Branding vs. Marketing for Small Businesses: Key Differences and Strategic Insights

Branding vs. Marketing for Small Businesses: Key Differences and Strategic Insights

Today, I want to chat with you about two essential terms that you’ve probably heard a million times: branding and marketing. They’re kind of like fraternal twins in the business world—they’re related and share some traits, but they’re not identical. So, let’s unpack each one and see how they can play nicely together to help your business shine.

Branding: Who Are You Really?

Think of branding as your business’s personality. It’s all about who you are, what you stand for, and how you want the world to see you. Your business name, logo, colors, and the tone of voice you use—all these things create your brand. It’s like the face you present to the world.

Why is branding so important, especially for small businesses like yours? Because it helps you stand out from the crowd. It’s how your customers remember you and why they stay loyal. It’s like your secret sauce!

Take “BeanBrew,” a local coffee shop. They’re not just about caffeine fixes. Their brand is all about creating a cozy community space, offering quality coffee, and being kind to the planet. This branding makes them a favorite among coffee lovers in their community.

Marketing: Let’s Get the Word Out

Now, if branding is the face of your business, marketing is how you introduce that face to the world. Marketing is all about shouting from the rooftops about your amazing products or services. It’s about knowing who your customers are, what they want, and how to get their attention.

Marketing is super important for small businesses. It’s how you attract new customers and keep the existing ones coming back. It’s your ticket to business growth.

Branding vs. Marketing: What’s the Difference?

If you’re wondering how branding and marketing differ, think about it like this:

Branding is about creating your business’s identity, while marketing is about promoting that identity.

Branding is long-term, focusing on things like your reputation and customer loyalty. Marketing is more short-term, aiming for immediate goals like sales and lead generation.

Branding involves tasks like designing your logo and defining your mission. Marketing is about turning that brand vision into a living thing. 

I’ve found that business owners “kind-of” know this topic, but they don’t really know it. And I can tell by asking one simple question: can you show me the branding campaigns you’ve outlined for the upcoming months? 

Their answer: “what do you mean?”. They have thought about social media posts, newsletters, and possible articles for their blog. And while that is PART of what a marketing plan will have, that’s NOT ALL. 

Let’s put it this way: every brand strategist is a marketer. But not every marketer is a brand strategist. And if you want to grow a business today, you need to level up your branding game.

What does a Brand Strategist do?

A Brand Strategist is responsible for the overall brand awareness of a company. They help create, manage and maintain branding through various strategies. They conduct extensive research and use data to develop branding that fits the company and market to create a positive image of the organization. 

Brand Strategists can work for corporations or marketing agencies. An in-house Brand Strategist works with different departments and leaders to strengthen and maintain the organization’s branding. When working for an agency, a Brand Strategist works with different companies that come to the agency for help with their brand identity development and management. They meet with a company, develop branding and manage the branding or teach the company how to implement the branding strategies themselves.

When I was developing the Hispanic Market for Beachbody, my official title was “coach,” yet I played a significant role in their branding strategy team. My biggest challenge was figuring out how to sell a protein shake that cost five times more than a regular one. The company had some marketing materials in Spanish, but they didn’t genuinely reflect my culture.

I proposed a series of events, and they loved my idea. During that time, I was living in Connecticut and would often fly to San Juan to host these events. Reflecting on those times, I realize that from the inception of these events, Beachbody consistently ensured their brand was accurately represented. I incorporated my personality, as well as my team’s personality, into the mix. However, we always had to stay “on brand.”

Brand Strategist

Babak Azad, SVP, media & customer acquisition at Beachbody (the creators of P90X, Insanity and Shakeology), who helped the company acquire more than 10 million customers and eclipse $1 billion in sales, was interviewed in 2018 when Beachbody broke the news on hitting their billion dollar milestone. He said that what drove him to succeed was to focus on three areas — customer lifetime value, BRAND and operational excellence — can dramatically increase the chances of scalability and sustainability of a business. Source: Entrepreneur. 

The creators of P90x and Shakeology turned Beachbody into one of the most powerful fitness brands in the world. Beachbody just rebranded as BODi. Their rebranding strategy kicked off with a marketing campaign announcing their health esteem movement. 

What can business owners learn from Beachbody-now-BODi? 

One crucial lesson that every business can glean from this success story is that branding serves as the fountain of youth for a business. Your products may change, your team can adapt and evolve, but a robust brand remains timeless.


My experience with Beachbody became the foundation of what I’ve done as an entrepreneur and business owner and what I do today for the brands we grow in our agency.

Branding and Marketing: Better Together

The real magic happens when branding and marketing come together. 

Your brand guides your marketing efforts, helping you craft the right messages and choose the best channels to reach your customers. Meanwhile, your marketing helps spread the word about your brand, enhancing its image.

Imagine your brand as your business’s heart, pumping out your values and identity. Marketing is like the veins, carrying this identity to the world. 

Without a brand, your marketing lacks focus. Without marketing, your brand stays hidden. 

So there you have it! Now you know the difference between branding and marketing and why they’re both super important for your small business. 

The next time you’re about to send a newsletter to your customers, think about their experience with your BRAND. 

When you are sharing content on social media, think about how will your future customers FEEL about that content. Will they gain any value? Will they EXPERIENCE a particular feeling? What are the feelings that you want to project as a business?

Your brand is like a person! It has FEELINGS! And if you tap into the power of a strong brand strategy, the opportunities are endless!

Remember, your brand is the heart of your business, and marketing is how you let the world know you’re here. 

And hey, if you ever want to chat with a brand strategist, I’m a click away. Book a call and let’s chat. I would be honored explore how far can your brand elevate your business.

Recession-Proof Your Business DIY Website Audit

The Greatness Blog

Recession-Proof Your Business DIY Website Audit

Learn how to do a website audit yourself and find ways to make your site more effective at generating leads – even in a recession!

If you’re like most businesses, your website is likely one of your biggest missed opportunities. In today’s day and age, people are increasingly turning to the internet to find products and services. As a result, a well-designed website can be a powerful tool for attracting new customers. Furthermore, a website provides you with a platform to showcase your products or services in the best light possible. In other words, a website is an essential tool for any business that is looking to grow.



So, what makes a good website? 


There are a few key elements that you should keep in mind. First and foremost, your website should be easy to navigate and user-friendly. Secondly, it should be visually appealing and informative. Finally, your website should be optimized for search engines so that potential customers can easily find you online. By keeping these elements in mind, you can ensure that your website is an effective tool for attracting new business.


In this article, we will go over a website audit – DIY so you can explore potential missed opportunities.



Questions to consider when auditing your website


Before you can start thinking about auditing your website, you need to be clear on what problem your business solves. That might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s amazing how many businesses don’t have a clear answer to that question. Once you know what problem you solve, you can start thinking about how your website communicates that to visitors. 

  1. Is it clear and concise? 
  2. Do you use language that your target audience will understand? 
  3. Do you provide enough information to help people make a decision? 

These are all important questions to consider when auditing your website. Because at the end of the day, a brand is what people think about your business. And you want them to think highly of you. 


Keep your target audience in mind


If you’re in a situation where you have a strong brand but you’re not targeting the right audience, making some changes to your branding messaging can have a big impact. Along with a clear call to action, revamping your branding can help you reach your target market more effectively. Keep in mind, however, that it’s important to remain true to your brand identity. Don’t make any radical changes that could confuse or alienate your existing customer base. Instead, focus on making subtle adjustments that will help you reach your target market without compromising your brand identity.

Pro tip:  Rebrand when there is no other option. Making subtle changes in a few website pages might be what your business needs today. 


Your website goals


A website is no longer a static business card. In order to compete in today’s market, your website must be updated regularly with exclusive offers and a user-friendly interface. If your goal is to increase revenue, your website must be designed with this goal in mind. 


Home page DIY audit

Some of the questions that will help you audit your website:

  1. Is the home page eye-catching?
  2. Can your visitors read about the problem you solve for them, within the first 5 seconds of landing?
  3. Is the menu easy to navigate?
  4. Do you have excessive text?  
  5. Do you have calls to action so that users know how they can do business with you? 

Pro tip: The home page is not always your top-visited page. Be sure to check your Google Analytics so you can see how are people coming to your website and prioritize your top pages.


How do I generate leads from my website?


One of the main goals of having a website is to generate business. But before you can generate business, you need to generate leads. And when you’re auditing your website, one of the key areas to explore is how you’re generating leads. If you’ve never generated leads online before, this should be your starting point. 

There are a number of ways to generate leads on your website, and which methods you choose will depend on your business and your audience.


Common ways to generate more leads on your website:

Some common methods include using forms to collect contact information, providing gated content that requires an email address to access, and running ads that target people who are interested in your products or services. 

Pro tip: Combine your lead capture with a strong email marketing strategy so you can nurture your audience and add value consistently.  


Free Website Audit Tools


Before you start making changes to your website, it’s important to do a comprehensive assessment of how it’s performing currently, from the technical point of view. Know that when a site has technical errors, Google won’t rank it. And this is crucial in order for you to determine where your focus should truly be.  

This is what’s known as a technical website audit or a “website health check”. By taking a close look at your page views, bounce rate, average time on page, and other key metrics, you can get a sense of where your website needs improvement. 

There are a number of tools that can help you with this process, including Google Analytics, Moz’s SEO Explorer, SEM Rush, and AHREFS, just to name a few. 

By taking the time to do a thorough audit of your website, you can ensure that any changes you make will be based on data and will have a positive impact on your website’s performance.


What Should You Do Now?

Chances are, your DIY website audit reflects that it’s time to make some changes. But the most important part of taking the time to do this audit is to understand which changes matter the most. 

If you found no traffic, or a very high bounce rate, and your Google Search Console has errors, this means it’s a technical SEO problem. This should be your highest priority. Hiring a senior-level SEO will take care of all your needs in one: from technical SEO, to optimizing for brand awareness, traffic, or conversion rates optimizations. 

A good SEO strategy will also improve your website’s usability and design. They’ll make sure your website is easy to navigate and looks good on all devices. This will help improve your website’s user experience, which is another ranking factor for Google. Finally, a good SEO will also help you create high-quality content that is engaging and relevant to your audience. content that is engaging and relevant to your audience. And this is how you’ll turn your website into possibly replacing a sales team! 


Join our Free Marketing Resource Center


You’re always hustling, trying new things, and looking for an edge on the competition. We get it. And we’re here to help. Our Marketing Resource Center is full of tips, tricks, and tactics that can help you market smarter and more effectively. Plus, it’s a great way to stay up-to-date on the latest industry news and trends. So if you’re serious about marketing your business for success, join our Resource Center today. It’s free, and you’ll be glad you did.

Click here to join our resource center.

Lead Generation Strategies: Your Master Guide for Finding Ideal Prospects (PDF 100 Ways To Generate Leads)

Fact: Leads are the heart of any business. 

But why? 

Because you’re in business to make a profit, and you can only make a profit if you provide the products and services that your customers demand. 

Wait a second! Shouldn’t advertising bring you clients? This seems like a legit question, right? The inconvenient truth is: marketing and sales are two separate activities that are intended to bring you profits. 

If you’re a solopreneur, you probably learned this lesson the hard way. You realize that there are only 24 hours in a day and you need to work on your lead generation activities, work with clients, plus find creative juices to market your business. 

It’s exhausting! And when the cash flow is not at the level that you expected, your business starts to bring more stress than joy.

Joy is coming your way, no worries! 

Let’s discuss my favorite talk! It’s called 100 Ways To Generate Leads. 

I’ve been doing this talk in person and the response has been so amazing that I decided to share my talk with our blog readers– just because you’re wonderful.

And… if you’re reading this during the month of August, you’re primed to sprint over the last 90 productive days we have left before 2020 comes. 

You read it right. We have about 13 days before we start thinking about turkey. Once this happens, 2020 is right around the corner. For most professionals and entrepreneurs, the holidays slow down their prospecting activities. 

So let’s hook you up with my 100 Ways To Generate Leads. Get ready to implement proven strategies to grow your business!

Common Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make When Generating Leads

A common mistake that many entrepreneurs make when it comes to generating sales leads is to try and use only mass communication techniques. 

Some start collecting contacts and add them to their newsletters. Others add their contacts to their social media channels and start prospecting right away. 

What is the problem with mass communication techniques?  

Your contacts are not leads!  Just because I accepted you as a friend on Facebook doesn’t mean I’m interested in buying from you or hire your services. Prospecting on social media is possible. But it’s not about spamming people.

Or … another example, with networking events. People show up to networking events full of business cards. They approach new connections and hand out their business cards, simply saying “Hello, nice meeting you, here is my business card, can I have yours?”  Then… they add the contact to their email list. 

If your email list has contacts that never showed any intention to work with you and you added them just because you thought they should read your content, those are not leads. 

During my workshop, I formed a debate with the audience, asking them how they define what a lead is. I got many different answers! 

A lead is a sales lead when they have expressed interest in your products or services. For example: they requested an appointment and you have clarified that the appointment is to talk about your products or services (not theirs). Trust me here. I’ve seen this over and over. Especially those coffee invites.  This is another common mistake.

I know why entrepreneurs do it. They want to put their name out there.

While getting your message out to as many people as possible can be beneficial in many respects, personal contact is just as important if you are hoping to develop a long-term relationship with your customers and clients.

You need a lead generation system. 

First Steps To Build Your Lead Generation System

I wrote an article on prospecting explaining my eight “tags” I use to classify the contacts, with each definition, in case you need more clarification on what is a lead. 

For now, let’s get you to review your revenue goals and try to calculate your conversion rates:

  • From connections (suspects) to prospects, what is your ratio?
  • From prospects to leads?
  • From leads to sales opportunities?

About a year ago I hired a sales team so they could help me work with my list of “qualified leads.”  While the sales team did an amazing job at following up with the list, we realized that these leads had the wrong classification. 

This helped us changing our lead generation system completely.

We decided to clean up our email marketing system, and deleted the leads that came from free tools we offered on landing pages- free book, free PDF, free webinar and only tagged leads when they requested a discovery session or completed a marketing assessment.   

Who Is A Lead For Your Business, Anyway?

Don’t just tell me “anyone with a face” if you sell skincare products. Those are not leads! They are not even prospective customers.  Come up with a clear activity that will help you filter or “funnel” those contacts further into your pipeline, so you can generate more leads and track your real conversion rate.

100 Ways To Generate Leads

So let me tell you about this list. It has both digital marketing ways and offline marketing strategies. I called them “ways” but there is a strategy for each.

For example, business cards. You can say “oh I have business cards” and check that item on the list!  But, are your business cards strategized to turn someone from contact into a prospect? If your business cards just have your contact information, then you are missing a GREAT opportunity to generate leads. 

Your 30 second commercial or elevator pitch is another big one. Learning how to communicate in a way that you can promote your business with ease and grace might take some practice, but with some strategies, you can master this skill. I teach a very simple template to craft the elevator pitch: I do ____________ so that ____________.

When you’re describing your services, always keep in mind WITFM = What Is In There For Me, Don’t just say what you do. Features tell what you can do. Benefits sell by relating how the product or service features help the buyer. 

The list also includes places where you can have a listing. This is HUGE for small business owners. You want to take the time to explore where can you add your name and listing, to add more opportunities to connect with prospects. 

I’m sure you will be able to gather a lot of strategies, just from this list. Let’s get you the full version!

How To Select Your Best Ways To Get Leads

With the list, take an inventory of what you have done to generate leads and which strategies you would like to add. 

✔ Those that you have already mastered and have generated results, will stay. Then, add:

✔Those lead generation activities that fit your talent and skills zone. You have no time to lose! 

✔Add those lead generation activities that someone else will do on your behalf. Outsource!

You should have at least 15 lead generation strategies to incorporate to your prospecting activities.  Take a moment and work on the list! 

1) I’ve mastered these 5 Lead Generation Ways: (Networking, Social Media, Nextdoor App)



2) I would like to learn how to master these 5 Lead Generation Ways: (Social media, podcasting, LinkedIn)



3) I would love to outsource these 5 Lead Generation Ways: (Content Marketing, SEO, Webinars)



A Forensic Marketing Expert Makes A Difference

Jessica Campos, JD, BBA is an educator, author, forensic digital marketing expert & strategist.  She traded in her law career in order to pursue her passion: helping entrepreneurs build wealth by taking advantage of the thriving content economy. 

Jessica‘s 15+ years of experience in entrepreneurship, background in law and business, tracked online sales record, and her network, represent a wealth of resources for professionals and entrepreneurs that want to attain success.

Get instant access to her latest book, The 6 Golden Rules of Social Media at And while you’re there, make sure to check The Greatness Blog and The Greatness Marketing Podcast. 

Book a Free Forensic Marketing Session and let’s get ready to know what I know