Branding...Marketing...Communicating...Sales....the language of creating a business can get really confusing these days. Well I'm here to hit the EASY button for you!
Think of Branding as the "essence" of your business...the feelings you have associated with a particular product/service/organization. Branding, in effect, should come before and lie within any marketing or communications strategies you might employ. Your Branding should simply tell the customer who you are and why you exist.
Marketing is activation. It's tactical in nature and its sole purpose is to make customers react, i.e. pay for your product/services. The processes by which you entice customers to purchase what you are selling is the chief goal behind marketing.
While Marketing and Branding are equally important elements behind your business plan, the Brand is what lives on and tells a potential client if he/she wants to engage in your product/service offering. Great Brands create loyal customers, evangelists, who will carry the message forth and share it with others.
Think about one of your favorite Brands. What was the last product or service you shared with a friend or colleague? What did that Brand do correctly in order to earn your endorsement? The goal is to gain passionate participants. What can you do differently to engage your people and give them a memorable experience?
Remember, logo, colors and slogan are as relevant as the reputation your business is built on. All of these elements come together to make up your Brand. Apple is a classic example of a Brand built with consistency, an out-of-the-box approach, beautiful design and quality deliverables. In addition to these elements, they create Brand loyalty with their unabashed commitment to being 100% Apple. Other Brands use this "approach" to promote their own products/services through subtle Brand association attempts.
The key is to create a Brand others admire and aspire to be like. What is it about your Brand that others already admire? How can you build upon those elements to create an even stronger Brand experience?
Your Brand is your exclamation point to the world. Your declaration. Your true essence. (click to tweet)
I'd love to hear more about your favorite Brands below in the comments and also start a discussion about some of your biggest Branding challenges.