Why You Need to Focus on Brand Marketing (And How to Do It Well)
Small businesses that incorporate their brand into their marketing and advertising will see much higher response rates than those that don’t.
When the debate arises between brand consultants and marketing agencies, I’m sometimes surprised and almost always annoyed as they battle over which of their services is more important.
The answer is simple: branding and marketing are equally important.
Unfortunately, the business owners who choose one over the other usually do so because they don’t understand branding and marketing as separate processes or how they complement each other.
As a result, they’re missing out on a tremendous opportunity to build something special. The small businesses that understand and utilize the power of brand marketing will by far emerge as the winners of the race.
In this article, I’ll explain what brand marketing is and how it can supercharge your business’s growth.
What Is Brand Marketing?
Brand marketing is the process of promoting your business in a way that builds and enhances its identity and reputation in the minds of your target audience. This process lays the groundwork for a unique connection between your business and prospective customers.
The most effective brand marketing campaigns generate sales and leverage your business’s philosophy and persona to build long-term relationships with customers.
However, the focus on generating immediate sales often causes many business owners and marketing agencies to ignore the branding process. This oversight is a serious and costly mistake.
Because ignoring your brand and relying solely on marketing is like looking for a physically attractive life partner without considering who they are as a person. Couples that get into relationships based on physical attraction often split up after getting to know each other better.
This same principle applies to business-customer relationships. The companies that incorporate the brand-building process into their marketing campaigns will forge deeper, longer-lasting connections with customers. These long-term business relationships foster additional purchases and referrals.
Why Branding Comes First
You can’t promote a brand without an identity. By giving your business a brand identity, you establish a “persona” to which your target audience can connect.
This study shows that nearly two-thirds of consumers want a deeper connection with their brands. Having a brand identity increases the likelihood that this bond will occur and occur much quicker.
This may sound complex, but it isn’t.
For example, Tom’s, a famous premium shoe brand, has used brand marketing to build and maintain strong customer loyalty. The company is known for supporting charities worldwide and donates a portion of every purchase to them. As a result, their customers are willing to spend more for a pair of shoes because their product is higher in quality, and some money will go to a good cause.
The brand marketing strategy used by Tom’s is an illustration of how effective one can be when executed consistently across all channels. Your business can also employ this same brand marketing strategy to get the growth you want.
Aligning Your Branding and Marketing Strategies
We can use marketing, advertising, and other avenues of business promotion (such as events and networking) to build our brand. But it’s crucial to implement the process in the proper sequence to get the results we want.
Begin with the End in Mind
Before we do anything, we must determine what we want to accomplish. So start with what you would ultimately like your business to become.
- What do you want your company to look like in ten years?
- What do you want people to think of when your business comes to mind?
- What are your 1-year, 5-year, and 10-year growth goals? This answer is not limited to revenue but any growth goal (such as expansion, franchising, etcetera).
- Do you want to sell your business one day? If so, what traits and characteristics does your business need to have to attract the right buyer?
These may seem like complicated or intimidating questions to answer at first. But having an idea of what you want your business to become will provide a target for which to aim as you create your brand identity.
Choose Your Identity
As you develop your business’s persona—its brand identity—you must be sure it aligns with the type of business you want to build. In addition, this persona will set the tone for everything you do going forward.
To help with this part of the process, look at this article on the 12 brand archetypes. Which one best describes the brand you would like to build?
Creating this identity will make connecting with your target audience easier by keeping all of your imaging and messaging consistent.
Identify Your Best Customers
The target audience is the essential ingredient in a successful business formula. However, sending your message to the wrong audience will fall on deaf ears. Instead, you must create a message that resonates with the people you want to reach.
Consider the type of person your business is best suited to help. Then, create that person’s profile while including as much information as possible. While this profile will evolve, having it will keep you focused on looking for the right customers.
This is where your brand will make the most significant impact. Having an identity that aligns with your target audience will help you stand out, grab their attention, and make them much more likely to listen to what you have to say.
Create a Brand Message
A brand message communicates your core value themes to your target audience and can be used to create your marketing and advertising messages.
Your brand message consists of who you help, how you help them, and why you are the best choice for your target customers. Most of all, you should use language they will easily understand.
If you have done an excellent job identifying and profiling your best customer type, you will know how they describe the problem you help them solve. Use this information in your messaging. The clearer and more accurate your message is, the higher your marketing and advertising response rates will be.
To learn more about creating your brand message, read this article.
Brand Narrative vs. Testimonials
A brand narrative effectively gets your audience interested in your business and its products and services. The goal is to link the problems your prospective customers have while positioning your business as having the solution. Brand narratives are compelling because they tap into emotion.
Today, most businesses integrate testimonials into their marketing to give prospective customers confidence in making a purchase. But unfortunately, these claims from happy customers aren’t enough to prove that a business delivers on its promises.
While this type of proof is essential, a brand narrative details how a company delivers on its promises and why it does what it does. This is a great way to show people how your product or service makes their lives better and why it is superior to your competitors.
Minnetonka uses its blog to tell stories that highlight its product—moccasins. This is an example of a brand narrative at its best.
Share Your Brand with the World
The brand message and narrative you have created will supply foundational content for your marketing and advertising campaigns. All ads, websites, social media posts, and other channels used for promotion will reflect the themes in your brand messaging.
This messaging process is ongoing and never ends. The more you implement it, the better you will get at developing content that communicates your brand identity and connects to your audience.
For more on creating content for your brand, read this article.
Consistency is the key to successful brand marketing. Once you have all of the messaging in place, continue sharing it across social media, search engines, websites, and print media.
Consistent branding has been credited with increasing a company’s revenue by up to 33%.
It’s easy to get bored with your message, but keep in mind that people who have never heard of your business will encounter your brand marketing every day. Though you may be repeating the same message, again and again, it will be new for most people. It takes time for an audience to get to know you and remember the message you are communicating.
Brand marketing can significantly increase response rates and advertising ROI. Start with your long-term vision and create the best-suited brand identity to help you achieve your goals.
Then, develop a customer profile that you can help the most. Once you know your audience, you can create brand messaging and a brand narrative that will resonate with them. This is the most effective way to connect with your prospective customers and will ensure additional purchases and more referrals.
Most of all, be consistent. New people will come into contact with your brand marketing every day. You never know how many of them will become your customers.
If you need help or have questions, email me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time,
More Branding Insights
By Chris Fulmer |
Learn more about brand strategy.
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