Hirtenstraße 19, 10178 Berlin, Germany

+49 30 24041420




What is the difference between branding, PR, marketing and advertising?

Many people use the terms branding, PR, marketing and advertising interchangeably but they are not the same. All of these disciplines use different tactics, resulting in different outcomes. They can be used individually or together, depending on an individual business and scaled according to business size. This handy graphic describes these differences very quickly.


Marketing is the process of getting a customer interested in and eventually purchasing (which can be called sales) your product or service. This is a core business discipline, which is underpinned by the four P’s: product, price, place and promotion. Marketing is the complex combination of wearing both a business and customer hat, to come up with an offering that satisfies a business requirement for profitability and a customer requirement for a product that they need, want and can justify paying for.


Public Relations, PR or communications focuses on persuasion, reputation and publicity. Have you ever wondered why some newspaper articles about a certain business are glowing or how public figures can always make amazing speeches that deliver a message clearly and leave people feeling good? That is all thanks to the amazing writing of their PR team. A large business can also separate out internal and external communications. Internal communications are important to keep employees engaged and invested, as they are fully aware of what is happening, what the goals are and what behaviour is expected of them within a company.


There are many forms of advertising, which you may have seen including TV, radio, newspaper, and outdoor advertising on banners and billboards. Advertising uses short and sharp messaging to improve business visibility or promote a specific offering which can be very effective, especially if it is using a medium seen by the target customer. Advertising often uses strategies such as repetition, bold design, music, images and interesting language to be memorable and lead to a sale. The next time you find yourself singing a tune from an advert, you know why!


The holy grail of our industry is establishing a strong brand. Branding is how your customer feels about your company and product. When you think of a Ferrari, regardless of knowing whether it has been well built, you just know it’s going to an amazing car. Branding is the process of building assets, imagery, a unique position in the market and creating a customer expectation of what they will get every time they use your company. To establish a strong brand, you need to use all the previous three tactics as well as using strong design and strategy. This is best done in partnership with a strong experienced marketing agency, such as JFM.

Luckily, you don’t need to be an expert on these disciplines or how to execute them. JFM Marketing and Design are specialists in all of these areas and can help you tailor the right solution for your business.