• Greg Hill

Marketing is Not Branding

I have a very good marketing friend who explains branding like this: Marketing is when you tell people what you do. Branding is when other people tell someone what you do.

I don’t agree with this. I think what he is talking about is just good marketing versus bad marketing. Branding has nothing to do with who is doing the telling. Branding has everything to do with what is being told.

Every marketing consultant, and every agency, says they do branding. It is invariably one on a long list of things they claim to do, because at some point everyone looking to hire them asks, “and you can do my branding, right?”

And that’s a really dangerous thing because Marketing and Branding are two entirely different disciplines. Asking a specialist in a specific marketing channel to create your brand is like asking the plumber to design your house. You know the plumbing will be awesome, but good luck with the rest of it.

A great marketing person is great because they can take you on a specific journey, creating a sticky social media campaign, or a compelling digital effort, or a PR program, or whatever.

A great brand person is great because they can help you see exactly what about your story is going to resonate across every channel, and for every audience member.

There are many people who can take you on your journey. But brand is not part of the journey. Brand is the map.

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