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The difference between Marketing & Branding in 2024.

Updated: Feb 2

As 2024 approaches, one thing I've noticed this year is that there's often confusion around what 'Marketing' is versus what 'Branding' is... A few times now, people have spoken to me about their "marketing challenges" but they then go on to describe what are actually branding issues.

marketing and branding
marketing and branding

Marketing and Branding are two different concepts; they’re intrinsically and unequivocally linked and each can, and does, impact the other, but they’re two different things.

Branding is about creating a personality for your business - the mood you want to project, the service and experience you provide. Brand identity elements such as your colours, your logo and your tone of voice, should represent your personality, and together, they should all present a joined up, consistent brand experience.

The act of Marketing is where you grow your business & make your money – actively targeting consumers to persuade them to buy from you.

Coca-Cola Brand

If we consider the ubiquitous Coca-Cola, which recently adopted a "one brand' strategy - what are your first thoughts about that brand? What comes to mind? Red, white, global, refreshment, diet drink, consistent, reliable - these are the brand aspects of Coca-Cola and how they’ve aimed to position themselves in our minds.

But their marketing efforts are how they target us as customers, how they sell their drinks to us…their chosen advertising channels, the messages and distribution choices - making Coca-Cola available to us all, globally!

In a nutshell, your Brand is your promise to your customer; it's how you are perceived in the minds of your consumers - your Brand is what you 'ARE'!

Your Marketing is the planning and action you take to acquire and retain your customer - Marketing is what you 'DO'

So, if your business isn't growing, take time out to review your Branding and your Marketing:

  1. Check that your brand presents a positive reflection of what you want it to be (and that includes the experience). You can do this by asking customers what their first thoughts are when they think of your brand. Also, asking for reviews and testimonials is a free and easy way to get feedback.

  2. Ensure your marketing activity is targeting the right people, with the right messages, using the right channels. Take the time out to ensure you're being seen in the same places your audience hangs out. Review your key messages...are you identifying and solving their 'problem'?

If your small business needs Marketing or Brand assistance - contact Sally on 07970 483 026 or email

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