The Difference between Marketing and Branding

The Difference between Marketing and Branding

Bamidele has decided to start a high-end shoe business for women. She has looked at the market and its players, and believes that she has identified a space where her shoe line can thrive. She is particularly excited about her products and is eager to launch. The main focus of the business is delivering stylish shoes that are also comfortable. Before she launches, she decides to hire professionals who will package and sell her business to the world at large. She invites two professional firms to pitch to her and her team, one an agency, the other a brand consultancy.

Consultancy X is the first to pitch. They are just as excited as Bamidele about the products.

They like the idea of creating shoes that are stylish yet comfortable for the everyday woman. They have created marketing campaigns that speak to this and which will run over a specified time period. Based on their market research, Consultancy X has identified a target group within the market they believe Bamidele’s products are right for. They have determined the language, imagery and aesthetic that will work well for Bamidele’s products and the identified target market. They have looked at the appropriate and relevant mediums for the campaigns, determined the ideal time frame and are confident that their ideas will launch Bamidele’s company and see her capture market share.

Consultancy A adopts a different approach. They start at the beginning. They want to understand Bamidele’s reasoning for launching a high-end shoe line and what she envisions for the company. They ask questions to determine the types of products that she will be selling, the product line up and the ideal customer. They conduct research on the state of the women’s shoe market to determine amongst other things where Bamidele’s company should be positioned in the market. They are interested in Bamidele’s expectations for the company. They sit down with her and her team, and craft the mission, vision, values and business focus of the company. They tease out the promises she wants to make to her customers and craft it elegantly. They look at her company’s name and design a logo that fully encapsulates her company, and the image she seeks to project. They assess her internal framework to make sure that she has the right tools and team in place to launch and be successful. They design her website, the language of the business and the communication strategy. They look to the future and along with Bamidele develop a 5-year strategic plan that focuses on gaining and retaining market share as well as cementing the business in the high-end shoe market. They develop internal policies and frameworks to help the company periodically assess the progress of the 5-year strategic plan and determine if there is a need to restrategise.

Bamidele thus has two options: marketing or strategic branding?

Marketing focuses on the here and now. Branding examines the past, analyses the now and focuses on the future.

If you want to know more about branding and how you can position your business for the future whilst reaping the benefits of the now, contact Alder Consulting at