Everyone agrees that marketing and branding are not the same. Marketing is promoting a product or service; getting the message out there. Branding is understanding the characteristics of an organisation, product or service; communicating key values and attributes to stand out from the crowd. Branding supports marketing’s shape. Marketing relies on branding. But, where digital marketing shouts ‘buy me,’ digital branding whispers ‘love me - this is who I am’.
Branding is the ‘essence’ of whatever is on offer. It gives identity, form and worth. It is there whether you are a customer or not, and it encourages you to become one. If a brand can deliver on its promise to be reliable, to be of high quality, to provide a useful and happy experience, it retains its customers.
Marketing reaches out to new buyers and encourages them to spend. Well researched marketing pays attention to positive brand attributes and reinforces the sales funnel. It boosts awareness and inspires brand loyalty, customer retention and sales. Poor marketing can damage a brand and affect sales.
Nowadays organisations must incorporate high impact digital brand strategies alongside their marketing strategies if they want to stay at the top of their game. Social media, e-bulletins, websites, blogs and online advertising all need to carry brand identity in a strong and consistent but differentiated way depending on the demands of each platform. Where are you on the google rankings? Are your customers getting the right message from your digital branding? Research and listen.
Use traditional focus groups alongside data collection to re-boot your brand identity and march more powerfully into consumers’ lives via the media they enjoy engaging with the most. Don’t present an essay to the hashtag generation. Give them your vision and values in one short sentence. Use fewer words and more images to position yourself and define your purpose. Remember that today’s audiences scroll and flick, and that your branding needs to be embedded through every site and page.
And don’t forget mobile optimization. If your branding does not look good on a phone, it isn’t doing its job.
Monday, August 20, 2018