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  • Writer's pictureJerica Liew

From Brand Name To Marketing Fame: The Differences Between Branding & Marketing

From brand name to marketing fame

So, you've somehow found yourself here with this link.

You might be here for a couple of reasons.

You are considering working with KOVA, a Singapore-based consultancy that employs the principles of Swiss Design to shape tech, real estate, and hospitality brands, and you're interested in knowing more about the specificities of the industry we operate in.

Or you've committed the cardinal sin of mushing branding and marketing into one, and now your designer is schooling you on the differences between the two.

When running your own business, it's easy to get overwhelmed by buzzwords. Terms like "branding" and "marketing" are often used interchangeably, causing confusion. Understanding the distinct roles and functions of branding and marketing provides you with additional tools to grow your business.

This is where this article comes into play. It aims to demystify these concepts.

By clarifying the unique purposes and strategies behind branding and marketing, we provide you with the knowledge to leverage both effectively.

Defining Branding

Brand identity workbook

Before we highlight the differences between branding and marketing, let's first explain what each entails. With examples and prompts, this article aims to clarify their distinctions.

First, branding can be seen as the core of your business's identity, including its purpose, mission, vision, values, and unique traits that set you apart from competitors. Second, branding could also be defined as a set of sensory experiences that shape market perception.

At KOVA, our approach to branding aligns with the latter definition, adopting a more holistic belief. From this perspective, branding is an interdisciplinary concept that merges principles from design, communication, psychology, and sociology to craft a cohesive sensory experience for your customers.

One reason why you might envision how Apple would design a hotel is due to their mastery of branding touchpoints. These extend beyond their logo and slogan "think different", showing the significance of branding for a business.

Apple interior design

While I can't guarantee that you'll immediately become as iconic as Apple if you start investing in branding today, I am confident that you're moving in the right direction. One your competitors may not be exploring currently.

Regardless, we guide every one of our clients through several questions to create a brand strategy at the start of our engagement. This sets the tone for our engagement together and provides a roadmap for how we can start differentiating you in the market.

  • What are 3-4 adjectives you would use to describe your brand?

  • What are some adjectives that do not describe your brand's personality?

  • How would you explain your brand to a child?

  • If your brand were a film, what film would it be?

Defining Marketing

branding marketing iphone

Conversely, marketing encompasses the various methods businesses use to convey their message to their target audience, aiming ultimately to generate interest and sales.

It's a dynamic approach, continuously evolving in response to factors such as consumer sentiment, economic conditions, competitors' actions, and seasonal trends. Effective marketing campaigns are customised to diverse audience segments.

This is why we have YouTube marketing gurus who are able upload numerous videos providing the latest insights on Facebook Ads or Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). This is largely because small businesses with limited resources are often at the mercy of larger organisations like Meta and Google.

For those who may not be familiar, here are some common examples of marketing. Please note that this list is not exhaustive.

  • Digital Advertising involves using platforms like Google Ads or social media channels, such as Facebook and Instagram, to reach potential customers through targeted ads.

  • SEO is the process of optimising website content to improve search engine rankings and increase organic traffic.

  • Influencer Marketing is about partnering with influencers who have a significant following to promote products or services to their audience.

  • Public Relations is the management of the public image of the business through press releases, media relations, and events.

Distinguishing Branding & Marketing

Now that we understand what branding and marketing specifically entail, let's start comparing them. For the benefit of visual learners, we've distilled the following paragraphs into a table that highlights the differences between the two.

branding and marketing differences

  1. Branding builds loyalty Marketing is the strategic effort to grab a customer’s attention and make your brand known. For instance, a well-executed influencer marketing campaign might boost product visibility and increase short-term revenue by attracting new customers. Branding, on the other hand, is the art of keeping a customer's attention once it has been captured. It's about creating a lasting impression and fostering a deep connection with the audience. While marketing shouts, "Hey! I'm here!" Branding whispers, "Stay with me." Effective branding builds recognition, loyalty, and trust, ensuring customers return long after their initial purchase.

  2. Branding is macro Marketing strategies are often temporary and change with trends, campaigns, or seasons. Each marketing tactic has a beginning, middle, and end. Conversely, branding is an ongoing process that evolves with your company. As the business grows, so does its brand, adapting to new markets and customer expectations. Therefore, to facilitate this iterative process of branding, KOVA offers brand management. After defining your brand trajectory, positioning, messaging, and visual identity through our strategy sessions, we identify relevant touchpoints to manage and brand. This typically includes websites, blogs, social media, and newsletters. This process enables us to effectively ideate and implement your brand assets, allowing every business to perform and be perceived as a leader in their respective industry.

  3. Branding is the why Branding also impacts the internal team significantly. While marketing efforts are typically handled by specific roles within the company, a strong brand resonates with the entire team, fostering a sense of pride in the company’s vision. The impact of branding on the internal team can be significant, as demonstrated by the Boeing and McDonnell Douglas merger in 1997. Before the merger, Boeing employees were proud of their company's reputation for engineering excellence and innovation. However, post-merger, a perceived shift towards cost-cutting and financial performance over engineering integrity, coupled with high-profile issues, eroded this pride. When employees are passionate about the brand, their dedication and creativity thrive, fuelling the company's success from within. Therefore, while marketing strategies prompt immediate actions, branding lays the groundwork for a more sustainable form of success, both with customers externally and employees internally.


Understanding the distinct roles of branding and marketing is prudent for any business to maximise its chances of success.

Marketing focuses on capturing the customer's attention through various strategies, driving short-term results and sales. Branding, however, is about building a lasting connection, fostering loyalty, and creating a strong identity that resonates with both customers and employees.

At KOVA, we guide our clients through the intricate process of branding, helping them stand out in a competitive market while employing some tools such as content marketing, email marketing, and social media marketing. Our goal is to ensure a cohesive identity as perceived by the market.


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