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5/13/2014 Branding Strategy As Your Secret Marketing Weapon

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BRANDING
By Liz Papagni, Published April 12, 2014
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BrandingStrategyAsYourSecretMarketingWeapon
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Marketingwithoutbrandingislikefishingwithoutahook.
Youll be distributing your message, sure. You may see results in the forms of sales closed and new customers. But
is there even anything behind the words? As expert James Heaton eloquently puts it, your marketing is a method of
pushing your message out, while your branding is the pull that attracts customers. While a marketing campaign may
convert a prospect into a buyer, your brand is what retains their business for life. In an ideal scenario, its so much
more than pure messaging. Branding strategy allows you to position your business in your market solidly, build
meaningful relationships, and retain customers over time.

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5/13/2014 Branding Strategy As Your Secret Marketing Weapon
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In an ideal world, a solid brand should precede your marketing. However, thats not to say its ever too late to begin
developing a branding plan for the future. No matter when you start, its sure to offer immense benefit to your
marketing program and outcomes. The following are some of the ways that defining your organizations core can act
as your marketing secret weapon:
BrandingisAboutExperience
Humans arent spurred to purchase because of a really catchy slogan. While it cant hurt, its actually a lot less
meaningful than you think. According to neuroscientist Douglas Van Praet, motivation is actually driven by far more
visceral things, which are primarily ideas of motion and memory. While a great marketing campaign may be
memorable, a well-defined brand is far more likely to stick with a person because its about creating an experience.
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Expert Steve Manning believes that a brand can be the difference between a commodity and an experience. People
purchase products based on factors like price or convenience, which are often conveyed during marketing thats not
connected to a larger strategy. However, branding can transform your company into an experience, and your products
into a tool for your customers to achieve a certain lifestyle.
By defining a 360-degree view of who your company is, youre able to integrate more sensory experiences in your
marketing messages that reflect your core values, mission, and essence. You can define how your product fits into
your customers lives, instead of just emphasizing attributes. These experiences can trigger memories, which are far
more likely to inspire a purchase than well-written, but disparate, marketing communications.
BrandPositioningMatters
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Driven by a passion for marketing and 25 years helping companies of all sizes drive awareness,
engagement, response and ROI, I launched Marketing Initiative Worx to help companies and
agencies drive their business by taking their marketing to the next level. I founded the company
on the belief that defining a... View full profile
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Every well-written brand strategy should include brand positioning. It can be affected by the following factors:
1. Buyer persona and Target Market
2. Product or Service
3. Differentiating Factors
4. Unique Value Proposition
Is it possible to market without establishing these factors, or to determine these each time you create a piece of
content? Possibly, but its not going to work especially well.
Advertisers have long used a concept called effective frequency, which is a measure of how many times a potential
buyer must be exposed to a brand before they become familiar or trusting. In many cases, it takes at least 3 separate
instances of exposure for someone to feel comfortable with an organization. If youre having trouble broadcasting a
unique value proposition, differentiating factors or your target audience consistently, youll have a great deal of difficulty
achieving effective frequency.
BrandingCreatesEvangelists
If a truly clever piece of content marketing converts a few customers, whats the return on investment? It can range
from minimal to profitable, but are you really earning any dividends over time? As Heaton highlights, marketing is a
way to capture sales, but branding is a way to make loyal customers, advocates, even evangelists. Your content
marketing is an owned asset, so ensure its a meaningful investment.
The difference between marketing and branding can be in how your customers are treated or feel once theyve made
that inaugural purchase. An effective branding strategy wont just affect your marketing messages that your prospects
engage with on a constant basis. Its going to infiltrate every level of your business, from your customer advocates to
your policies. The kind of cohesive experience that comes from branding and is embraced by all levels of your
company is what creates customers for life.
For more insights on the benefits of branding, check out our recent article 3 Reasons Your Brand Always Comes First.
Thi s arti cl e ori gi nal l y appeared on MIW Insi ghts and has been republ i shed wi th permi ssi on.
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CommentsonthisArticle:3 Add a Comment
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Apri l 27, 2014 at 10:45 am
Hi Liz, Great piece.It was helpful in getting the different views of the effectiveness of Marketing Vs Branding. It is
particularly challenging, to have a consistent messaging across all channels of communication and create
consistently high and same quality of experiences.
Reply

Apri l 28, 2014 at 3:45 pm
Great article. Picked a few things. Thanks!
Reply

Apri l 28, 2014 at 4:47 pm
Thanks, and glad you found it helpful.
Reply
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