Brand Marketing - Definition, Strategies, and Steps
Brand marketing is an approach to boost your reputation and be recognized as a brand name and design by establishing clear communication and performing marketing activities accordingly. Brand marketing helps you to differentiate your product from others. It tells you how to get an audience's attention when selling your product or service in a crowded market.
Brand marketing aims to promote your products or services in a unique way which will highlight your brand as a whole. It tells the story of your product or service by emphasizing your whole brand.
- What is a brand?
- What is marketing?
- What is brand marketing?
- Purpose of brand marketing
- Objectives of brand marketing
- Difference between branding and marketing
- Strategies for brand marketing
- Steps of brand marketing
- Brand positioning
What is a brand?
To understand brand marketing, first, you'll need to understand what a brand is. A brand is a widely used term, but it's not well understood. In simple words, a brand represents "who you are and what you do."
Earlier branding was just like putting a label on a product or company's asset to indicate that it belongs to you or your company. But a brand today needs a personality that echoes with its audience similarly, across all platforms, right from social media to billboards or its packaging.
Modern-day branding is the art of representing a company's identity right from their basic working, level of quality they are offering, and their reputation. Brands are like feelings, so while marketing your brand, you need to connect with your customers emotionally.
What is marketing?
Marketing refers to the tools you are utilizing to deliver the core message of your brand. Just as products and services you offer, marketing will continuously change and evolve.
Various online and offline marketing activities are performed like Social media marketing, content marketing, pay-per-click marketing, SEO, print campaigns, mobile marketing, television or radio marketing.
What is brand marketing?
Brand marketing helps promote your products or services in a comprehensive way that will highlight your overall brand. Brand marketing aims to link your identity, values, and personality effectively in a personalized way with your audience.
Your brand is the bridge between your products and your target customers. Brand marketing is not all about just putting your logo and brand name to generate sales. But many times, we overlook the importance of brand marketing, as it is time-consuming. For building your brand, rather than focusing on short-term goals, you should nurture long-term goals that will impact your entire business.
Purpose of brand marketing
Your customers will help you in building and marketing that brand. Thus, brand marketing is like taking your customers with you on a journey to build the brand you aspire to be in the future. To survive in a competitive market, a brand must breathe and live through its core values. Brand marketing helps you to create an overall reputation for your brand.
It will lead to increased awareness, recognition, trustworthiness, product visibility, and market reach to target customers. In addition, it is a better way to promote your product uniquely and recognizably, which will highlight your brand. Thus, resulting in a higher value of products or services that you are offering to your customers.
Your brand is not your present, but down the road, it is also who you want to be in the future to your customers. Brand marketing aims to create your product in a way that will hook your audience and help you to lead the current market.
Hence, an effective brand marketing strategy will be helpful to you to stand out from the crowd, take your business to the next level, shoot up sales, and attract new customers. In a nutshell, brand marketing focuses on the aspects stated below:
- Sending clear messages to target customers
- Confirming brand's credibility
- Emotional connection with your customers
- Motivate or convince your customer to choose you
- Augment customer loyalty
Objectives of brand marketing
For the success of your business, brand building is a crucial step and a challenging task. Brand marketing objectives are the main goals of your business, for example, to create a particular image of your product or service in the market or increase your sales and revenue.
Here are some of the most common brand marketing objectives that you can consider while designing your branding strategy. These objectives are very crucial for the success of your product or service.
Increasing awareness about your product or service is the main aim to make customers recognize and recall your brand through diverse advertising activities.
Loyalty towards brand
You should be able to retain your customers. It's important to make customers not only recognize and select your brand but should stick with it. Your main task is to convince your customers that they have to select your brand by showing your product value and uniqueness.
Advocate your brand
Mouth-to-mouth publicity always helps. You can increase the number of your customers who will recommend your product or service to other people.
Equity of your brand
The main benefit of establishing positive brand equity for your company is that it gives you a higher return on investment. In addition, well-established brands are believed to be more successful because generally, people prefer a well-known company to a less recognized brand.
It will be beneficial to work towards increasing the engagement of your active users. Higher the number of people visiting your website, reviewing your products or placing orders, there are higher opportunities for you to build a recognizable brand.
Identity and image of your brand
People should recognize your brand through your logo, symbol, colors, or packaging, etc. This is only possible when your brand is consistent, recognizable, and trustworthy. The very mention of your brand relates to all your customer's experiences and perceptions about your product or service.
Difference between branding and marketing
To work efficiently, you should understand the difference between branding and marketing. Marketing is building awareness about your brand and its products, and generating sales and branding is a way to express what your business is for and what it's all about. Marketing is a tool kit for you to generate more and more business, and branding is your approach to reach your targeted customers.
Hence branding will always come first as it is the primary content of the building blocks of your marketing strategy. Each of these marketing strategies can promote your brand and make your products or services more successful.
Strategies for brand marketing
A brand marketing strategy is a process to promote your brand and make it well known and visible. With a well-defined brand strategy that is executed properly, you will be able to achieve tangible results in a given time frame.
There are many brand marketing strategies based on your budget, your target audience, the marketing campaigns you are running, etc. Correct brand marketing strategy can create a dedicated fandom.
Brand name recognition
Your customer recognizes you by your brand name, logo, slogan as well as colors. So use the glory and weight of your brand name to drive sales and to attract more customers.
This strategy can be used for your subsidiary products or services functioning independently under your name.
This is a great strategy you can consider by bringing a celebrity or famous personality by showing their particular style and faith in your brand.
"No brand" strategy
This kind of minimalist approach can bring excellent results for your brand. Your logo design and product or service itself are generic, straightforward, and creative at the same time.
If you are a well-established company that decides to create new products or services, this particular strategy can be used. The newly launched products or services will benefit from the primary brand identity.
This strategy is widely used among organized retailers and supermarkets. As a result, you can sell your in-house brand products at a more reasonable price to beat competition from larger, well-known brands.
This strategy is supported by the public or target customers for your brand's creation. Your supporters will be actively involved in creating your brand name. This approach will help you carefully follow your customer's preferences and drive their interest in your product or service.
While creating a brand marketing strategy, please make sure to invest in something that has longevity. No need to reinvent the wheel every time you create a new marketing campaign or new logo designing. This will create more harm than good because extreme changes and inconsistency will confuse and alienate your customers.
Steps of brand marketing
Brand marketing strategy is a very crucial part of your overall marketing plan. It helps you establish sustainable relationships with your target customers and make them buy your product or service. If you wish to establish a well-running business, you have to create an effective brand strategy.
Establishing company vision
Make a list of features or characteristics for which your brand will be known for. Then, create a strategy to communicate these characteristics to your target customers via various marketing channels.
Understand your brand purpose
The core of your brand marking will be based on an understanding of your brand purpose. For this, there are a few things to be considered. These things are to be kept in mind before you do your brand marketing, which will help you to make the right decisions.
- What is the mission of your product or service?
- What are the hero features that set you apart?
- Who are your target customers?
- Why should they trust you?
- What is your brand's background story? Why have you created it?
- What is the current image of your product?
- What does your brand make them feel like?
- Who are your competitors?
- When you have answered these questions, you will have a better idea to craft your brand strategy.
Identify and research the target market
Brand marketing will be successful only if you determine your target customers correctly. So, first, identify your customer by their underlying demographics and psychographic details. Try to understand who your customers are by creating customer personas. A customer persona is a comprehensive picture of your perfect purchaser for your product or service.
For example, if you're selling a small house, your customer persona might be a 30-40-year-old person who's looking for their first house.
Ask yourself questions given below when crafting your customer personas:
- Age of this person?
- Marital status?
- Where do they live?
- What is your job?
- What is their educational background?
- What do they need from my product or service? etc.
Stay consistent in the market
Brand consistency is the key to creating and maintaining reliable brand recognition. You should develop a recognizable name, logo, colors, and communication style with your customers.
Draw real emotions and sell your story
It's important to establish an emotional connection with your customers. To provide the best possible service, work towards customer satisfaction, and work on marketing campaigns to evoke their emotions.
Creating an emotional link with target customers is vital for your success in establishing brand loyalty. You can add a human element by adding a storytelling element to your brand story or tell your customers the background of your business; this may be a great marketing strategy for you.
By creating the right message, you can sell your brand's story. The story you craft and sell will help to connect your brand with your target customer. It will encourage loyalty and help them with brand recall.
Always be flexible to incorporate changes in your products or services as per your customers' feedback. This will build a positive image of your company.
Know about your competitors
It's equally important to get to know about your competitors, just like knowing your target customers. Do the research and determine how you're different from your competitors. Then focus on this difference in your brand marketing message.
For example, if your competitors' unique selling proposition is the cheapest, you can focus on why quality is over price. Then, tell your customers why quality is more important than the price of a product or service.
Create brand guidelines
Once you understand your brand and customers, plan how to connect them in your brand marketing. Represent your brand through visual design choices. Work on basic things like designing a logo, logo colors, font choices, visual design styles, etc. It will help designers and marketers work to tell your brand's story, deliver your message in the best possible way, and ensure brand consistency.
Brand positioning is the process by which you position your brand in the mind of your target customers. It's the core of your brand's competitive strategy and not a promotional tactic.
While positioning your brand in the market, you have to determine how to differentiate your brand from competitive brands in the eyes of your target customers.
Steps to developing brand positioning:
- Understand how your brand's current position
- Define your target customers
- Evaluate your competitors
- Give a reason why buy your product to your customers
- Develop a value-based distinct brand positioning idea
- Define key benefits offered by your product to your target customers
- Define key differentiators wrt other competitors
Your brand will be positioned by customers regardless, so the more focused your company is on developing a solid brand position for itself. This way, your brand will be successful in the market.
Brand marketing has evolved so much over the past few years as new ways of communication. As a result, companies have found new ways to build their image, both online and offline content.
By marketing your brand on social media, you now have a new channel to engage your customers. You can broadcast your brand values and persona with them. You can build brands through immersive digital experiences that mirror how your followers behave online.
That's brand marketing. Rulebook of brand marketing says don't get left behind. Always aim to tailor and design what you create according to the specific needs of your customers after the research has come in.
The importance of brand marketing for your business's success is completely undeniable.
By strategic and consistent brand marketing of your product or service, you will be one step closer to creating an effective, sustainable, and memorable brand image. You can raise brand awareness, boost loyalty, and then get ready to harvest success.
About the author
Dennis Hoinkis has been working as a web developer and in online marketing since 1998. After building up a marketing agency and the exit in 2013, he consulted international groups as a freelance consultant. Since 2020, he and his team now offer staffing services in this field.
Dennis Hoinkis CEO, FSOM Group Corp.