Branding a business can definitely be complex. You want to project a comprehensive message of your company, so you work on the name, logo, tagline, colors, and other collateral. Yet the sheer amount of elements to consider can drive any creative marketer to wits’ end.

But let’s say that you put everything together. After months of research, brainstorming, and endless meetings, you systematically gathered all the elements you need. You even documented everything in a brand style guide and you are prepared for every mishap or inconsistency. All this could make you wonder now what?

This is the obvious question as you advance in your branding journey. Perhaps you think that all you have to do is put your branding elements out there, and they will automatically create top-of-mind awareness for your brand. That would be nice but it’s also far from the truth.

Strong brands don’t rely on strong branding elements alone. They rely on a comprehensive brand marketing strategy that brings the brand message to the consumers’ attention and drives further engagements. To understand how this works, let’s explore what is brand marketing and why it is important.

Brand Marketing Definition

Marketing implies promoting your products and services in a way that holds value to your customers, partners, and society at large. When you add branding into the mix, brand marketing promotes your products and services but it also highlights your brand. As a result, it connects your brand identity with the way you communicate with your audience.

But make no mistake — brand marketing is not just about shedding light on your logo or brand tagline. It’s about nurturing long-term goals and interactions with your audience that will ultimately help you build your brand. But since these concepts overlap, there is still some confusion as to where marketing ends and branding begins or the other way around.

Brand vs Marketing: The Bottom Line

  1. Marketing
    Marketing encompasses the tools and processes that go into promoting your brand. Here we might include SEO, social media, PPC, local search, and traditional marketing. By definition, marketing is action-driven — it’s the actions you take to connect with your customers.
  2. Branding
    Branding operates at a higher level. It refers to the culture of the business itself and functions as a foundation for all the processes that help you market your business. In essence, branding is the underlying force that is shaping your business and defines who you are — your mission, values, and unique offering.
  3. In a Nutshell
    Marketing helps you build awareness while branding helps you build your brand. The former puts your business in front of your audience, but the latter is the one that dictates whether they will come back or not. As a result, getting brand marketing right is essential to gain traction from your audience and build a loyal customer base.

Brand Marketing: Dos & Don'ts

  • Do: Create a Brand Story The story should underpin your brand message and capture your brand manifesto and tagline. No need to take up creative writing classes to succeed here. Aim for something simple, genuine, and relatable — maybe you inherited the business model from your family or you have a funny story about how you decided to turn your dreams into a business. Put it out there and it is bound to resonate.The key here is to capture the market’s audience and encourage them to interact with your story. It will help consumers remember your brand and keep them coming back.
  • Do: Lead with a Long-Term Vision Traditional marketing efforts are usually designed towards short-term goals: get in front of the customer and score a purchase. But will that customer come back or remember your brand in the long run? If you don’t add branding into the mix, that mission is doomed to fail. Why? Because branding puts your long-term vision at the heart of the organization.But in order to achieve this, you need a long-term vision that will provide focus and direction to your brand marketing strategy. For example, you might want to establish an international presence, bring new products to the market, or establish a strong media presence. Your brand marketing should work towards these goals and measure your progress consistently.
  • Don’t: Neglect Your Competition Knowing your audience is important, but your competitors are the ones that are currently crowding the market. You need to know who you’re up against in order to better position yourself in front of your audience. If your competitor prides itself on being the cheapest, you could highlight why quality trumps price when it comes to your product.If you know your competition, you also know what to avoid in your branding elements. Imagine choosing the same color palette as your competitor or having a very similar logo. That would do nothing to position yourself as unique on the market.
  • Don’t: Work with Inconsistent Branding Elements Creating all branding communications in the spur of the moment might stimulate your creativity, but none of them will stick. On the contrary, they will confuse your audience and push them away from your brand. You might already be attuned to your brand identity, but your audience sure isn’t.That’s why you need to aim for a consistent voice across channels and touchpoints. Whether you’re posting on social media, considering brick and mortar store messaging, or customer interactions among your sales professionals, your voice should reflect your brand identity. The same goes for your visual materials. If you decide on a logo or color palette, make sure you use the same across the board.
  • Don’t: Look for a Perfect Formula to Propel You to Success It’s true, most marketing efforts can be measured and analyzed. But just because we can, it does not mean that we should turn the results into a rule of thumb. At the end of the day, no two companies share the same features or branding strategy. Even if they operate in the same market and share the same target audience, they will have unique needs and identities to cater to.The reality is, there is no secret sauce or formula that will propel your business to success. The best results often happen by chance, so don’t be afraid to experiment as long as you get t a good grip on what your audience wants and needs.
  • Supermarket brand marketing banner

Brand Marketing Success – Are You There Yet?

Striking the right balance between your marketing and branding efforts is no easy feat. You need to get in front of your audience and make them make a purchase, but without undermining your long-term goals.

That’s why understanding the importance of brand marketing is essential to align long-term and short-term goals and establish a loyal customer base. But don’t imagine that this will happen overnight. A long journey riddled with interesting findings awaits.