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When investing in the growth of your business, whether online or offline, there is a series of events that must happen to see significant success. In this article, I break down the difference between marketing and branding. I also share the reasons your marketing will fail without branding and which should come first.

What is the difference between branding and marketing?

When talking about marketing and branding, you first need to understand the significant differences between the two.

In a nutshell, branding is who you are, and marketing is how you build awareness and attract consumer attention.

Branding is your strategy to state and communicate your values, positioning, and existence. Your brand is what will stick in a consumer’s mind well after a marketing message has passed.

Marketing encompasses your tactical goals that are concrete and actionable. Marketing is the expense of actively promoting and selling your product or service, and it’s pushing out a message to get sales results.

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How does branding and marketing co-exist?

As the Tronvig Group states, “Branding should both precede and underlie any marketing effort. Branding is not push, but pull.”

What this means is, marketing may convince you to buy a digital course from a marketer, but it’s the creator’s brand that will determine if you continue to follow them on social media, open their emails, and continue to purchase other products from them.

So to answer the question of which comes first, marketing or branding – Branding will always be at the core of your marketing strategy, so branding must come first.

When we work with new CORE Brand Marketing clients, we first define their CORE Brand Foundation. You must understand who you are as a brand with your purpose, messaging, and identity before ever beginning to devise a marketing plan.

Marketing Strategies

After you understand your brand’s purpose and the transformation you provide consumers, you can use marketing tools, strategies, and tactics to connect your audience with your paid products.

Depending on if you are using business to business or business to consumer marketing, here are some of the tactics you may be using:

  • SEO and Search Marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Paid Media Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Event Marketing
  • Conversational Marketing


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3 Reasons Your Marketing Will Fail Without Branding

Now that the difference between marketing and branding is clear, let me share the three reasons your marketing will fail without branding.

1. You will have lower engagement and connections with your target audience. 

Since the goal of marketing is to push out a message to get sales results, engagement with consumers who may not be interested in your product right now will be non-existent.

I see this all the time when running our 8-Day Marketing Campaigns for clients. When running a regular content marketing schedule on social media, consumers engage more than when running a set marketing campaign. This difference is because even if your marketing efforts are designed to engage an audience, it’s your ongoing branding that keeps these potential clients connected to your brand.

Your branding is what generates a timeless connection with this audience, not your marketing.

Ep 62: How To Determine Your Core Brand Foundation Strategy

2. You will have lower conversions and lifetime sales.

While you could create a marketing plan with nothing other than Google keyword trends, your sales conversions will be less if your consumers are not connected to you as a brand. 

As I mentioned earlier, a paid ad may get you to purchase a digital course from a creator, but you’ll never give them another dollar if you don’t connect to their brand.

Marketing can activate a buyer, but branding creates loyal lifetime customers and advocates for your brand.

3. Your products and services will look and feel just like your competition.

Competition is fierce on and offline. So you will always run into other companies that offer comparable or the exact products or services as you. Without branding, your company will appear just like theirs, and you’ll have to gain new clients on price alone.

But with unique branding, you can build loyalty and trust that will keep your customers returning for more.

“The most successful marketing campaigns are built from strong brand foundations because the marketing is fueled by a clearly defined target audience and message.” (source)

Recap: marketing vs branding

In the end, without branding, you may achieve some level of success, but with branding, your success will be far more substantial. 

Just as all strong and resilient structures have a solid starting point and foundation, your company will be no different with an appropriate branding strategy.

You must remember that building a brand is a long-term plan and is vital to the success of your business. 

When your branding and marketing co-exist well, your marketing will invite people to experience your brand. But it’s up to you to open the door and invite them into a relationship they can know, love, and trust.

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Marketing and branding agency

If you need an affordable way to improve your brand and marketing strategy, I invite you to check out our CORE Brand Marketing Group services. Visit to view our services list, past and current client work, and fill out an application to work with our team.

Whenever you’re ready, here are 3 ways I can help you:

  1. Build a Continuous Flow of New Clients Using This Simple Profit Pipeline™ – HERE!
  2. Turn Your Chaos Into Clarity in Just 90 Minutes with this One Call – HERE!
  3. Obtain the Support System You Need Inside Our Coaching Group – HERE!
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Since I share awe-inspiring resources and must-have products for business builders like you who want to streamline their business – my content may contain affiliate links for products I use and love. If you take action (i.e. subscribe, make a purchase) after clicking one of these links, I’ll earn a small commission. While it has no effect on your pricing, it’s my responsibility to let you know that an income (however small or large it may be) is made from recommending products I love, use, and share with other awesome people like yourself. With your support, I’m able to commit time to this blog and to each of you on your journey!

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