From managing a Facebook feed to sending an email newsletter, it’s almost impossible to undertake a marketing strategy without branding. Likewise, branding companies and designers often rely on marketing goals when building or reimagining a visual brand. Branding and marketing are closely intertwined, and it can sometimes be difficult to tell where one ends, and the other begins. What exactly is branding, anyway? How does brand strategy support marketing strategy? Do you even need a brand to pursue marketing? These are essential, revenue-driving questions that all businesses should take into consideration.
If you are looking for a branding agency and think that it can solve all of your problems, you need to reconsider this assumption. No doubt, a reliable and professional brand design firm will help you streamline your business efforts through clear brand identity. But, you will still have to market your brand effectively for it to become both successful and profitable.
To help you cut through the clutter, here’s what you should know about branding and marketing – plus why your business needs both.
What is branding? It seems like a simple question, but in reality, many businesses struggle to answer it. Of course, a brand relies on visual elements like logos, color palettes, and fonts. But it also includes intangible things, like a brand voice, personality, and purpose.
To better understand how a business can shape these expectations and memories, let’s take a look at a few critical aspects of brand development: personality, purpose, guidelines, and experience.
The Personality of a Brand
First and foremost, strong brands have a relatable and unique personality. On a basic level, a brand personality consists of the emotions and ideas associated with a brand. A personality is important because it helps define how customers interact with and feel about a brand.
The critical thing to remember about brand personalities is that they’re the most successful when a brand’s actual customer base influences them. Tuning into what your audience wants and needs is the best way to inform your brand’s personality. This ensures that your brand personality is both memorable and unique when compared with competitors.
Purpose of a Brand
Your brand purpose helps clarify what your brand believes in and why customers should embrace it. In a world where so many companies are vying for consumer attention, a brand purpose helps a business connect to future customers on an emotional level. To establish a clear and differentiated purpose, its best to start by defining the core values of your brand.
Consider this: if your brand were a person, your core values would represent your personal, political, and moral beliefs. Likewise, a brand’s values determine how it acts, who it works with, and what choices it makes. When well-defined, brand values are relatable and memorable. When people can relate to a brand’s values on a personal level, they feel an emotional connection. In turn, they’re more likely to develop a genuine relationship with the brand and give it long term support.
Outlining core values also help define a brand’s mission statement. From crafting a new marketing campaign to choosing a strategic brand partner, a mission statement exists to guide and inform critical decisions. When used consistently, a mission statement helps your brand define a unique market presence and value proposition that customers believe in.
These guidelines help graphic designers, marketers, web developers, community managers, and even product packaging departments all stay on the same page and present a unified vision of the brand to the public. Often a brand guide or booklet encompasses all these guidelines. When creating brand guidelines, always include rules for a brand’s visual image. Rules include logo placement and appearance, brand colors, and more.
Brand guidelines can also help define the tone and language of a brand’s voice. If you want your brand to appear playful and helpful, avoid complicated or intimidating terms. If a brand prefers to embody an intelligent and informative personality, a certain level of language complexity may be required to resonate with the right audience.
Defining brand guidelines helps a company maintain a consistent image and personality across every customer touchpoint. This is key for promoting your brand stand out in an increasingly competitive world.
Because a brand experience relies mainly on intangible things, like the emotions that customers associate with a brand, it can sometimes feel challenging to define. Fortunately, a consistent approach to branding can, to some extent, guide and influence the brand experience.
For instance, a consistent brand personality and purpose helps establish feelings of trust and reliability among customers. Let’s say you maintain a playful yet responsive voice on social media. This can help people feel at ease when they have a concern about your product. Or, let’s say that your brand’s mission outlines a commitment to sustainability. People will always know that they can feel good about your products since sustainability has been part of your mission from the beginning.
Armed with consistent and compelling brand experiences, you’ll be well on your ways towards enlisting an army of brand loyalists. Loyal customers are those who support your brand over time. They’re an essential and reliable source of revenue. Branding may seem like an investment, but its returns far exceed the costs. Putting time and thought into your brand is the key to creating a robust, consistent, and reliable brand identity that customers depend on.
Branding is about defining what your business is and why it exists. It provides your company with an identity associated with ideas, emotions, and beliefs. However, marketing empowers that identity by sharing a brand’s mission and values in a proper way that boosts sales.
Marketing is an area of expertise that involves a range of people and entities. It is often a massive operation. To understand marketing in a more concretely, you should consider its three principal goals.
Marketing Is Informative
Marketing seeks to teach customers who a brand is and why it matters. This is often referred to as awareness, especially for people who haven’t yet heard of a company.
Marketing Is Inspirational
Marketing inspires people to believe in the value of a brand’s goods and services. It shows people what makes the brand worth it, and how it improves the quality of life.
Marketing Is Profitable
First, a marketing plan gets people on board. Then, it offers encouragement and support throughout the buying process. The result? Sales!
The Importance of Branding for Marketing
We’ve already covered the importance of brand guidelines and how they contribute to powerful brand identity. Now, let’s take a look at how brand guidelines and marketing efforts can synthesize into a seamless, revenue-boosting operation.
First of all, brand guidelines inform the visuals and language used in marketing campaigns. Brands often work with designers, agencies, and other creative entities to create and promote successful marketing campaigns. Once you share the brand guidelines with partners, they’ll ensure that all marketing efforts stay true to the brand. In turn, marketing then reinforces a brand’s image and boosts brand awareness.
Advertisements and marketing campaigns are often the first time someone encounters a brand. These initial customer touchpoints are crucial for building brand awareness. When those messages reflect a brand’s broader messaging correctly, a person will discover precisely what they are expecting every step of the way in their relationship with the brand.
If a brand is a wise and steady owl, then marketing is a quick and agile fox. Marketing messages are continually changing in response to seasonal trends and customer needs. And while brands tend to evolve, they remain rooted in the same mission and morals. In turn, this gives the ever-changing world of marketing a reliable and memorable foundation on which to stand.
Marketing is an essential tool for building product awareness, garnering new customers, and meeting critical sales goals. But to send consistent and relatable messages, marketing needs to stand upon an established and robust brand. And before you hire a marketing team (whether on-site or an outside specialist or agency), it’s best to get a hold of a reliable branding design company that will develop a recognizable and correct brand identity for your business. Understanding the difference between branding and marketing is the key to shaping a brand-driven marketing strategy that ultimately drives results.