Branding Vs. Marketing: What’s the Difference and Why it Matters

August 08, 2017

Branding Vs. Marketing: What’s the Difference and Why it Matters

Basically, branding v. marketing is the difference between who you are and how you make people aware of who you are. While real estate marketing is typically held as the more important of the two, real estate branding is just as—if not more—important in creating a memorable, valuable, and profitable real estate company. Here’s why.

A brand is an identity.

Let’s start by using yourself as an example: Your personal brand consists of the clothes you wear. The car you drive. The restaurants you frequent. Do you listen to country music? Or heavy metal? Do you have tattoos? Or wear a bowtie every day? Each of these choices gives signals to the people you encounter about the kind of person you are—whether it’s true or not, whether you like it or not. Maybe you’ve spent years meticulously crafting the way you appear to others or maybe you haven’t spent a single second. Either way, how you present yourself to other people and the way they perceive you is your brand. The same is true with your business, whether you’re running a top master planned community or are an up-and-coming home builder.

“What other people think of you is none of your business.”

While this phrase comes in handy on the journey to becoming an enlightened individual, it’s not very helpful in real estate branding. After all, your master planned community, homebuilding company, or luxury real estate community has a brand, whether you’ve put time into crafting that brand or not. And whenever people encounter your brand—whether it’s hearing your radio spot, watching your TV ad, visiting your website, driving by your location, or having a good or bad customer experience with a sales rep—helps cement that brand image of your business into their minds. And that definitely is your business if you want to run a successful one.


Branding is the art and science of carefully curating an identity that will stand out in the minds of your customers. Often, real estate branding efforts are either not a priority, not well executed, or haven't been seriously considered. That means it can be hard for home buyers to see a difference between home builders and communities—which can create immense opportunities for you.

That’s because award-winning real estate advertising comes from uncovering your brand’s differentiation, distilling it into a brand promise (what we call your Brand DNA), and conveying that brand to potential homebuyers—the exact right audience at the exact right time. And that’s where marketing comes in.


Marketing is the combination of tools and tactics you use to deliver the message of your brand.

Because now that you’ve expertly defined your brand and how it differentiates you in the mind of customers, it’s time to make potential home buyers aware of it. And while there are endless and ever-evolving ways to reach your target market—SEO, social media marketing, mobile marketing, over the top marketing, print, radio, TV, brochures—it’s of the utmost importance that each real estate marketing tactic supports your brand’s core values.

For example, to help our real estate marketing clients succeed, we focus on these four most important areas:

•Sophisticated audience targeting
•Multiple lead generation tactics
•Pinpoint lead conversion tracking
•ROI reporting on the marketing dollar

Memorably communicating a client’s Brand DNA across all channels, optimizing each campaign to perform with measurable and consistent ROI, is a challenging yet truly rewarding job. And we love our jobs.

We’re also experts in leveraging programmatic buying, real time bidding (RTB) and big data to identify our clients’ customers to then deliver the right message, on the right device, at the right time. Why waste impressions on people who aren’t potential customers? Then we market their brands by implementing a wide range of tactics, from billboards to banner ads. This creates immense value and an undeniable competitive advantage. And that’s what we’re all after, right?


For 35+ years we've helped sell more than 100,000 new homes and generate over $250 billion in revenue for the global real estate industry. Our passion—creating effective, ROI-driven branding, marketing, and digital solutions—has produced unprecedented success for privately held home builders and developers as well as many of the top real estate brands in the world.

In fact, our work has become the most consistent barometer of creative excellence in the real estate industry. With 108 Gold Nationals awarded by the National Association of Home Buildering and more than 500 Silvers to date, no other real estate branding agency comes close to our winning record of creative and strategic leadership.

Get in touch to see what award-winning real estate branding and real estate marketing we can do for you.

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