Most traditional marketing agencies will advise you to focus on building your brand. They say it’s of utmost importantance to advertise your business name and logo as often as possible in order to build “brand recognition.” But do potential customers really care about your logo or the name of your business?
The answer is “of course not.” Customers only want to know if you can fix their problem. Their loyalty isn’t to your brand, but what it (you) can do for them. So what exactly is a brand? What is YOUR brand?
What is a Brand?
A brand is a story well told. Branding is how you get your message across. It’s the core message of your values, the quality of your work, and of your products & services. A brand is a promise of a certain expectation.
Your brand is the personality of your product or service. It’s better to know the name of your next client than for them to know yours.
Focus on what you sell, and on providing the best possible product/service, and less on your brand image.
Don’t focus on your brand, logo, business name, etc. Focus on your message, ie. what you have to offer, product, service, and how it can help your target customers. Otherwise known as “content marketing.”
If you have a brand that is big or worthwhile, people will want to do business with you based upon the value that you provide, the quality of service, your customer service, etc. Not because of your name, logo, or other visual branding elements.
Branding for branding’s sake is ego marketing. It’s marketing to your own ego, but isn’t effective in bringing in new customers. A name and logo doesn’t mean anything to a potential customer if they don’t know the quality of work you do or the value that you can provide to them.
Don’t focus on image advertising, focus on the response you want someone to take from seeing your message.
Remember the Sprite commercial from several years back? “Image is nothing. Thirst is everything. Obey your thirst.” Your marketing & advertising should follow a similar pattern. Focus on the needs of your customers (thirst), not on your image.
Branding might enable you to be top of mind. But top of mind isn’t the same as close to heart. Just ask Microsoft.
Branding is image advertising. The problem with image advertising is you can’t track/measure the response/effectiveness of it.
The whole point of advertising is to bring in clients… ie. to make money. Not to build your brand, not to make you famous, but to make you money.
Awareness doesn’t make you money. You can’t deposit your brand or awareness of it in the bank. More customers makes you money!
Content marketing is the new branding. Creating information, answering questions that potential customers want answered. This is the way to bring in new customers today. It’s how business is built.
So are you building your brand, or are you building your business?
Elle C. says
“Branding might enable you to be top of mind. But top of mind isn’t the same as close to heart.”
What a refreshing point of view!
You too often hear bloggers preaching “branding branding branding”. As a new blogger, too much focus on branding marketing leaves you feeling a little souless. You almost forget why you started writing in the first place! I’ll definitely be remembering to focus on the message. Thanks for the perspective.
Seth Spears says
Exactly. Thanks for weighing in, Elle.