Imagine: you are looking for a cleaning company and you see two promotional offers with the same prices and services. Which brand will you choose? Most likely, the one who communicates with you in the same language looks more attractive or conveys similar values. Your choice is the result of brand marketing, that is, promoting the company’s image on the market. How this tool works and how to use it, we will tell in the article.
Branding, Marketing and Brand Marketing: What Are the Differences
Let’s analyze the nuances of terminology using the example of an everyday situation. Let’s say you regularly go to your favorite coffee shop, because there are friendly baristas, pleasant music plays, coffee is selected to your taste, and the pictures on the glasses cheer you up in the morning. All these are components of branding, that is, creating an image of the company in the eyes of customers with the help of colors, smells, sounds, communication. Although a reputed logo design services provider or a branding company can help you with your brand marketing, you can also do it yourself following the instructions below.
To get as many people as possible to know about the coffee shop, you need to advertise it: for example, hand out flyers, run targeted ads on Instagram, or shoot viral videos for Tik Tok. All these are elements of marketing, that is, strategies for promoting the company and attracting new customers.
At the same time, in any advertising, a coffee house must maintain its individuality: demonstrate benevolence, care, comfort, choose the same tone of voice (“brand voice”) and broadcast the same values. This is brand marketing, that is, popularizing a brand aimed at building long-term relationships with the audience.
So, brand marketing is impossible without both components of this term:
- A brand is a global answer to the question “who are you?” by nature, mission, difference from competitors, value proposition. This image manifests itself both in the corporate culture and at any point of contact with customers and becomes the foundation for marketing.
- Marketing is promotion strategies that can change frequently. At the same time, branding must remain unchanged so that an emotional connection with the target audience remains.
The main types of brand marketing
Brand’s digital marketing tools and strategies can be very different depending on the following factors:
- The character of the brand;
- Characteristics of goods or services;
- Market trends;
- Changes (for example, product line updates or rebranding);
- Interests of the target audience.
There are several dozen types of brand marketing, we will list the main ones:
- Content marketing: blog on the site, articles in the media, posts on social networks, email newsletters;
- Outdoor advertising: billboards, lightboxes, signs, signs on transport;
- Print advertising: flyers, business cards, brochures, catalogs;
- Online promotion: SEO (search engine optimization), banner advertising, mobile application;
- Corporate culture: communication style in the company, system of bonuses and rewards, events;
- Communication with customers: replies to comments on social networks, working out negativity, communication between support services, staff behavior in retail outlets.
Three Examples of Creative Brand Marketing
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to brand promotion. Therefore, we suggest looking at examples from three different companies and remembering the tricks that work for you.
The coffee chain positions itself as the “third place” between home and work and calls the main mission to inspire people. Therefore, brand marketing is focused on creating a personal connection with customers.
People are offered not Starbucks coffee, but the Starbucks experience: smiling employees, cozy atmosphere, specially selected playlists, places to work with a laptop. This experience remains unchanged in any customer contact. Whether it’s coffee shops, social media or advertising, Starbucks maintains an open, friendly company that focuses on quality service.
For example, in social networks, all photos are made in the same style, and the texts are like live communication with the staff in a cafe – short, meaningful, friendly. In rooms, coffee machines are always positioned so as not to block the barista from customers: this technique helps to create a personal bond.
The company actively uses tools to engage the audience: organizes contests and sweepstakes and stimulates user-generated content with a mention of the brand. Another way to boost customer engagement is through the FOMO (“fear of missing out”) effect, which is limited to limited edition products such as red Christmas cups or spiced pumpkin latte.
The company doesn’t sell cameras, but the capabilities they provide: that’s GoPro’s mission. Brand marketing is centered around a content strategy that is inextricably linked to the product and value proposition.
The main content is videos shot on GoPro, and most of them are posted on the Internet by users themselves. The videos fully correspond to the main message of the brand: they are emotional, exciting, authentic and accessible to everyone. As videos often go viral, cameras are growing in popularity through organic promotion.
In addition, GoPro actively interacts with specialized Internet communities where tourists, extreme sports or entertainment fans gather. This increases brand awareness and helps build audience loyalty.
Nike branding is built on strong emotional messages: motivation, self-confidence, will to win, equal opportunity for everyone. These messages are reflected in all marketing materials – from social media to flashy commercials.
Nike often involves sports stars in advertising campaigns or tells stories of ordinary people who have achieved success despite adversity. This creates a social proof effect and forms a deep emotional connection with users.
A step-by-step strategy for creating and promoting a brand
Is branding possible without marketing? Yes, but then customers won’t know about your company. Is marketing possible without branding? Yes, but you are unlikely to keep your audience for long. Therefore, a brand marketing strategy combines both components.
Step 1. Build your brand image
Think about what kind of your company potential buyers should see, what associations you want to evoke. To do this, define:
- Mission and values: why are you doing business, besides making a profit, what you believe in;
- Unique selling proposition: the advantage that you offer to your customers (low price, innovative development, unique loyalty program, etc.);
- Differences from competitors: by product line, positioning or pricing;
- Target audience: average portrait of the client (gender, age, social status, habits, desires, objections, fears);
- Emotional benefits of the product: what will the buyers receive, in addition to the product or service (inspiration, status, support, care);
- Character of the brand: cheerful, hooligan, serious, friendly.
Step 2. Create a corporate identity
In other words, express your brand identity with colors, materials, sounds, smells. Corporate identity development starts with a logo, colors and fonts. Particular attention should be paid to the logo as the main visual symbol of the brand. Here are some criteria for a good logo:
- Conciseness: give up unnecessary detailing and complex patterns;
- Uniqueness: make sure other companies don’t use the same or similar image;
- Meaningfulness: try to make the logo reflect your mission, values or unique selling proposition.
The LogoTraffic corporate identity creators, marketers and developers will help you create such a logo. The smart builder will offer dozens of logo options, colors and fonts to suit your brand.
Remember that corporate identity should be present at all points of contact with customers – from business cards and advertisements to product packaging and website design. This will make it easier for customers to remember and begin to recognize you.
Step 3. Choose Marketing Channels
There is no single solution here. For one brand, store interior design and discount coupons will work effectively, for another – SMM strategy and hype content. To determine the key promotion tools, be guided by the following criteria:
- Where your target audience lives (online and offline);
- What habits she has, what she loves and what annoys her;
- What promotion channels are used by competitors and how you can detach from them.
Marketing can be built not only strategically, but also tactically: quickly test different hypotheses and change them if they don’t work. The main thing is that on all channels you broadcast a single brand image – both in communication with customers and in window dressing.
No matter which marketing strategies you use, strong branding must be at the core of them. This way you can attract new customers, create an emotional connection with them and gain loyalty. Be honest, engage with your target audience, and don’t be afraid to change your strategy if it doesn’t work: the main thing is to make sure that the brand remains itself.