The Cold, Hard Facts About Branding + Marketing
There is an elephant in the room regarding branding + marketing that no one is brave enough to point out.
The room is quiet, Bob the young VP has just presented the new logo and brand look that the company paid bookoos to a freelancer to develop. The colors and design are hip and bright, similar to something you'd see at a skateboard shop. It oozes youth and excitement.
The internal marketing team seems excited; they've taken the logo and put it on a bunch of social ads in Canva for Facebook and Instagram. The freelancer and VP appear to be on board... except there's only one issue, they are an end-of-life trust and estate law firm. Even the youngest member on the staff's gut is screaming that this is not a fit. Who dares to speak up?
Granted, this might be an extreme example, but it is also very apt. Many business leaders don't understand the nuances of branding and marketing. Due to inevitable overlaps, Branding and Marketing get lumped in together as the same thing, when in fact, they are quite different.
The short definition: BRANDS EVOKE and MARKETING GUIDES.
What does this mean?
Branding is so much more than just a logo. Yes, you've heard that a trillion times, but it's true. It is the psychological result of customer experience, brand messaging, and visuals that evoke your potential buyer's emotion. The collective buyer's perception determines your business's reputation and thus the likelihood of someone considering your offers.
Your brand includes the above but is not limited to that bird's eye definition. As with any reputation, it is dependent on every interaction, every touchpoint, every phone call, disgruntlement, heck — even how the company van driver behaves on the road or if the tipsy CEO disrespects a coworker at the office party. The design and visual styles are vital aspects of the brand since a poorly designed logo or visual, regardless of whether all else is in line, can be the difference in whether you are chosen as a provider. The clarity and quality of your messaging are factors too. Are your values clearly defined? Are they consistent throughout your communications? A brand is comprised of many parts, but understand that merely slapping your logo on a Canva template does not qualify as marketing.
Marketing is the method by which you guide your prospect from point to point until they choose you over your competitor. Marketing exploits the emotions propagated by the brand, like a bread-crumb trail, it leads your prospect where you want them to go. Through lead-generated interest, such as a blog or a social post that gets clicked, and sends the viewer to a landing page which further explains and entices the sale. Hopefully, that leads to conversion. It is, in essence, "strategic manipulation." Ouch, that is a dirty word! However, that is what marketing is meant to do. To guide and convince your prospect to buy.
The brand is meant to engage, communicate, build relationships and trust. The brand is the personality and the "human side" that appeals to the prospect's heart and biases. Marketing is not near as effective without the brand, and a brand alone cannot do the heavy lifting of marketing. Imagine if all products were utterly blank, an opinion could not be formed or manipulated as easily.
In our example, the brand was off by a mile. The "marketing" was simply social posts. There was no guiding purpose other than showing the logo on a graphic. That may create brand awareness equity, which is essential but much of the time does not lead the buyer to buy.
This substantial difference in definition is not all-inclusive. The blend of the two efforts is almost indiscernible during use. Although they are interdependent, they are absolutely, without a doubt, not the same thing… and that, my friends, is the disconnect most people won't dare challenge because they are clueless on how to extricate them from one another and articulate the differences.
BRANDS EVOKE and MARKETING GUIDES.
Now you can stand up and have a voice.
The elephant may leave the room.
©Neon Lizard Creative 2021 | Rebecca Rausch | neonlizardcreative.com | 952.452.0168