Many companies that do their own marketing experience little to no success and feel that marketing is ineffective. However, they don’t realise that marketing can sometimes mean nothing without developing a brand first. Branding is an essential component of marketing, and not just something that is nice to have. Companies need to build on their branding, before they even start the process of marketing their products or services, or the marketing campaign efforts will likely fall short of expectations.
For most people, branding refers to the design, symbol, name, or feature that allows the seller or service to stand out. It is that image that the consumer has in their mind when they are thinking about a certain company, in a practical and possibly emotional way. It is this combination of physical and emotional features that trigger a response to a name, message, identity, or logo.
But equally important is knowing:
- Who are you for?
- What are you really offering?
- Why are you special?
- How are you different?
Why Focus on Brand First, Marketing Second?
The purpose of marketing is to drive business, so it is natural to focus on marketing over just about anything else. However, this may be like putting the cart before the horse. Without a solid brand, the message can be lost. Branding is the centre point or focus of any small business marketing strategy and has worked to drive success for businesses of all sizes.
Have you ever watched a commercial and remembered nearly every bit of it, but couldn’t remember what the name of the company was? The reason for this is because the company failed to develop a brand.
Branding Builds the Trust
When you have a campaign that provides the same message or focus, it builds trust. A brand presents this same consistency across all your customer touchpoints. So, wherever they see your message, it is consistent, and they can start to build trust in who you are and what you do. Trust is crucial to getting the consumer to choose your services or products over your competitors. And it is your branding, and not your marketing that gets them to this point.
Branding Provides the Power Behind the Marketing Efforts
When you see a successful marketing campaign, the power driving its success, is the fact that the consumers know the brand. Without this strong brand image, the commercials have less chance of transferring the new message the company is trying to portray.
The main idea is that it is important to build a brand, by creating a slogan, message, logo, or other branding method that makes your company easy to recognise, and so your customers can easily identify with what you are trying to say. By making sure your branding is portraying the right message, is recognisable by the consumer, and that you are consistent, you are adding fuel to your marketing fire.