The definition of “brand” seems obvious at first, but surprisingly it can be misunderstood. Does brand just refer to a company’s logo, its colors, and its name? Or, is a brand defined as the overall identity of a company and its perception in the market? The paradox is that every marketer knows that their brand should be at the core of their company, however, many can’t clearly define what a “brand” is. Before diving into brand marketing, let’s clarify exactly what determines a brand.
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What is a brand?
In the past, branding referred to just putting a label on a product or company asset for the purpose of indicating that it belongs to you or your company. Take Guinness for example, one of the world’s most recognizable brands. They were one of the first companies to trademark a symbol, the harp, in 1876. The company recognized that adorning their beers with this image builds trust and recognition around their asset, beer. In 2018, branding still stems from the company’s logo and name, however, it’s evolved to become dynamic and multifaceted.
A strong brand today requires a personality that resonates with its audience in a synchronized way, across all platforms, from social media to billboards, to its packaging. Modern-day branding can be defined as the art of representing a company’s identity from who they are, what they do, the level of quality they offer, to their reputation.
What is brand marketing?
Brand marketing promotes your products or services in a way that highlights your overall brand. The goal of brand marketing is to link your identity, values, and personality with effective personalized brand communication to your audience. Essentially, your brand is the bridge between your product and your customer. Brand marketing is not just about putting your logo and business name as many places as possible and expecting to generate sales. Many times, the importance of brand marketing gets overlooked, as it takes time. Many marketing departments are focused on short-term goals, rather than nurturing long-term goals that impact the entire business, like building a brand.
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The importance of developing strategic and consistent brand equity
Brand equity is beneficial for building your company’s reputation, trustworthiness, and market reach. Consequently, your products and services will have a higher value. For example, why do customers choose the brand name painkiller, Tylenol, over non-branded options that would offer them more value? Because the brand is consistent, recognizable, and trustworthy. Having strong brand equity allows them to charge more for the product and create brand extensions like the release of a new product, Tylenol PM.
Apple is an example of a company with long-lasting brand equity. It’s built an authentic brand by positioning itself as an innovative maverick in the tech industry. The brand is centered on product quality but also uses distinct, creative communications to strengthen both the sale of a particular product as well as the overall brand. When they launched the MacBook Air laptop, the advertisement demonstrated the exceptional features of the product through the distinct lens that is the Apple brand.
The ad shows both the unique features of the laptop, while undeniably being “Apple.” When your brand has strong equity, each piece of communication can increase both the awareness around the new product and the overall brand.
How to build a brand marketing strategy that aligns with your business
When building a brand, it’s important to create a long-term plan. All brand marketing strategies should be guided by establishing a company vision, determining a target audience, creating consistency, and communicating emotion.
1. Establish a company vision
Your company should first decide what it wants to be known for, and then develop a strategy to pass the message through all available marketing channels. For example, does your company want to be known as the leading innovator in your industry, like Apple? Or perhaps the provider of joy and happiness, like Coca-Cola? How about the power source for the athletes, like Nike? Or even the provider of all things value like Walmart? Monster Energy, for example, initiated a brand marketing campaign that involves having their drinks branded with popular Formula One drivers like Lewis Hamilton and Valentino Rossi. Monster wants to be known as the edgy and adventurous energy drink that powers fearless Formula 1 drivers. Fans of these champions will identify their success with the energy drink.
2. Identify a strategic target audience
If you don’t correctly identify your target audience, your brand marketing efforts could be unsuccessful. A target market is much more than understanding basic demographics. Many marketers fall into the trap of saying “I’ll target anyone that wants to buy my product,” or I’ll target all moms in the UK. Instead, a target market should be broken down by psychographics and explained by creating buying personas.
For example, say you’re an all natural ice cream company. Instead of setting your target as “moms with young kids” it should be, “parents between the ages of 28 and 38 with elementary school-aged kids, that center their purchases based on sales and markdowns, but place value on the ingredients of the products they serve to their kids.” You should also have multiple personas within this one target market. Such as moms that have different shopping habits, or feelings towards the brand. Once you have established a strong target audience, move on to creating a consistent brand.
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3. Be consistent
How you interact with customers over time is a crucial cornerstone to effective branding. Your message, visual aesthetics, and brand tone should be recognizable and aligned for the long-term. Consistency is vital to building trust and loyalty. McDonald’s is an example of a brand that has maintained some of the strongest consistency over the last few decades. When one sees the infamous Golden Arches, they can almost taste the fries, or picture the inside of the restaurant. The brand stands for inexpensive, easy to access, and quick to purchase fast food. Although we’re all not McDonald’s, through consistent branding in any industry, you’re product or service can be well recognized and trusted.
One way to ensure consistency is to build awareness and trust online. Since most, if not all companies use some sort of online marketing, creating brand consistency online can be the first and least expensive step to developing a consistent brand. Although consistency is an important aspect of brand marketing, it can be a challenge to monitor and measure.
Lucidpress is a tool that offers branded content marketing strategies to streamline the consistent production of content, making it easier to create and maintain your brands look and feel. To reinforce your brand consistency and overall trust, use branded links when sharing any link, both online and in person. Links bridge the gap between brands and their audiences. When you use branded links, you’re attaching your company’s name to every piece of content that you’re sharing, which also creates consistency.
You also need to ensure your visual marketing is on-brand as well. Portraying a consistent brand aesthetic online unifies the image potential customers see and builds authority and credibility for your audience base. One way to do this is to ensure the way you present photos and videos evokes your brand. Use a good photo editing tool to transform content by using colors, text, and borders that stick to your brand standards.
4. Make sure your brand marketing follows through in real life.
You could have the best brand when it comes to personality, design, content, and consistency, but if your product does not follow through on its promises to its customers, all these efforts could be lost. Product quality should be the key factor when looking to establish a robust brand. When you have a poor product or service quality, it negatively affects the perception of your brand. Plus, you should ensure that attention to quality extends to all areas of the company’s interaction with clients – including social media platforms and support.
Department store, Nordstrom is an example of a company that follows through on its brand promises. If you ask anyone familiar with the store what Nordstrom is best known for, they immediately respond, “customer service.” This starts from each employee’s first day. They have one rule, “to use good judgment in all situations.” This trust empowers each employee to make the right call. Because of this, there are extreme examples of employees that went to great lengths to meet customer requests, from searching through vacuum bags to find a customer’s missing diamond, to accepting the return or tires (although Nordstrom does not sell tires.)
On the other hand, Volkswagen, a car company known for producing affordable, reliable, practical, German cars. In September 2015, their reputation was damaged, when it was announced that they lied on emission tests for their diesel cars. When a company lies or does not live up to its promises, its brand marketing essentially does not align with what you’re actually selling, creating distrust from your current and future customers.
5. Draw emotion
Coca-Cola’s brand is built on establishing an emotional connection with its consumers is vital to its success. If you position your business as a must-have brand and build a following, you’ll have tapped into the full power of brand marketing and benefit in the long-term. Don’t worry creating emotional links can be done in other ways than by having the highest marketing budget in the world.
By providing great customer service and randomly surprising customers with next day delivery, Zappos’s customers have built up an emotional connection with the brand. Zappos is notorious for going above and beyond for its customers, from sending a customer recovering from surgery flowers to delivering a free pair of shoes to a shoeless best man at a wedding. Because of this, Zappos has built an emotional connection with its customers, creating loyalty which leads to repeat purchases and advocacy.
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The evolution of brand marketing
Brand marketing has evolved over the years as new ways of communicating developed, and companies found new ways to build their image both on and offline. Through social media, brands have a new channel to engage with their followers, get insights, and broadcast their values and personality. Companies are building brands through immersive digital experiences that mirror how their followers behave online. Adidas used Snapchat to launch a competition for its #myneolabel because the platform is popular with their younger target audience. Millions of followers participated by submitting designs that Adidas selected from and produced, both growing their brand and boosting customer loyalty in this target.
Brand marketing originated from the need to label products so consumers knew what they were getting. Today, although it has a similar basic role, the overall goal of branding has been impacted as new channels of communication develop, and customer preferences evolve. As the rulebook for brand marketing continues to rewrite itself, don’t get left behind – implement a strategic and consistent brand marketing strategy and future proof your business.
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This Article is About:
- Brand marketing defined
- The elements of a brand
- What is a brand?
- How to build a brand
Originally Posted: 6th of November 2018
Last Updated: 20th October 2020
What is the brand marketing? ›
Brand marketing is the process of establishing and growing a relationship between a brand and consumers. Rather than highlighting an individual product or service, brand marketing promotes the entirety of the brand, using the products and services as proof points that support the brand's promise.What is a brand in marketing PDF? ›
A brand can be defined as a set of tangible and intangible attributes designed to create awareness and identity, and to build the reputation of a product, service, person, place, or organization.What is branding in marketing with example? ›
Branding is the process of communicating a unique selling proposition, or differential, that sets a product or service apart from the competition. Examples of branding techniques include the use of logos, taglines, jingles or mascots.What is the importance of branding in marketing? ›
Branding allows you to build relationships with your audience, which can eventually turn them into loyal customers. You can create a brand that people actually care about and put yourself ahead of businesses that aren't using this to their advantage.What is brand very short answer? ›
A brand is a product, service or concept that is publicly distinguished from other products, services or concepts so that it can be easily communicated and usually marketed. Branding is the process of creating and disseminating the brand name, its qualities and personality.What is branding short answer? ›
Branding is the process of creating a strong, positive perception of a company, its products or services in the customer's mind by combining such elements as logo, design, mission statement, and a consistent theme throughout all marketing communications.What is a brand in marketing Kotler? ›
In the book Principles of Marketing (by Philip Kotler and Gary Amstrong), this simple definition for brand is given: Brand is a “name, term, sign, symbol (or combination of these) that identifies the maker or seller of the product.”What is a brand and its purpose? ›
Brand purpose is a company's “why” – its reason for being and the things it stands for. This “why” is usually to do with the customers it serves and the market niche it seeks to fill.What is brand and its types? ›
A brand is the characteristics that distinguish a business, organization, product or service from other sellers. Often, businesses identify their brand using unique symbols, terms, names, designs or other features that represent their organization and its values.What branding means to you? ›
An effective brand strategy gives you a major edge in increasingly competitive markets. But what exactly does "branding" mean? Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from that of your competitors.
What are the types of brand marketing? ›
- Personal branding. ...
- Product branding. ...
- Service branding. ...
- Retail branding. ...
- Cultural and geographic branding. ...
- Corporate branding. ...
- Online branding. ...
- Offline branding.
First steps for creating a brand
particular skills - such as excellence in design. high-quality customer service. providing the best value for money in your marketplace. innovation - perhaps in a niche market.
Good branding elevates a business and builds recognition and loyalty. Customers are attracted to brands that share similar values with them. When you showcase what you value through branding, customers will develop an emotional connection to you.Why branding is important with example? ›
Your branding is the first thing your customers will experience and will help them to form an opinion on what you're about. For example, it provides a visual clue about the products or services you offer, your intended audience and your values.What are the 3 importance of branding? ›
Your brand represents you and your promise to your customer. Your brand helps you create clarity and stay focused. Your brand helps you connect with your customers emotionally. A strong brand provides your business value.What is your brand meaning? ›
Your brand is the image customers have of your business, so take the time to define it thoughtfully and early, before the market does it for you. That way, your company's image will be what you intend it to be. It should be strategic and intentional.What is name brand meaning? ›
Britannica Dictionary definition of NAME BRAND. [count] : a product that is made by a well-known company. clothing stores that sell name brands at low prices.Why is it called brand? ›
The modern word Brand is derived from the word “Brandr”, a word from Ancient Norse meaning “to burn”. Around 950 A.D. a “brand” referred to a burning piece of wood. By the 1300s it was used primarily to describe a torch, essentially a burning piece of wood that is used as a tool.What is in a brand? ›
The fundamental elements of a brand include the brand compass, brand archetype, brand personality, competitive advantage, brand promise, visual and verbal identity, and brand experience.What is the meaning of brand with example? ›
A brand is a name, trademark, or other symbol which distinguishes a product or manufacturer from others in the market, for example Coca Cola, Apple, or Ford.
What is value of a brand? ›
Brand value is the monetary worth of your brand, if you were to sell it. If your company were to merge or be bought out by another business, and they wanted to use your name, logo, and brand identity to sell products or services, your brand value would be the amount they would pay you for that right.What are brand features? ›
Brand Features means the trade names, trademarks, service marks, logos, domain names, and other distinctive brand features of each Customer or Provider, respectively.What is the brand strategy? ›
A brand strategy is the holistic approach behind how a brand builds identification and favorability with customers and potential customers. A brand strategy encompasses several different brand elements like voice, storytelling, brand identity, brand values, and overall vibe.What is your brand examples? ›
Your personal brand statement has to be strong, descriptive, short, and catchy all at the same time. Some examples include: “I help individuals reassess their life choices to discover their true paths to success.” “I develop sustainable business models and marketing strategies to fuel small business growth.”What is importance of brand management? ›
Brand management gives you the opportunity to ensure that both the intangible and visual aspects of your brand are aligned. A brand that is consistent and clear puts the customer at ease, because they know exactly what to expect each and every time they experience the brand.What is the most important concept in branding? ›
The three most important branding concepts that are the basis of all branding processes are brand promise, brand attributes and brand personality. A brand promise is a promise or commitment the company makes to its customers.Is branding a type of marketing? ›
Think of marketing as the actions you take to connect with your customers and get them to buy your products or services. Branding, on the other hand, is the marketing practice of actively shaping your brand. Branding is about defining who you are as a company.What is a brand example? ›
A product can be easily copied by other players in a market, but a brand will always be unique. For example, Pepsi and Coca-Cola taste very similar, however for some reason, some people feel more connected to Coca-Cola, others to Pepsi. …and so on.Why is a brand important? ›
Branding is important because not only is it what makes a memorable impression on consumers but it allows your customers and clients to know what to expect from your company. It is a way of distinguishing yourself from the competitors and clarifying what it is you offer that makes you the better choice.What makes a good brand? ›
A good brand has a clear focus, knows their target audience, has a defined mission, knows their competition and USP, can identify their key values, tell their story and have a brand identity reflective of these goals, and does all of this consistently.
What is the main function of a brand? ›
It aims to establish a significant and differentiated position for the product in the target market that so as to attract and retain customers. Branding is the process of creating distinctive and long lasting perceptions in the minds of consumers.What your brand means? ›
Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from that of your competitors. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.What are the 3 types of brands? ›
- A corporation or company brand.
- A product brand.
- A personal brand.