Branding vs Marketing

The Foundations of Business Development Tooling


Business Development tooling is something that both aspiring entrepreneurs and established companies can benefit from. Here we’ll explore two of the foundational elements of Business Development Tooling, and determine how they differ from standard marketing practices and services.


Branding is a widely misunderstood term. Most people consider branding to be nothing more than a company’s logo. While they wouldn’t be incorrect that a logo is a component of branding, they would be severely under-representing branding’s use cases and purposes. So if branding is more than just a logo, what else does it entail?


Simply put, branding is what you feel about a company when you’re exposed to its products, services, physical locations, staff attire, etc. Let’s take a look at some examples. We’ll start with some easily recognizable brands:


When you think of Home Depot, you likely immediately thought of the warehouse-sized building with the big orange logo. That’s certainly a good start. With that said, let’s delve deeper. Every employee that works at Home Depot is wearing an orange apron with their name hand-written at the top. Every sign in the store contains the brand’s colors. Every Home Depot has a very specific, intentional look and feel. All of these —and there are dozens more examples— are components of branding.

When you picture Apple, either as a product or as a store, the image of a minimalist, white, silver, clean aesthetic is going to be conjured up. Their stores all have a similar aesthetic, the same light-colored wood tables, white and silver as far as the eye can see, and a generally clean and minimalist appeal. All of their employees are in matching shirts; hell, I bet you could close your eyes and imagine exactly what type of person is working at the Apple store. None of this is done accidentally. From the uniforms to the type of person they hire, to the aesthetic, etc. it’s all part of the branding.

Have you ever walked into a target and seen blue signage? Have you ever seen an employee walking around in a purple hoodie? Have you ever seen a Target in a mall? Every facet of the brand is well established. The shopping carts, the signage, the uniforms, and the logo all represent a very specific branding approach.

The question is, what do you feel when you think of these brands? The answer isn’t so simple, but it’s the question that each of these organizations has to ask themselves with every product release, every service they offer, and every customer-facing decision that they make. When I think of Apple, I immediately feel a sense of quality and refinement. I feel a sense of clarity and cleanliness. I know that any issue I may have will be addressed in a very specific way. That’s right, even the processes by which a company handles issues can fall under the scope of branding.

Marketing and Exposure:

While marketing isn’t as misunderstood as branding, it’s an ever-shifting category of business expansion. If branding is the feeling that your clients/prospective clients get when they think of you, marketing largely consists of the measures a company employs to put their name, products, services, etc. in places where people can see them. The company pushes its brand out into the world for the people to see, and of course, then those people make determinations on how they feel based on the branding. Obviously, there’s a great deal more to marketing than this, but for all intents and purposes, this is a sufficient starting point. Marketing is the push, branding is the pull.

Standard Practices | The Death of Creativity in a Creative Realm

Billboards, and signage affixed to busses, trains, and benches, are all facets of marketing that are still being employed every day by major marketing companies. These examples demonstrate precisely how little creativity exists in the realm of marketing in 2022. The reason that these measures are still employed is simply that they still possess marginal effectiveness, and so therefore they haven’t yet been relegated to the dumpster. With that said, I ask you, are you convinced spending ten thousand dollars or more on a billboard is going to result in ten thousand dollars or more in revenue? If you’re unsure, it’s likely because you, like many of us, ignore billboards all the time, and the idea that the return on your investment will equate to the investment costs makes you feel skeptical.

So what’s a better way to push your name to the world, I hear you ask? If plastering your face on a billboard, a bus, a bench, etc. isn’t likely to garner any results, then what should you do? It’s a reasonable question to ask. It really is. Let’s explore further shall we?

There are roughly two billion websites on the internet at the time of writing this article. You can be almost entirely certain that there’s someone else in the world doing the exact same thing as you are. They’re either selling the same product, the same service, or otherwise making the same claims as you or your company. There are very few instances in which a company or an individual has created something completely new under the sun. For that reason, it’s important to know that you will likely always have some semblance of competition. This shouldn’t be viewed as a bad thing.

The first thing to consider is what are you, or your company doing that’s unique. Mind you, for the purposes of marketing, uniqueness doesn’t need to mean that it’s not being done elsewhere; but rather that it’s not being done by everyone in your field. If we explore this question, we can find the answer to creating you or your brand as the authority in a given field. If you or your company manages things in a way that is demonstrably different from that of many of your competitors, then this uniqueness can and should be spotlighted in your marketing.

What if I don’t do anything differently from the rest of the pack? Simple answer: We manufacture a difference. As the old adage goes, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. Let’s say you’re a dentist. Let’s further speculate that you have a small practice, and nothing about your practice is demonstrably different from that of your competition. The best course of action is to create a difference. Not in your practice, however. Rather, it’s better to demonstrate a difference in your outreach and engagement with the public.

This is where a company like The Grey Matter steps in. This is precisely what we do. We develop you or your company as an authority in your realm. The basics of creating you as an authority revolve around the understanding that the world of marketing has been changing, but marketing agencies are slow to adapt. We provide the tooling and services necessary for your business’s development and growth. We handle the branding, as well as the outreach/marketing measures that ultimately differentiate you from the rest of the businesses in your realm. While they’re spending their money on methods that are largely ignored, you’re investing in long-term, long-lasting measures that target the exact people you’re wanting to attract.

If you’re ever interested in getting a consultation, please feel free to contact us or schedule an appointment.