From sending an email newsletter to curating an Instagram feed, without talking of branding it is impossible to pursue marketing efforts.. When reimagining or building a visual brand, designers and agencies often rely on marketing goals. Being intertwined, it can sometimes be hard to distinguish where branding ends and marketing begins.
Some essential questions that drive revenue and businesses need to ponder on are – what is branding, how is marketing strategy supported by brand strategy, and is it necessary to have a brand to pursue marketing?
Here is decluttering these confusions for you and helping you figure why your business needs both.
What is Branding?
Besides the visual elements like fonts, color palettes, and logos, branding also includes intangible things including personality, brand voice, and purpose.
A brand, as put by Seth Godin, a branding expert is a set of stories, memories, expectations, and relationship, which together helps a consumer decide from a variety of products. We explore below the key aspects of brand development: personality, purpose, guidelines, and experience.
Strong brands need to have a personality comprised of emotions and ideas, and which is relatable. The personality decides how the consumers feels about the brand and interacts with it. Brand personalities are individual to the brand and vary depending on the audience and industry.
The brand personalities are highly successful when they are influenced by the consumer base and helps address their needs, making the personality unique and memorable as opposed to competitors.
Why your brand exists, what it believes in, and why a consumer must trust your brand is clarified by the brand purpose. It helps your brand and its core values connect at an emotional level with the consumer.
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When the core values and purpose of your brand is well defined, the brand value is memorable, actionable, and relatable. Thus, due to connecting on a personal level, people are more likely to form a loyal and emotional connection with your brand.
Also, a brand’s mission statement is defined by the core values of the brand, and it helps guide and inform of the brand’s important decisions. A mission statement helps your brand achieve a unique market presence and value proposition that your consumers believe in.
A certain set of brand standards must be upheld by the brand as guidelines that help marketers, web developers, graphic designers, product packaging departments, and community managers, present together a unified version of the brand to the consumer. The rules for the visual images including appearance, logo placement, and brand colors, must be a part of these guidelines.
Brand guidelines are essential to ensure that the brand is represented well across all mediums and there is no misuse of the brand’s name so as to damage its integrity or brand value.
Brand guidelines also help define the voice, language, and tone of the brand. You may choose to be playful or formal, depending on the customer base and choose a complexity level that suits your brand’s market.
Brand style guides ensure a consistent personality and image of the brand that makes it retain its value in a competitive world.
Brands rely largely on emotional and customer connectivity, which are both intangible and hence hard to define. Thus consistency in branding can help with building a positive brand experience.
A consistent voice and personality helps the customer built trust and reliability for your brand. Only when your consumer will feel good about your product will you retain your audience and sustain your business. Loyal customers are an important source of revenue and they can be gained only with a powerful brand experience. Hence, though branding comes with a cost, it has high returns on investment.
What is Marketing?
While branding provides your business with an identity, marketing helps empower it by sharing your brand’s purpose and mission in a manner that helps drive revenue and sales.
Involving many people and entities, marketing is a massive area of expertise. Outlined below are three key goals of marketing that will help understand marketing better.
Marketing helps inform a customer about the brand and the reason why its existence matters. For those who haven’t heard of the company already, it may also be referred to as awareness.
Marketing helps inspire consumers to rely on your brand’s products and services by showing them how they will make their lives better and are an investment instead of a spend.
Marketing plans aim to get consumers on board, and with extensive support and encouragement, help generate added sales.
Marketing as a tool for selling
Marketing spans various platforms from social media to blog posts, emails, and even print ads. The ultimate goal of all these forms of marketing, for any business, is to generate sales – whether for an idea or mission, or a service or product.
Marketing is a tool that encourages a customer to close the deal and invest in a brand. Sales and marketing are hence intertwined. However, marketing needs to be influential, trustworthy, and informative, or it may do more harm than profit. If you are too salesy in the marketing efforts, your company may end up losing its credibility.
Marketing grows complex with the growth of the business and hence needs to be handled with delicacy and creativity to encourage customer retention.
Why branding matters for marketing
For a balanced revenue boosting harmony, brand guidelines and marketing work together. Only when the brand guidelines are well defined will the marketing campaign be in line with the voice and purpose of the brand and end up generating business.
While brand guidelines act as an outline for marketing strategy, the marketing campaign then helps reinforce the brand’s image and spread brand awareness. Thus to build a brand, a strong marketing strategy is needed, but for a strong marketing strategy, you need to have brand guidelines and mission for a consistent approach.
Final thoughts: Marketing and branding in harmony
To garner new customers, build product awareness, and meeting sales goals, marketing may be an essential tool. However, a strong brand is needed to stand on for consistent and relatable messages as a part of the marketing campaign. Though important individually, the key to growth of your company is to have the branding and marketing efforts work together in perfect harmony.