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Most companies confuse communications with marketing. Both are intended to enhance demand but in so many companies the functions can get entangled.  And more recently, the impact of constant multichannel communication has blurred the line between when marketing kicks in and when communications takes over.

Let’s get started by clearly defining both concepts. Marketing is shaping who you are, what will make your offering meaningfully different from your competition, and using this compass to guide not only what you say but what you do to deliver your distinctive value to your key constituents in a compelling way. Communications is crafting the messages you would like to be received, and sending them out both to priority internal and external audiences.

So now by comparing both we can begin  to understand the following,


Marketing may contribute to a brand, but the brand is bigger than any particular marketing effort. The brand is what remains after the marketing has swept through the room. It’s what sticks in your mind that is associated with a product, service, or organization, whether or not, at that particular moment, you bought or did not buy.

The brand is ultimately what determines if you will become a loyal customer or not. The marketing may convince you to buy a particular Toyota, and maybe it’s the first foreign car you ever owned, but it is the brand that will determine if you will only buy Toyotas for the rest of your life.

The brand is built from many things. Very important among these things is the lived experience of the brand. Did that car deliver on its brand promise of reliability? Did the maker continue to uphold the quality standards that made them what they are?  That is the fundamental difference, marketing has a life cycle but branding doesn’t. An understanding of this is required when preparing marketing and branding communications to ensure effectiveness and conversions.


This works the same way for all types of businesses and organizations. All organizations must sell (including nonprofits). How they sell may differ, and everyone in an organization is, with their every action, either constructing or deconstructing the brand. Every thought, every action, every policy, every ad, every marketing promotion has the effect of either inspiring or deterring brand loyalty in whomever is exposed to it. All of this affects sales.

And so in essence marketing communications are geared towards seeking out and activating new buyers while branding communications aim to make the converted customers loyal to the brand essence


You make a promise to customers and colleagues with everything you do and, to be successful, you must deliver on that promise every single time. The idea that a brand is a badge, a name or a colour is just a tiny fraction of what a brand actually is.

Your brand is “only everything” within your company. As a result, it’s imperative to define what it stands for. You have to identify your target audience and what they want, say why you are better than your competitors and come up with a short statement that describes your brand’s purpose.

Some businesses know what they are from day one and as long as they stay small and keep the same employees, then they may not need to repeat this exercise. However, for most firms, things change – sales drop, people leave or a competitor threatens your space. Then what do you do? If you define what your brand stands for then it becomes easier to make decisions – who you should hire, what products to sell, how your communications should sound and even what your office environment should look like.

However, in marketing, you are making a promise to your would be customers that your product  will satisfactorily meet their needs. This is a very important consideration for the customer as it provides a basic motivation to purchase your product or engage your services.

So there you have it our take on the fundamental differences between marketing and branding. Did you think there are points we left out ? kindly use the comment section below to share your thoughts

To learn more about Branding, Register for our Brand-Building Course at Ellae Creative Design Agency.

We also have courses in Graphic Design, Web Design, Digital Marketing and HTML/CSS.

The next training session will be starting soon. Call us on +234(0)7060575236 or +234(1)4532729 to get started.








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