The Difference Between Brand and Marketing by @WEARESpectaculr

Brand and Marketing and the difference between the two is not just misunderstood in business it is misunderstood in most companies and even in their marketing departments.

I have worked as both a General Marketer and as Head of Brand and I wanted to give you an easy guide that will help navigate your way between the two areas of brand and marketing plus help you realise their potential to ultimately help your business.

Brand is my real passion and it was only when I was working with a ‘Brand Guru’ that I started to understand what it really was.

I was taught that a brand is that it is a ‘promise delivered’. This is the best definition of what a brand is that I have came  across in my career. You make a promise to customers and colleagues with everything you do advertising, products, service etc and therefore to be successful you must deliver on that promise every single time. So my idea (along with most people) of a brand being a badge, a name or a colour is on about 5% of what your brand actually is.

Your brand is ‘only everything’ within your company and therefore defining your target audience, what they want, why you are better than your competitors and a short statement that describes your company or brand’s purpose and writing it down is imperative for your business. Most businesses know what they are from day one and as long as they stay small and keep the same employees then you will be able to get by without the exercise above, however if sales drop, if people leave, if a competitor threatens your ‘patch’, then what do you do and what do you base any future decisions on? If you define what your brand stands for then it becomes easier as you can use it as a clear lens to view every decision through like who you should hire, what products to sell, how your communications should sound and even what your office environment should look like.

The key to unlocking all of this is involving your employees to take them through this process and having a brand expert on hand to help guide you through the process. This does not need to be costly or take up too much time, however once this is done it could last a company for 5 – 20 years or longer if done well.

So what about Marketing then?

Marketing is simply defined by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as ‘The management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably’. Therefore your marketing is an integral part of your brand as your marketing in essence helps you make the promise that you are wanting customers to know about. Your marketing should also be completely based on your brand positioning, personality, values and tone of voice that have all been defined and socialised amongst all staff.

In essence, Marketing is what you do to get your message or promise across to customers, your Brand is how you keep the promise made through delivery to customers and colleagues.


Mark McCulloch is Founder & CEO of ‘WE ARE Spectacular’ – a collective of nine boutique, independent agencies covering Brand, Marketing, Digital, Social and PR.

Twitter: @WEARESpectaculr