Skip to main content

Brand vs. product marketing: What’s the difference?

By August 1, 2023August 3rd, 2023No Comments

Brand vs. product marketing is a complementary concept. Both are essential components of your B2B marketing strategy. While closely related, they serve different purposes and focus on distinct aspects of your company’s marketing efforts.

With the pressure to generate leads, many B2B marketers make the mistake of leading with product marketing, only to be left to explain to their leadership why those efforts are falling flat.

This is especially true for those organizations with long sales cycles that stretch well over one year and where a buying committee composed of multiple stakeholders drives the buying decision.

The reality is that your product marketing and company brand work hand-in-hand to meet that buying committee’s needs and keep them interested throughout the extended sales cycle.

An experienced health tech marketing agency can help you bring together a cohesive branding and product marketing framework to help your organization meet its marketing goals and business objectives most efficiently.

Here’s a breakdown of the key differences between brand vs. product marketing in:

  • Focus
  • Scope
  • Impact

Definition and focus

The first step for the B2B marketing leader is to define and articulate both brand and product marketing, as well as how they roll up to your company’s brand architecture.

Brand marketing: Brand marketing, also known as branding, is the process of creating a distinct identity for a company in the minds of its target audience. It involves shaping how the company is perceived, what it stands for, and the emotions or associations it evokes.

Branding is a long-term strategy that seeks to accomplish the following with your target audience:

  • Build trust, credibility, and loyalty
  • Establish a positive reputation
  • Foster a strong connection

Product marketing: Product marketing is a tactical approach focusing on promoting specific products or services.

Product marketing is a short-term strategy that does the following to attract potential customers:

  • Craft targeted marketing campaigns
  • Highlight the unique features and benefits
  • Address the target audience’s pain points

Scope of messaging framework

Knowing that the purpose of your brand and product marketing is different, and as such, so should the scope of the messaging framework.

Branding: Your brand messaging is intentionally high-level and speaks to the company’s overall image and perception. Depending on your organization, it may include your Golden CircleTM, your mission, values, culture, visual identity, tone of voice, and brand promises. The goal of your brand marketing is to resonate more universally with your target market—beyond just your individual products and services.

Product marketing: While rich in detail, your product marketing framework is narrow in focus on your specific product or service. Product messaging positions your product in the market, differentiates it from the competition and provides the proof points to communicate the claims to each target persona. It’s perfectly acceptable to get into the weeds.

Impact on the business

Clear brand and product marketing are essential to your organization’s short- and long-term success.

Branding: If your company is to have staying power, effective brand marketing is vital to a long-lasting impact on a company’s success. A strong brand can lead to customer loyalty, increased market share, and, ultimately, your competitive advantage.

Product marketing: Your product marketing directly impacts short-term sales and revenue by driving demand for your specific products and services. It helps your organization achieve product-specific goals, such as generating leads, acquiring new customers, and increasing sales for a specified time.

Build your marketing organization on the Tower of Power™

Knowing the differences between product vs. brand marketing is important, but it’s even more critical to know how they work together to help your organization meet its goals and objectives.

Your brand marketing and product messaging are the foundation for accelerating company growth and revenue—make sure your marketing efforts complement each other, not compete.

Melanie Hilliard

Author Melanie Hilliard

Melanie is an Account Director and Content Lead at Clarity Quest. Nothing makes her heart sing more than fantastic marketing. To learn more about Melanie's experiences and qualifications, visit our leadership team page.

More posts by Melanie Hilliard