A Brand is a Noun. Brand Marketing is a Verb.
Brands. Love ‘em, or hate ‘em, brands are the product of the marketing industry and the drivers of consumer beliefs and expectations. But what is brand marketing? Brand marketing straddles the line between branding, advertising, and public relations. Few people understand exactly what brand marketing is — and even fewer know how to do it correctly. Brand marketing strategy? More confusion. But don’t worry, we’re here to help. We’re going to give you a rundown of brands, what brand marketing is and why it matters, how it’s different from brand strategy, and brand marketing best practices.
What is a Brand?
A brand is a name, symbol, or feature (or combination of those) that distinguishes one seller’s goods or services from another’s. Your brand is what defines your company—everything from the colors to the font, from the company name to the customer experience you deliver.
Brands are also the sum of the experiences and emotions people have had with a company, product, or service.
What is Branding?
Think about your experiences with companies like Apple or Nordstrom. You might never have bought anything from these companies, but you probably have an opinion on them either way. Some people love them; others don’t understand what the fuss is about. That’s because each person has had his own set of experiences with these companies and their own perceptions formed by those experiences.
Branding is both internal and external. Branding includes how employees answer the phones and how they treat customers. It is every interaction that people have with a company, every single time they come in contact with it — good or bad. Even if someone has never done business with you and never will, they can still form an impression through word-of-mouth from someone who has done business with you.
The brand is the promise; branding is the delivery. In other words, the brand is an idea; branding is how you’re bringing that idea to life.
Brand vs. Brand Marketing
We’ve established that your brand represents your identity, culture, and experience as a business. It’s the image that comes to mind when people think of your company — this includes everything from your name, logo, and tagline to the tone of voice you use in all communications with your customers and prospects.
Marketing is an umbrella term that covers all your communications with your target audience. Marketing includes advertising, public relations, sales promotion, digital and direct marketing, and more. Branding includes all of the above but goes much deeper and often involves aspects outside of marketing.
What is brand marketing? Brand marketing is a broader term than marketing. Brand marketing is focused on building a reputation for the business as a whole, rather than just selling a specific product. Brand marketing can also include creating a tagline or slogan and using it repeatedly in all communications to set up a position in the marketplace. It also includes adding the brand name to the product packaging and using the brand name in corporate communications and advertising.
To sum up, the basic difference between brand and brand marketing is that a brand is an idea or image of a specific company, product, or service that consumers connect with, whereas brand marketing is the process of promoting a brand, or a set of products offered by a company under a specific name to potential customers.
Brand Marketing Strategy
Brand strategy is focused on the development of cohesive marketing plans that are designed to help strengthen your company’s image. From defining your target audience and tracking your ROI to making sure you keep up with trends and stay consistent, the goals of brand marketing strategies include increasing sales, growing awareness, and building customer loyalty.
In order to effectively differentiate brands, organizations must develop a marketing strategy that serves their distinct value proposition. There are four pillars of brand strategy:
- Align with consumer values and behaviors
- Link each pillar to competitive advantage
- Build marketing strategies and tactics to support each pillar
- Manage the core brand as well as any sub-brands
Brand marketing strategies can include redesigning your logo or updating your website to make sure that it’s consistent with your overall brand messaging. You can update your website’s design, add details about what you’re doing to improve the customer experience, and create meaningful content that provides value for customers.
Now that we’ve cleared up the differences between brand, branding, brand strategy, and brand marketing, let’s talk about some best practices for executing brand marketing strategies effectively.
Brand Marketing Best Practices
Brand marketing is the most powerful form of marketing you can use because it influences consumer perception and decision-making at every stage of the buyer’s journey. Brand marketing best practices include:
- Define your brand’s target audiences
- Research competitors and competitive brand claims
- Integrate your brand into every aspect of your business
- Use consistent messaging in all communications
- Showcase your brand’s personality
- Spotlight key qualities, benefits, differentiators of your brand
- Humanize your brand—engagement is the key
- Stay true to your brand and core values
In summation, branding works on multiple levels, and brand strategies and brand marketing are multi-channel efforts.
Our branding and marketing teams are highly creative, experienced, powerful, effective, and always working for you. No matter your brand or how much buzz you are hoping to generate, our team will expand the reach of your targeted marketing campaigns and find consumers who want your product or service and deliver results. Give Serendipit a try and see why our clients rave.