Branding vs Marketing – Are They Not The Same?

Branding vs Marketing – What is the Difference?

In this WOI 101, we compare branding and marketing. So, Branding vs Marketing, aren’t they just the same thing? The simple answer is NO.  However, branding and marketing go hand in hand (along with Public Relations, but that’s another conversation).  

Here at White Orchid Insights, we offer both branding and marketing to our clients to provide a comprehensive and full-service offering.

What is Branding?

Branding is strategic, it is about building up the customer relationship and trust and ultimately, loyalty.  Great branding conveys a promise and a message to your customers.  Branding helps ensure customers return to you on a long-term basis because they trust you and feel good about buying from you.  It is about conveying a story, a lifestyle – something that your customers can connect and relate to. An example?  The “Michael Jordan Effect”.

The Air Jordan “Jumpman” is an instantly recognizable logo for most people.  When you see the logo, what do you think?  Most people will think “Michael Jordan”, “basketball”, “dunks”, “championships”, “winner” and of course “sneakers”.  With such connotations, you are more likely to buy those sneakers because you want to be associated with those words and fundamentally Michael Jordan – who knows, if you embrace the brand, could you be just like Mike too? This is a somewhat crude and obvious example, but you get the picture. Wellness and lifestyle entities, business aviation brands, international schools, Instagram influencers, fuel companies, sportswear brands, service providers – basically, all brands needs a strong brand identity.  Telling a compelling story gets slightly more challenging when the product or service isn’t traditionally “sexy” or exciting, but this is where creative branding comes in.

Nike Air Jordan The iconic Nike brand


Branding is about evoking an emotional connection between the buyer and the brand. It’s about an alignment of values, interests, and goals. Whilst some elements of branding are obvious, much of it is highly nuanced. If you are not sure how to get started in building or adjusting your brand identity, we can help!

Take White Orchid Insights as an example. Although we are founded by and operated by women, we have opted for a gender-neutral approach to our brand. Why? Because our target customers exist across a broad base and the brand should, to an extent reflect this. Our brand should speak to our values and where we sit in the ecosystem of our industry, so should yours.

WOI serves clients from business aviation, international education, government, and airport through to sportswear, wellness, and luxury brands. Our brand reflects our ability to understand and work with a variety of industries, brands, and customer groups.  When looking at your brand, it’s important to get clear on your values, your target audience, and create an experience that marries the two.

Now you have your brand personality, brand assets, and brand experience clear. You are ready to start getting the word out with marketing, PR, and creative communications.

Branding vs Marketing – So what makes marketing different from branding?

What is Marketing?

Marketing is about tactics. It includes packaging up the brand into a series of assets and activities and ensuring the USP is clear in terms that make sense to the audience in question.  It is about making the 3 seconds of customer attention count so you get more time, more attention, more understanding from your customer. Marketing also includes having a responsive approach and acting on market sentiments i.e. the customer group’s wishes and requirements.  If branding is a promise, marketing is about the actual promotion of the products and services.  Good marketing persuades customers that they WANT your products or services.

An industry recognized success story of 2020 was Direct Line’s revamped marketing campaign of their services.  Marketing Week recognized this campaign in their “The best marketing campaigns of 2020: Part1”. Direct Line shelved an already successful campaign “The Fixer” to “We’re on it” and used references to superheroes such as The Ninja Turtles in their videos emphasizing that customers should use Direct Line for its speediness and ability to solve problems…quicker than a superhero as the campaigns suggested.  Direct Line Group brands director Kerry Chilvers was quoted as saying that this new campaign was 20% more effective than the original “The Fixer” at driving sales in both short and long term.

So, can we do Branding without Marketing?

The simple answer is no.  Branding and marketing go hand in hand.  Great branding helps to strengthen a company’s marketing efforts, but great marketing campaigns are needed to strengthen a company’s brand.  All in all, encouraging a customer to believe in a brand and wanting their products and services.  The goal is to build customer loyalty leading to higher sales and profits for a company.

Need help? WOI offers services for businesses large and small.

Check out our services for: small business, business aviation, education, and non-profits. If you don’t see what you are looking for, please get in touch with our multi-lingual team for a bespoke quote.

Thank you for reading this article, if you enjoyed it you may also like 6 Ways to Better Improve with your Audience.

About WOI

White Orchid Insights is a creative PR and marketing agency offering consultancy and services across digital and traditional marketing, public relations and media engagement, communications, and events. We offer services for the travel, transport, luxury, international education, wellness, F&B, start-up, consumer products, and non-profit sectors.


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