When I talk about building a brand, I’m not talking about marketing. They are different sides of the same coin. When I talk about a brand, I’m talking about a reputation, one that is created by six different pillars including your audience, messaging, promise, and more.

The biggest mistake I see businesses make with this is to get them confused and think they’re the same thing when they’re not. Marketing can help reinforce your brand to your customers, but marketing isn’t your brand. Your brand is created by a series of decisions about your business and how it works, talks, and looks before you talk to anyone.

Once you know who you are as a business, and as a brand, you can start taking the necessary actions to move forward and put your information or brand in front of the people who want to interact with it—your customers.

To give you a simple example, let’s use lasagna. Everyone has their way of making lasagna using unique ingredients and processes. Branding and Marketing are a lot like this. Branding is like your lasagna recipe -your ingredients list and your process. Marketing is the action of cooking the lasagna and serving it to others.

The question you always have to ask yourself when trying to tell the difference: “Is this something that I do, or is this part of who I am?”

If it’s something that your business does to gain sales, like putting itself in front of customers by going to a trade show, that would be marketing. However, deciding who you are and what kinds of things you want to say to people before you go to that trade show is branding.

Bottom line: Marketing is an action; branding is a way of being. It’s as simple as that.

All right, that’s all I’ve got. I’ll talk to you soon!