Misconceptions In Branding
Welcome Back to our Series on Branding. We have already discussed: ‘Why is Branding Important?’ – Part I, ‘Brand Development’ – Part II, and ‘Components & Strategy’ – Part III. Now we only have 2 more to go to finish up this Series: (1) Misconceptions in Branding and (2) How to Make Your Brand Known. Today we will discuss Branding Misconceptions.
One of the biggest misconceptions most small businesses make is to think that ‘branding’ is the same as ‘marketing’, but they are very different. We discussed a little about this in Why Branding is Important, but just to refresh a little, your brand is who and what your business is and represents to others. Your business story.
What do you do, how do you do it and how do you represent that to your audience? Brand incorporates, colors, logo, tag lines and even your voice. When you step back and look from an Outsider’s view, what would someone, who knows nothing about your company, see?
Does It Represent You
Does it represent you/your company the way you want? When others look at your company, do they see that your colors, logo and story match what you are really saying to your audience? It does not hurt to even have someone who does not really know you or your company take a look (an average person) and ask them what they think your company is and what it does (share your logo, tag line & maybe one post/ad you put out recently) and see if it is a match with what you are. It is an interesting experiment, isn’t it.
I would love to hear if you try this and if so, what kind of feedback you received. Remember, it is ok, if it does not match exactly, however, others should know who you are and what your company does if you want them to reach out to you when they need your products and/or services. Consider doing this with up to 3 people and get their feedback. If most come back with something that is Not Your Company, then you need to consider how you can begin to change your branding and message in 2016.
Marketing Versus Branding
Marketing, on the other hand, is more about HOW you get your message and brand out to your audience. The technique, tone, and way you deliver your brand to others is also important, or you will never reach the people who are to become your clients/customers. Whether you deliver that through blogs, social media posts, radio ads, television, or other sources, you need it to say very clearly who you are and what you do? When you market your business, you do not want to ‘shove it’ down your audiences’ throat, but rather you want to present it in a way that solves a problem for them.
Marketing & Branding Working Together
If you think of the brand as you standing still, all dressed up and ready to go out to a nice place, then the marketing would be the vehicle in which you arrive to that place (the place, of course, being your audience). So, thinking of it with this analogy, do you take a limo, horse and buggy, or a beat-up old car? I know, I know, we cannot all afford the limo, right? That is ok because even if you use the horse and buggy, you are arriving in style! So, it is not necessarily how fast you get there, but how did you dress your brand and then how did you move your brand, in order to get there. In our analogy, the limo may be considered radio and television ads, the horse and buggy, perhaps blogs & social media posts, and the beat-up old car would be sitting in the driveway or even a social media post or two to friends and family only (but is not moving forward)!
What if in 2016 we put all of this into practice? How about if we dress up our brand, by getting professional advice if needed, making sure that our colors, logo and tag lines match what we want our company to say? Then if we take our brand and begin the journey to deliver our story, whether it is by limo (high-powered ads) or by horse and buggy (posting social media and blogs) to the desired party (audience), we will begin to grow in a very positive and strong way this year.
I always, truly, appreciate your stopping to read my blog and would love it if you could leave a comment or two for us. If I can help you further, to deliver a better brand in 2016, please reach out to me. I look forward to growing together and hearing from more of you. Wishing you great success with your Branding! I promise to be back soon with our final post on branding and a lot more in 2016!
P.S. Please share and please leave comments – I truly love to hear your thoughts and input!