A special thanks to our colleague and strategic partner Aruna Inalsingh, Ani Marketing. She has prepred this blog for us to share with you. For more information about her company and services you can reach her at:
What is branding?
In very basic terms, a brand is the soul of your product or service. It is more than your logo or corporate design and colors. It is essentially the visceral reaction that buyers get when they think about your offering. Your brand is defined by everything it touches -- advertising campaigns, packaging, customer service, etc. Think of branding as the output of your marketing efforts.
What is marketing?
Marketing is the input that creates and reinforces your brand. Marketers help identify your brand's differentiators and strategize on how you can make your brand more recognizable faster. They also devise promotional and communication plans to reinforce the value of your brand.
Marketing + Branding
So let's put marketing and branding together. Marketers help organizations select a few adjectives to describe their brands. Then they list every place where the brands will be touched and decide how each of those customer experiences will effectively reflect the brand. Then, marketers determine your metrics for successful branding.
Let's say your brand represents health insurance that is so simple to use that even a child could do it. So marketers would design a plan that defines this brand from the first touch to the ongoing customer experience. Promotion would begin with simple but professionally designed cartoons that have short-phrased callouts. When signing up online, the user experience would be a basic but comprehensive decision tree, so that there would be no need to click on the very obvious customer service phone number. Within a few days the welcome package would arrive, wrapped like a present. And, when you want to confirm that your doctor is on this insurance plan, your phone call would be answered with a friendly, maternal voice, scripted with a few, clear options and a real life, helpful and understandable customer support team at the touch of “0”, an obvious choice. Is it working? Well this company continues to increase its subscribers and its investment dollars. So I would say, so far, so good.
Marketers provide the branding plan, creating a personality and designing an organization to support a customer experience. The more aligned the internal and external experiences are, the more tightly a brand is defined and reinforced, helping it come to life – and helping it stay alive.