Branding Versus Advertising: How Different are the Two?
What is the difference between branding and advertising? You would be surprised by the number of marketers who do not really comprehend the difference. Both concepts are constituted in marketing and have the ability to impact each other. Differentiating between the two will boost your marketing strategy, as well as your brand.
Branding is all about your identity. Who are you? What business do you do? Why should I remember your name? How do I feel about your brand? Though the answers to these queries should obviously relate to your products and services, they should not be limited to them. Your brand is like a person with a personality. For instance, when somebody talks of Apple’s iPod, most people think beyond just a product to buy. People identify with its exuberant size, vibrant color and active youthful silhouette.
Communicating Your Brand Identity
Logo & Name: These are the very first virtual representations of your business that people encounter. While brand recognition entails these two, brand building goes further to focus on what people think and feel when they encounter your name and logo.
Atmosphere: What comes to mind when you remember Starbucks? Cozy seating, wood-paneled décor, and enthralling coffee smell? Similarly, a thought of McDonalds clouds your mind with bright colors and lights, engrossing play areas, a whimsical-looking clown, etc. What would you want to go through your customers’ minds when they think of your business’ environment and décor? Strive to achieve exactly that!
Community Outreach: Consider what kind of image you would want your business to portray beyond your commercial responsibilities. Do you care about the environment? Do your employees just relax and watch TV during down time or engage in CSR activities around your locality? Have you given any donations to a cause or engaged in a fundraising?
Work Environment: What kind of working conditions do you subject your employees to? Are your policies and business culture staff-friendly? Remember that your employees also make up a crucial part of your company’s brand. If they feel dispirited or mistreated, they can be a source of massive negative brand publicity for your business.
While the bond between your customer and your business starts and ends with its brand, an ideal customer is one who buys from you not only because they are in need of your product or service, but also because they have a desire to see your brand grow. Know who these customers are and keep them happy.
To advertise means to communicate to your customers what you have for them via sales, radio and TV ads, coupons, and posters. When you advertise, what you are looking for is to meet and benefit from your ideal customer.
Advertising, Branding & Trust
In understanding this, let us consider a personal relationship where your brand equals you; your product equals a cup of coffee, and your customer equals your friend:
Scenario A: You have a cup of coffee that you would like your friend to buy, so you contact them and request that they come over and make the purchase. It is highly probable that your friend is going to feel that your only interest was in selling and do not actually care about them. You are putting the product and expected profits ahead of your mutual relationship. An honest brand relationship is missing here.
Scenario B: You request your friend to come over to your place for a cup of coffee since you would like to have a conversation with them and enjoy some good time together. Here, your relationship comes before your product. You are genuine as a brand.
In conclusion, all we are saying is that you should consider all the options you have in ensuring your brand means more than name and logo design, colors or jingle, to your consumers. Know your ideal customer and provide what they are looking for. This way, your brand will be able to create a long-term following of loyal customers.
Image source: flickr.com
An ordinary person with great love for internet business