Many people use words like advertising, branding and marketing interchangeably when they actually mean very different things. Today’s post is an effort to clarify these differences.
Marketing is usually the first step in the process of getting a product to market and promoting it. It’s the process by which companies create customer interest in products or services. It generates the strategy that underlies sales techniques, business communication, and business development. It is an integrated process through which companies build strong customer relationships and create value for their customers and for themselves. It’s used to identify the customer and to address the customer’s needs in order to keep them satisfied. With the customer as the focus of its activities, it can be concluded that marketing management is one of the major components of business management. The adoption of marketing strategies requires businesses to shift their focus from production to the perceived needs and wants of their customers as the means of staying profitable.
The term marketing concept holds that achieving organizational goals depends on knowing the needs and wants of target markets and delivering the desired satisfactions. It proposes that in order to satisfy its organizational objectives, an organization should anticipate the wants and needs of consumers and satisfy these more effectively than competitors.
A strong marketing strategy dictates the direction for the brand. It strives to create a product that is coveted for its function as well as creating an emotional connection that will result in brand loyalty.
A brand is the personality that identifies a product, service or company (name, term, sign, symbol, or design, or combination of them) and how it relates to key constituencies: Customers, Staff, Partners, Investors, etc.
Thoughts, feelings, perceptions, images, experiences, beliefs, attitudes, and so on are all part of the psychological aspect of brand associations. The experiential aspect consists of the sum of all points of contact with the brand and is known as the brand experience. The psychological aspect, sometimes referred to as the brand image, is a symbolic construct created within the minds of people and consists of all the information and expectations associated with a product or service.
People engaged in branding seek to develop or align the expectations behind the brand experience, creating the impression that a brand associated with a product or service has certain qualities or characteristics that make it special or unique. A brand is therefore one of the most valuable elements in an advertising theme, as it demonstrates what the brand owner is able to offer in the marketplace. The art of creating and maintaining a brand is called brand management.
Careful brand management strives to make the product or services relevant to the target audience. Brands should be seen as more than the difference between the actual cost of a product and its selling price – they represent the sum of all valuable qualities of a product to the consumer. There are many intangibles involved in business, intangibles left wholly from the income statement and balance sheet which determine how a business is perceived. The learned skill of a worker, the type of metal working, the type of stitch: all may be without an ‘accounting cost’ but for those who truly know the product, the difference is incomparable.
A brand which is widely known in the marketplace acquires brand recognition. When brand recognition builds up to a point where a brand enjoys a critical mass of positive sentiment in the marketplace, it is said to have achieved brand franchise. One goal in brand recognition is the identification of a brand without the name of the company present. For example, Disney has been successful at branding with their particular script font (originally created for Walt Disney’s “signature” logo), which it used in the logo for go.com
Consumers may look on branding as an important value added aspect of products or services, as it often serves to denote a certain attractive quality or characteristic. From the perspective of brand owners, branded products or services also command higher prices.
The marketer and owner of the brand has a vision of what the brand must be and do for the consumers.
Brand awareness refers to customers’ ability to recall and recognize the brand under different conditions and link to the brand name, logo, jingles and so on to certain associations in memory. It helps the customers to understand to which product or service category the particular brand belongs to and what products and services are sold under the brand name. It also ensures that customers know which of their needs are satisfied by the brand through its products. ‘Brand love’, or love of a brand, is an emerging term encompassing the perceived value of the brand image. Brand love levels are measured through social media posts about a brand, or tweets of a brand on sites such as Twitter. Becoming a Facebook fan of a particular brand is also a measurement of the level of ‘brand love’.
A global brand is one which is perceived to reflect the same set of values around the world. Global brands transcend their origins and create strong, enduring relationships with consumers across countries and cultures.
Global brands are brands sold to international markets. Examples of global brands include Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Marlboro, Levi’s etc.. These brands are used to sell the same product across multiple markets, and could be considered successful to the extent that the associated products are easily recognizable by the diverse set of consumers.
Advertising is a form of communication intended to persuade an audience (viewers, readers or listeners) to purchase or take some action upon products, ideals, or services. It includes the name of a product or service and how that product or service could benefit the consumer, to persuade a target market to purchase or to consume that particular brand. These brands are usually paid for or identified through sponsors and viewed via various media. Advertising can also serve to communicate an idea to a mass amount of people in an attempt to convince them to take a certain action, such as encouraging ‘environmentally friendly’ behaviors, and even unhealthy behaviors through food consumption, video game and television viewing promotion, and a “lazy man” routine through a loss of exercise. Modern advertising developed with the rise of mass production in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Mass media can be defined as any media meant to reach a mass amount of people. Several types of mass media are television, internet, radio, news programs, and published pictures and articles.
Commercial advertisers often seek to generate increased consumption of their products or services through branding, which involves the repetition of an image or product name in an effort to associate related qualities with the brand in the minds of consumers. Different types of media can be used to deliver these messages, including traditional media such as newspapers, magazines, television, radio, outdoor or direct mail; or new media such as websites and text messages. Advertising may be placed by an advertising agency on behalf of a company or other organization.
Non-commercial advertisers that spend money to advertise items other than a consumer product or service include political parties, interest groups, religious organizations and governmental agencies. Nonprofit organizations may rely on free modes of persuasion, such as a public service announcement.
When you are ready to start promoting your product or service the Square One team is here to help you do it professionally, ethically and successfully!