The Difference Between Brand and Marketing

Brand and marketing

The Difference Between Brand and Marketing

People still tend to use the terms Brand and Marketing interchangeably. What’s the difference? And why does it matter?


It’s easier to talk about what a brand is not than what it is.

A brand is not a logo design, signage, letterhead, or corporate identity guideline. As important as these devices are, they simply indicate what tribe you’re from. Think of a brand as that space in your markets head which defines what they think or say about you.

To define your brand, you’ll need to work through a process with each ‘module’ forming a piece of the puzzle as they logically feed off and into each other. If there’s a ‘logic break’ you could end up with a confused or even schizophrenic brand.

Typically, you’ll journey through the following modules:

  • Brand vision – how does your brand differentiate? What does it stand for?
  • Brand objectives – what job must the brand do in your markets’ heads?
  • Brand values – what is it that resonates with your audience?
  • Brand personality – Professional? Whacky? Irreverent? Authentic?
  • Brand positioning statement – in one short sentence. Who does your brand connect with? Why does it connect with certain people?
  • Brand Archetype – Creator? Sage? Caregiver? Innocent? Jester? Magician? Ruler? Hero?

All the above provides vital clues and direction to your creative agency, whether that’s logo design, website design, copy style, social media posts, or even sales presentations. Everything!

Brand strategy is a right brain discipline where the focus is on ‘connecting’ with your audience in a consistent and differentiated way.


Marketing is a left-brain function. Structured. Linear.

What do we want to achieve? And how will we achieve it?

How will we take our brand to market? Let’s list a few marketing channels or platforms.

  • The Sales Team. Hunters? Or Farmers? Are they presenting a consistent message? Is the marketing structure optimal?
  • Digital assets. Meta. TikTok. LinkedIn. Facebook. YouTube. Metaverse. And more. Google. All good and cool but do they address the market that you’re trying to reach? And have you got an efficient fulfilment process to convert inquiries to business.
  • How much media budget can you invest in these assets each month? Yes, each month.
  • Your website is a digital asset, arguably your highest capital cost outlay. Does it portray your brand accurately? Does it say within seconds why ‘you’re the one’? Is it user-friendly?
  • And of course, traditional print still has a role to play.

Each of these assets has different dynamics, purposes and cost structures so be very clear on who you’re trying to reach, what your unique selling proposition is, and how you differentiate. The last two will be found in your Brand Strategy.

Brand Gap.

Make sure that the Brand and Marketing teams work closely together. Common purpose, no gaps. When there’s a ‘miss’ your Brand and Marketing budget gets gobbled up as it falls into the abyss of the brand gap. Plus, the market gets confused.

When Brand and Marketing converge, the entire organisation enjoys common purpose. Petty politics and agendas fall away, and your team rallies behind its core focus – the market.

Gary Hendrickse
CEO Sherpa


Sherpa is a brand strategy, graphic design, and digital marketing company. Established in 2006, Sherpa has served clients throughout South Africa, Namibia, South Sudan, DRC, Mozambique, UK, USA, and Australia. Industries worked include financial services, healthcare, consulting, pharmaceutical, logistics, accounting, legal, technology, commercial and retail property, and local government.

Sherpa Brand & Design Agency
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