When it comes to your business, it is important to build your reputation and identity in order to send out the right image to your customers, both current and prospective. Marketing is a term often thrown around when businesses are trying to sell a product or a service, but how many companies fully understand what marketing is, and how it differs from your brand?
While branding and marketing are both very important to the success of your business, they are very different. All companies must sell in some way, even if you are a non-profit organisation. Your marketing and branding strategies play a huge part in how you sell not only your product but the image of your company. After all, today, it’s your reputation that helps build awareness in the face of new customers!
What does marketing mean?
Defined as the management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably, marketing is a tactical tool to have within your business. It is an integral part of brand building; communicating the promise that you want customers to know about when promoting what you have to offer.
Well-researched marketing can be a great investment that pays for itself, especially if it is well-executed too. By having the right marketing strategy, you can ensure you know your customer, meet customers’ needs and ultimately drive profits. Marketing is essentially the tool you need to acquire customers and maintain a relationship with them.
How does branding differ from marketing?
Branding can be seen as something much bigger than marketing; it is the expression of the truth and values of an organisation, showing the characteristics, values and attributes associated with the company. Your brand is so much more than a good logo or a well-designed website; it is ultimately what determines if you will become a loyal customer or not.
Branding is something built on to create your company’s identity and personality; creating an image that is seen by the public eye. It remains long after your latest marketing tactic and been and gone. Having a strong brand strategy is important to your business as it projects a vision for the future and clearly states what your business stands for.
Brand strategies and why you need one
Having a brand strategy in place for your business can have many benefits. It sets you apart from your competitors and can also help you focus when it comes to putting out marketing material, ensuring you are putting the correct message out. It can also build on your company’s identity and give your business a concentrated concept.
There are various promotional strategies you can adopt to support your brand and help to push it that step further, putting your company in the thick of things.
Creating and handing out promotional gifts is a great way to allow a potential customer to sample your product; or if you are a service-based company, some promotional merchandise may just put your brand in the minds of your consumers and become your very own advertisement for your business. If your branded product is useful and relevant to your target audience, they will no doubt be used in public which can create more exposure.
In fact, in a recent study, 71% of consumers said they felt happy when receiving branded merchandise. And that happiness is quickly associated with your brand.Not only does promotional merchandise give your customers the warm-fuzzies, it’s also the most effective marketing tool for every demographic: from Millennials to GEN X’ers and Baby Boomers to the Silent Generation.
With how huge social media is now, it can be an effective way to create a buzz around your brand. It can be a more direct way to promote your product or service while increasing your audience on a personal level.
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