All related (92)
Brandon McGraw
Senior Director, Head of Product Marketing, DoorDash • March 31

I love this question because I came from brand marketing before. I like to think about it as the distinction between the promise and the proof. The partnership between these two teams is essential.

Brand is the promise you make to your customers about your core ethos and what they can expect from you. It sets the tone for the relationship and is the thing that you often fall back on when times get tough. The brand team owns this promise, but like any promise it has to be believable. Your product is the proof. Product Marketing owns showing how the promise of the brand is relevant in unique ways that meet the needs of the audiences you serve. It's on product marketing to make the promise real every day when a customer uses your product or when you're introducing a new product for the first time.

April Rassa
Product Marketing, Cohere | Formerly Adobe, Box, Google • January 18

Brand marketing and product marketing perform very different roles in a company’s overall brand strategy, but when done well, they work together seamlessly to create a brand experience customers can trust.

Let’s start with a basic analogy we use when helping a company create or improve its brand: a brand is like a person. It has a personality. It has strengths and weaknesses. It has goals. It has a voice. Now, this person also makes things. But you can see right away that it’s one thing to talk about the person herself, and another entirely to talk about what she makes.

You can also see that a brand is evaluated based on criteria that, while overlapping, are largely separate. You’ll evaluate a person first and foremost based on what it’s like to spend time with them. Is she fun? Is she funny? Trustworthy? Down-to-earth? Whereas you’ll judge something they make based mostly on whether it meets your needs.

Because the criteria we use to evaluate brands versus products are so different, the way we market them needs to be different too. When we’re marketing a product, solution, or service, the campaign will need to be based on how that product, solution, or service performs. There are as many ways to accomplish this as there are products to market—it can be comparative, it can be demonstrative, it can metaphorical or concrete. But it has to talk about what the product does, and how well.

Brand campaigns need to do another thing entirely. They need to put you in a certain mood. What mood that is, depends on what the brand personality is. Harley-Davidson wants you to feel something much different than Volvo does. The success of a brand campaign will be whether or not consumers begin to associate certain feelings with the brand. The success of a product campaign will be a measure of whether or not it nudges consumers along in their buyer’s journey.

Hope this helps, both functions are key when demonstrating value and creating an emotional relationship with the buyer. And that means you’ll not only drive sales today but you’ll also secure future sales by driving loyalty and engagement.

Anthony Kennada
CEO, AudiencePlus • January 28

I think the two are very tightly correlated -- both are storytellers by nature, but telling stories at different parts of the funnel. A simple way to think about it is that brand is principally responsible for the "why" while product marketing owns the "who," "what," and the "how". Since people make buying decisions emotionally, brand is responsible for emotionally convicting the market and using the appropriate levers (in partnership with demand) to pull the newly converted into our audience and funnel. Product Marketing helps brand understand who the target audiences are and what they care about, positioning the product as the solution of record with appropriate messaging, and ultimately, partnering with sales to help extract commercial value from the business transaction.

Steve Feyer
Product Marketing Director, Eightfold • May 10

Brand is promoting the company, while product is selling and promoting individual products/product lines. I've found that brand work is typically much more creative, whereas product work is about sales. The two functions should be in close contact with each other--my brand marketers are my best help in my job today.

Marie Francis
Senior Product Marketing Manager, Workday • October 17

Agree with Steve (Hi, Steve! 👋) and would like to add that there should be a push-pull relationship. Some good conversations to have with your brand marketers are around how brand and category positioning should show up within product marketing, and how product differentiation should show up in brand identity. 

It's a good place in the business to apply some consumer marketing conventions... 

"Our Brand is where these buyers find this category of product with these special characteristics to get these high value benefits."