Where the confusion begins

Are you getting frustrated with your advertising results? Or are you discovering that your tried-and-true marketing techniques are no longer effective? This may mean that it’s time for you to re-visit your brand. But how do you find out exactly what’s not working anymore? Although branding and marketing share some overarching goals and can often be seen working in tandem with one another, they also have some very distinct roles to play in your overall business strategy to get your customers to buy in. We want to equip you with an understanding of those differences to avoid making costly mistakes that could set you behind your competition.

What is branding?

The simple definition of branding is a promise made in the name, term, design, value and the good that is visually and emotionally felt. Think about branding as the unique story you want to share with your customers. Sure, the name of your business matters, but beyond the words and colors you must ask yourself: how do my customers react to my brand?

A great brand should set your company apart from your competition. It should be memorable with an easy-to-understand message. If your brand isn’t performing the way you envisioned, don’t despair! Sometimes all you need is to tweak some details that you might have previously left unnoticed. To understand what small changes can do, let’s take a look at TheOwnly.io’s latest logo evolution.

As you can see, TheOwnly.io’s logo addition was very subtle and discrete. The addition of the shopping cart in their logo allow customers to relate identifying features back to their service. TheOwnly.io revealed their new logo at the same time as their new website: https://theownly.io/

While a logo is often where most small businesses start to identify a look and feel of their brand, your logo is only a small part of your brand package. Fonts, palette, and imagery round out the visional aspects of your brand, but also reflect on the key words that describe the values and energy of your business. Stay ahead of the competition by making thoughtful statements that speak clearly to your target demographic. Ultimately, these key phases are used to create a pillar “brand statement” that can be referenced to build your business ethos.

Keep in mind that changes in your brand grasp the attention of your customers, capitalize on this attention by intentionally making changes to announce a directional step in your business, a new and exciting product, or changes that you’d like your customers to notice.

What is marketing?

Marketing is all about the action of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising. In other words, marketing is the actionable strategies you take to connect with your customers.

Always keep in mind that your marketing efforts should relate back to your business objectives.

Ask yourself these questions before getting started on your marketing strategy: Do I need to increase my brand awareness first? Am I looking to generate leads? Do I need to drive more foot traffic or web traffic to my business? By outlining and defining your goals when starting your marketing strategy, you can, with a clear mind, implement marketing initiatives that focus on what really matters to your business.

Before you begin creative, consider where you can intercept your target audience’s attention. Keep up with the trends and opportunities in traditional and digital media is important to ensure your marketing dollars are effectively spent. So, take the time doing the research and planning of a marketing strategy before you begin. The marketing creative you present to the public to promote these goals should connect back to your core brand, present information in the most simplistic and clear way (audiences won’t give you much of their time to get your point across). Include a call to action so that your audiences know what to do next and so that you have an indicator of the success of your marketing efforts.

A good marketing strategy should have checkpoints to evaluate and refine performance. Establishing monthly or quarterly reports will allow you to identify trends and review low performing advertisements with your team.

How to start establishing a brand

Establishing a strong brand for your business should always come first! You can’t market a brand that you haven’t designed yet. Before successfully marketing to your target market, you want to make sure your brand is memorable to make your advertising efforts worthwhile. Ask yourself this core question: Does my brand speak effectively to my target market? If you’re unsure of your answer, you may want to revisit the market positioning of your brand with a marketing team to ensure your brand fosters a meaningful and up-to-date relationship with your customers.

If you already have a brand that represents you, take a look at your marketing efforts to ensure you’re starting with clear objectives, producing creative that will successfully showcase the objective to your audience and have clear and regular indictors of success. Don’t have an internal creative and marketing team to manage this for your company – Reach out to an experienced marketing team for support.

When it comes to branding and marketing, don’t just take a shot in the dark. Make a well-informed decision that starts with proper market and demographics research. Whether you have a pre-established brand that you’d like to refine, or you are just getting started in your marketing initiatives, understanding the importance of branding and marketing can help you take your business to the next level. Find out how we can help make this happen for your business by contacting us.