Branding? Advertising? Marketing?

Over the past couple of months, the same question has been repeatedly cropping up for me; what is marketing, advertising, and reputation?  How is branding different? 

Marketing is the “art and science of choosing target markets and getting, keeping, and growing customers through creating, delivering and communicating superior customer value” (Kotler, Keller, & Cunningham, p. 3, 2008).  For example, Tim Horton’s introduced iced and frozen beverages to appeal to a market of customers that want a cold drink in the summer.

Advertising is “any paid form of nonpersonal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods or services by an identified sponsor”.  (Kotler, Keller, & Cunningham, p. 272, 2008)  Tim Horton’s uses television, radio, magazines, newspapers and online media platforms to let customers know they serve iced and frozen drinks.

An organization’s reputation is created by fulfilling the promise made by its brand to its many internal and external stakeholders. (Ettenson, & Knowles, 2008) Tom Horton’s builds its reputation by consistently serving quality food and beverages at a reasonable price while providing a community atmosphere.

Branding uses marketing, advertising and reputation as vehicles to reach and retain customers or constituents. All four are required to build and maintain market share for an FPO or enhance the social impact of an NPO.


  1. Kotler, P., Keller,K.L., & Cunningham, P.H. (2008). A Framework for Understanding Marketing Management (Canadian edition) Toronto: Pearson Education Canada.
  2. Ettenson, R., & Knowles, J.. (2008). Don’t Confuse Reputation With Brand. MIT Sloan Management Review, 49(2), 19-21. Retrieved June 28, 2012, from ABI/INFORM Global. (Document ID: 1412442051).

About Darcy McDonald

Exploring the intersection between social innovation and evaluation.

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