To be very frank, most people of today are confused and don’t know the difference between marketing and branding. When a person chooses a business and decides to go ahead with branding online, the first question that tops their mind is, how do I go about it?
Well a few think that branding involves choosing a logo, a website design, a color scheme that suits their company, so on and so forth. While some others believe that it involves promotional campaigns, adverts, creating a presence online, or the SERPS. Well, the sad part is that all the above are just marketing tools and strategies and NOT related to branding. So, this leads us to the next question, what does branding really mean?
To make it very simple, marketing is when you go around promoting yourself telling others what you actually do, whereas branding would mean you’ve already created an impact in the industry and you work towards promoting that through marketing.
So, where do people commonly go wrong?
Misapprehensions of Branding:
- Many people including ones who are into branding and marketing sectors as professionals confuse the facts of marketing and branding. Anything that involves advertising, promoting and else, are all related to marketing, whereas branding goes a lot deeper and is related to establishing an emotional, more personal view on the brand that explains the company’s message.
- Who really controls a brand? Well, many believe that the authority of a brand lies with the company, which is absolutely wrong. The image of the brand lies in the hands of its customers and the way they view them. And you’ll know that your brand is failing when you don’t receive return customers.
- Determining Success: Many believe that there is a specific formula to be followed when it comes to branding. Just as how you can determine the results when it comes to SEO or online marketing, people believe they can measure the results when it comes to branding. Well, you might be wrong in that case. A few measures followed by a competitor company in areas of branding may work well for him, but it doesn’t necessarily have to work well for you. Here the only aspect that you can rely on is the behavior and interest shown by your customers towards your brand.
Well, if those are the ways no to go about your branding strategy, well then what is the right way to do it?
There are a few simple and easy ways to get the job done by proper planning.
Finding the Reason behind Your Establishment:
Before you go head-on and start campaigning, it would be easier to make a clear statement to your prospective customers if you had a clear view on why you went on to start this business. Knowing the reason to the question why, adds a personal touch to the firm, in turn creating a sense of trust in your customers.
Determining a Tone that Voices Your Brand:
After gaining a clear picture of what you do and who your target audience is going to be, next you are going to determine the voice of your brand. This can be sorted on how you’d like your band to be projected, as a casual friendly brand, or a corporate more formal one, or a humorous one that can crack a joke once in a while. Before you decide, make sure you can hold on strong to the identity that you choose. This is going to add personality to your company, and cannot be changed in the long run. Consistency is what a loyal customer would like to see even after 40 years of a brand’s establishment, and your choice today may have to be held onto in the future.
Determine Your Values:
This will help your customers get a clearer understanding of who you actually are. These values can be encrypted as a set of principles and procedures on how you govern yourself and your firm. Your values can be discussed on and demonstrated to your clients and customers by the way you handle yourself in your service.
Now that you have determined the purpose of your firm, your values, and tone of voice to establish your brand; you can take it to the next level and start by making yourself known to your audience. Well, this is where marketing comes in. By careful research on the modes, strategies, and platforms that you are going to utilize you can hit your target audience by enlightening them with your mission, vision, and plans you have on providing your customers with quality service.
I hope I have explained the thin line that exists between branding and marketing. Branding is and will continue to remain the core to a marketing strategy. Understanding and getting a clear idea of the same will help you project yourself to your target audience in the most authentic, and dignified way winning you loyal customers.