like. It is my experience utilizing the product or service. That is brand. I trust Nike because they consistently provide shoes that fit and habe am a asthetic I liked. That is brand. Brand is reputation.

  5. Branding is just a part of Marketing, it’s that simple. Same goes for Advertising etc… Chris explains it very well around minute 14. Also because someone is doing branding does not mean they have any knowledge whatsoever about brand strategy. Brand strategy is not being taught at Design Schools.

  6. Cant watch this, this guy at the beginning is clearly only a businessman (cares about money) and not an artist (cares about beauty and meaning). He’d rather have Walmart than Picasso.

  7. Like Hamilton Family Brewery, they did the branding after getting product right. Bonus is they had the money to hire blind.

  8. Branding is marketing. Marketing is branding. Branding is also everything you do. Branding starts when you advertise, create a product, in the way you interact with customers… if you think you wait to choose your brand until later, you will have accidentally created a brand. You cannot stop yourself from creating a brand every day.

  9. I'm a marketing student, and I've started the graphic design for around 6 months
    and I'm really interesting in branding, now I think that Chris is right in the point of the brander should have a good graphic design background but also it must have a marketing background
    because all these things are connected
    let's say that you want to rebrand, and you guys in the series of building a brand said that too "we're helping them to reach their clients" this exactly the goal of the marketing
    but the problem of traditional marketing is it doesn't care about the and look of the brand, it's just focused on strategies so here comes the power of design to give the brand its real look and feel, using colors, fonts, images…
    and I guess that the results of this conversation were also about incorporating these two things, actually, they didn't need that, because they already independent fields I think

  10. I think there is a mistake between the marketing and branding. Marketing is much more broad than branding, branding is focused in brand (and it’s related aspects). Marketing goes from market research, pricing, etc. that create guidelines for branding. Branding is cool but this is starting to become a ego-based discussion. If branding simply comes first, what pays for branding efforts? sunlight?

  11. Holy shit. I was a Marketing major who found it so incredibly dull (not the marketing component but all the finance, accounting, and management classes) so I switched to advertising, where I got a great education in positioning, creative development, understanding the target demographic, the ethical responsibility of creating a desire for unnecessary products and after all of that, I ended up designing because that’s what I loved best. And after watching this video, I now realize just how narrow the space is of other people who have my insight and abilities. I always lamented not going to a traditional design school and now I realize just like the lawyer in Outliers how rare my combination of experience and insight truly is. This is a game changer. I’m about to go hard in the paint, elevate my strategy, and triple my rates. Thanks peeps.

  12. Fabian is 100% right. Donald Miller may be a good guy, but he is not a marketing or brand strategist. He has a very loyal following that is comprised of people who are trying to succeed in business but he is providing them with a great deal of misinformation. His thesis is all about "how to build a story brand," yet he says in his video that nobody should become concerned about their brand until they are at $50m in sales. Huh? What he espouses has everything to do with marketing product or service benefits and nothing about establishing and maintaining a brand. Frankly, I'm not sure he knows what a brand is and how to account for its value.

  13. Sure you can make a movie with a bunch of actors, a DP, sound guy, lighting, a director all of these people, but it is all going to be a bloody mess without a script. Branding = script.

  14. Great Video!! This is what Allan Dib had in his book: “Here’s the simplest, most jargon-free, definition of marketing you’re ever likely to come across: If the circus is coming to town and you paint a sign saying “Circus Coming to the Show ground Saturday,” that’s advertising. If you put the sign on the back of an elephant and walk it into town, that’s promotion. If the elephant walks through the mayor’s flower bed and the local newspaper writes a story about it, that’s publicity. And if you get the mayor to laugh about it, that’s public relations. If the town’s citizens go to the circus, you show them the many entertainment booths, explain how much fun they’ll have spending money at the booths, answer their questions and ultimately, they spend a lot at the circus, that’s sales. And if you planned the whole thing, that’s marketing.”
    ― Allan Dib, The 1-Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money, And Stand out From The Crowd

  15. Hello, The Futur is great, but … from the developing side. Is the main difference between marketing and branding in software what you are using for that things, isn't it? You need them both, but with google ads you can't make better brand and reverse with illustrator you can't deliver ads to a customers. So the main difference is probably the two persons, one is creative and second is analytical. Am I wrong in this? I miss this part in conversation.

  16. I'd say Marketing first*.

    Marketing is supplying your customer base, and potential customers that have a need/want for the product/service you have to offer

    The person that they are speaking about seemed to be speaking about ADVERTISING, although he used the word "marketing"

    Advertising is cold-calling, ads, emails, etc… basically unsolicited material.

    BRANDING is the result of these efforts! And dozens more that have nothing to do with them.

    BRANDS are built in the mind and heart of existing customers. Because those are the people that will continue giving that company business.

    APPLE comes out with new hardware every 6-12 months. To someone who is a PC loyalist, their "brand" means nothing. Because they're not a customer. If APPLE wants to convert that person, they need to convince them how their product is better. Case in point, the early 2000's television spot "I'm a Mac, and I'm a PC". The rest is history, Stores, Genius Bars, APPLE Events, they created a culture of cool! Couple this with amazing tech (*cough* iPhone 🙂 and sales went through the roof.

    Now of course Jobs and company knew full well what their long-term objective was, no one should be in business without a long-term vision. Short-term goals are keeping the lights on, pay-roll, etc. The Long-term goal is building the brand. But it starts from day one. When the name is chosen, the logo created, hiring competent people, customer-service, and all the other don't hear new school "Brand Strategists/Experts mention.

  17. hey what about this maybe i am wrong but i think like this,i have a friend who has a car wash,his instagram page with all his services and and clients and videos and posts is his branding,and when i run an ad for him about a specific topic its marketing,i get the costumers with marketing but keep em with branding,like you dont have to do marketing to an existing costumer over and over again if marketing gets the costumer repeating the same message over and over again is branding i think,and when your service is bad you can market and brand as much as you want is wont help,and if your service is good you dont need to do marketing anymore just repeat it,have a good serivce or product,to get costumers in run ads build brand awarness make a promise is marketing,and when they for example follow my buisness on instagram then just post stuff repeat it (brand)it over and over again,its little bit surface but i think the core message is like this

  18. I’m 6th generation circus and for me branding is the show. Whilst it is a complete marketing and sales system. The branding starts when we design the show in the winter. Once we know the show then we can build out the rest of the system

  19. What Donald Miller said was fluff and BS. Branding is needed to decipher what one’s story is. Then you can “market” your brand. Simple. It’s a sequence. Marketing without establishing and defining the brand is an empty conversation. BRANDING IS THE ART OF DIFFERENTIATION. MARKETING IS THE ART OF GETTING THE BRAND IN FRONT OF PEOPLE AND MARKETING IS THE ART OF PRESENTING THE BRAND THAT FUELS ACTION AND SELLING.

  20. They are completely different, what happens is that they complement each other, branding is what you have to build a house. (wood etc.) but marqueting is what you use to build it. (hammers etc.)

  21. Marketers do positioning. Look at high end brands, the products of those brand getting sold in certain places, getting marketed on certain channels, etc. all of those things are designed and executed by marketers.

  22. Story of the elephant. Where does Branding exist?. My answer: A bit on every of those parts
    1. Paint a sign: Make sure the message and visual represents what the circus is about
    2. March of the elephant: How the elephant looks. Is it an African elephant because the theme of the circus is African?. Does the circus have a specific theme that the elephant should identify? (think about Cirque du Soleil)
    3. Mayor upset: When you go to talk to the mayor, do you represent the values of the circus? Do you reach a point where you both identify with it?
    4. Hand a bunch of Fliers: Again right message and right visuals. And right call to action
    5. People come up to the booth. Do the employees from the circus talking to the people give a good service?. are capable to answer questions. Give a good impression? Represent again those values

    Brand is part of all those

  23. Here's how I think about it: marketing is brand building. If you don't have a strategy behind your brand, you're just winging it with your marketing.

  24. This channel, is a guardian angel to future business openings or freelancers with not much experience like my self. Helps so much, especially when we have potencial but not the means to start! Thanks so much, for sharing some wise advices. Congratulations!

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