What is brand marketing?
Before you get to brand marketing, let’s answer one question. You’re 100% sure that you know everything about your brand. However, can you say the same about your target audience?
Brand marketing is that aspect of marketing you don’t hear a lot about. That’s until something significant happens-like Facebook changing its name to Meta. Then it’s all over the news.
This time, don’t let that urgency slip away into the darkness as the news cycle changes. If you’ve been thinking about your brand and its marketing— now is the best time to take action.
What better way to start than this blog? This piece will cover everything you need to learn about brand marketing and a little bit more. This includes:
- What is Brand Marketing (Spoiler Alert! It’s Not Branding)
- Why Brand Marketing is Important (the Bigger Picture)
- Why Your Brand is Not The Problem, Your Marketing is
- The Anatomy of A Great Brand Marketing Campaign
- How To Get To A Coca-Cola Like Status (Ten Steps plus one Michael Jackson Joke)
What Is Brand Marketing (Spoiler Alert! It’s Not Branding)
It only takes 10 seconds for consumers to make an opinion about a brand. The funny thing is that consumers can’t make an opinion without seeing the brand in the first place.
This brings us to brand marketing.
Brand marketing is a set of marketing practices that aim to improve sales, retain customers and build a reputation by promoting your brand as a whole.
In brand marketing, you’re not promoting your affordable prices, features, or achievements; you’re promoting what you are as a business (your brand)
Why Brand Marketing Is Important (The Bigger Picture)
If someone asked you why bother with brand marketing in the first place, what would your answer be?
It will probably be along the lines of increasing brand recognition to improve conversions with an end goal of increased revenue.
That’s mostly accurate.
However, there’s more to brand marketing than that. Some of the crucial reasons to embrace brand marketing you’ve never thought about include:
1. Access to Quality Talent
“A small team of A+ players can run circles around a giant team of B and C players.” (RIP Steve Jobs).
Did you know that effective brand marketing campaigns can put you within reach of quality employees? Well, this is because such employees look for more in companies than the pay they take home.
According to statistics, 92% of people would leave their job if offered one at a company with an online presence and excellent corporate reputation.
2. Strategic Exposure To Investor Funding
Everybody knows that their target audience is listening to their brand awareness campaigns. Oblivious to many, there’s another group silently taking notes and paying attention.
You guessed right, investors.
82% of investors believe that brand strength and recognition are essential in their decision-making. If you’re planning to woo some big bucks soon, consider adding brand marketing to your marketing strategy.
3. Create Customer Loyalty
There is such a thing as customer loyalty. For example, if you ever see the queen driving about, there’s a 9 in 10 chance she’ll be in a Range Rover.
It’s not that Range Rovers are the best cars ever built (coughs in Bentley). Maybe they have the best branding.
A company’s brand— how you present yourself to the public is right up there with customer experience as a catalyst for customer loyalty.
4. Differentiate Your Business From Other’s
There are a million similar products out there, some even selling at half your price. Your target audience wants to know what makes yours different.
Fortunately, you have brand building to take care of this.
Look at Tesla, for example- they branded their cars as minimalist, environmentally friendly cars of the future that run on nothing. As a result, they’ve built themselves such a loyal fan base they don’t even have to market to sell cars.
Your Brand Is Not the Problem, Your Marketing Is
How many times have you toyed with the idea of changing your brand entirely? If you’ve done so, you’re not alone.
By instinct, the first thing you, and many others, blame for missed targets is their brand. However, the real problem is often the marketing and the brand itself.
That said, even more essential than a successful brand is effective marketing. This is because:
- Your customers value your brand presentation as much as the brand itself
- Your brand name on itself cannot answer all your customer’s questions
- A mediocre brand presentation can tarnish a quality brand
- Effective brand presentation is cheaper than rebranding
The best part of it all is that effective brand marketing doesn’t require that you change your brand-which is a whole different story altogether.
The Anatomy Of A Great Brand Marketing Campaign
Not all branding campaigns are created equal. There’s good brand marketing and excellent brand marketing. By the end of this section, you’ll be able to tell the difference from a mile.
Some of the things that lead to great brand marketing campaigns and strategies include:
1. Customer Centricity
Brand marketing is as much about your customers as it is about your product. Every aspect of a great brand marketing strategy revolves around the customer.
To build a customer-centric strategy, you have to create client personas. While you’re at it, answer the following questions.
- Who are my customers?
- What do they want to hear?
- Who do my customers like (celebrities, influencers, etc.)?
- What mediums do they use to access their information?
2. More Than Just Your Product
Every great brand must offer something greater than itself. Remember, it takes more than a product to build an emotional connection or trust with your target market.
To build trust, you have to discover the shared beliefs that you and your clients hold dear.
Take Colgate, for example. Instead of building their brand around how great their product is, they advertise healthy dental practices instead.
HubSpot takes a similar approach where most of its brand marketing content is educational. As such, the company brands itself as a reliable source of information, building trust in the process.
Some questions to guide you through this process include:
- What concerns do my clients have (safety, climate change, job security, etc.)
- What beliefs do my brand share in common with my audience
- What do my customers feel strongly about (Patriotic, Supporting small businesses, charity, etc.)
3. Consistency Across All Platforms
If the’s one word that can sum up a great digital marketing campaign, it’s consistency. Even a terrible brand can achieve a lot. It only has to stay consistent for long enough.
And it shows in the numbers. Presenting a brand consistently across all platforms improves brand recognition by 20%.
To ensure consistency in your brand marketing, consider:
- Finding a compact brand management software for your content marketing
- Brand positioning in as many marketing channels as possible
- Finding a unique brand tone and voice for your marketing messaging
- Creating content guides for all your content creators
Simplicity is the mother of all branding techniques. From Apple to McDonald’s, some of the most effective branding initiatives are also the simplest.
You can see this in:
- Companies migrating from high-quality 3D logos to 2D logos
- Single syllable advert lines such as Nike’s “Just Do It” and
- Easy and memorable advert lines such as Gillette’s “The Best A Man Can Get”
To put how simple most brand marketing initiatives are into perspective, just watch how popular they are with kids and children.
How To Get To A Coca-Cola Like Status (Ten Steps, Plus One Michael Jackson Joke)
You’d be shocked to learn that the late Michael Jackson was the most famous guy on earth. However, nothing will prepare you for this; the Coca-Cola brand is more globally recognized than MJ.
If you don’t believe this, walk to any remote part of Africa or Asia or even Siberia and ask them about the late musician.
They’ll ask you who’s that, look at each other in confusion, then go back to sipping their Coke. That’s because Coca-Cola is the king of Pop. Above that, 94% of the population know it as a global brand.
That said, very few brands will ever get that global Coca-Cola status. Nonetheless, there’s a lot you can learn from them.
Some of the steps successful brands like Walmart and Coca Cola take when advertising include:
1. Find Out Your Objectives
There’s an objective behind every brand marketing campaign. The earlier you find yours, the better your chances of creating an effective brand marketing campaign.
You could be embarking on a brand marketing campaign for different reasons, each with its approach.
Some of these reasons include:
- Launching a new product
- Expanding into a new market
- Wanting to improve customer retention rates
- Desire to change perspective about your business
Once you’ve come up with a clear objective for your marketing campaign, you can then break it down into simple (but more comprehensive ) goals. Answering the following questions will help:
- What are your short-term goals?
- What are your long-term goals?
- Where do you see your brand in 10 years?
2. Know Who Your Target Audience Is
Having prior knowledge of who your audience comprises goes a long way in helping you create an effective brand marketing strategy.
Think about it; if you’re advertising kid’s content, you probably wouldn’t run the TV ads at 10 p.m.
It doesn’t stop there. Having your target audience at the back of your mind also affects significant aspects such as your tone of voice, level of personalization, and media channel.
To perfect this, channel some of your marketing efforts into:
- Creating buyer and target audience personas
- Leveraging previous metrics from content and social media marketing
- Read previous feedback from your customers for perspectives
- Run surveys on social media sites such as Twitter
3. Identify Your Company’s Personality
Identifying your company’s personality isn’t as complicated as people make it out to be. It all comes down to one question. If your company was a person, who would it be?
If you picture your company as a young, fun, millennial and social person, then you’d take bright color palettes and punchy copy. You’d also take more youthful marketing channels.
If you picture your company as a reserved, traditional, and conservative guy, then you’d take a less intrusive and more serious copy for your brand marketing campaign.
4. Map Out Your Customer Journey and Experience
Before you get a brand, you have to determine which part of your customer experience resonates most with your clients.
Look for ways your product simplifies, eliminates steps, creates convenience, and increases comfort in a customer’s life. Finding answers to the following questions might help:
- In which way does my product make my customer’s life convenient
- What pain points does my product deal in my customer’s life
- What do my most loyal customers love about my product
- What makes my product special
When Roll’s Royce did this in 1958, they realized how convenient the silence of their cars was. From this came one of the most iconic pieces of brand marketing in recent history.
“At 60 miles an hour, the loudest noise in this new Rolls Royce comes from the electric clock.”
5. Develop Brand Guidelines
With the above processes, you now have enough information to develop brand guidelines for your content creators.
These guidelines will help create uniformity and consistency across your entire marketing system. You make brand guidelines to:
- Bring all your teams under the same page
- Create a central point of truth and reference for your brand
- A place to share brand objectives with even your future freelance content creators
But before you do that, you’ll first have to fit all these plans into an efficient content calendar. This calendar will act as a self-service portal that helps you organize workflows, track deadlines, and keep in touch with your clients.
6. Come Up With Reliable Metrics to Track Progress
80% of marketers say it takes 12 weeks to launch a campaign (Welcome & Sirkin study, Jan 2021). With the right planning, however, you can take even fewer weeks.
Once you’ve developed your brand marketing strategy, there has to be a way to measure its efficacy.
Is it working, and if so, to which extent? This calls for you to embrace key performance indicators and branding metrics to track progress in your campaign.
Reliable metrics will help you:
- Make informed decisions rooted in data
- Create gradual improvements in your branding
- Perform A/B testing in your branding campaign
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