brand marketing

In a previous post on this blog (the magic 6), I outlined the six best practices for Social Media success. This is the "magic 6":

  1. Brand Marketing
  2. Brand Management
  3. Digital Media
  4. Performance Marketing
  5. PR/Earned Media
  6. Social Media (own budget)

This post is dedicated to Brand Marketing.

Branding precedes and underlies any marketing effort. Branding is "pull" - not "push". It is communication of characteristics, values, and attributes that clarify what a brand is.

The brand does not say "buy me". Instead it says, "this is what I am... this is why I exist. If you agree, if you like me, you can buy me, support me, and recommend me to your friends".

The brand is bigger than any particular marketing effort. The brand is what remains. It is what sticks in your mind associated with the product, service, or organization - whether or not, at that particular moment you bought or did not buy. The brand is ultimately what determines if you will become a loyal customer or not.

The marketing determines if you bought a product or service once, but it is the brand that determines if you keep buying that product. Marketing unearths and activates buyers. Branding makes loyal customers out of those who buy.

Brands connect with consumers to turn them into customers. A bond is created and a connection is established that lasts. This means quality is communicated. The connection between the brand and its customers is what the brand conveys. Customer dialogues are established by marketing the strong brand. Customer bases build up the brand and communities are created. Most of these dialogues have been created by Social Media. 

We must acknowledge the wide range of services and communications currently taking place throughout cyberspace. Social networks/media can be tapped to reveal community and consumer sentiment. Does this help brand quality? Maybe. Think of it this way; the brand has been expanded. 

More uses and more audience.

The value of the brand is elevated by the need and want of individuals and groups. Brands have worked to build a strong, favorable, and unique image in the minds of the target audiences. A strong brand image is established by this "image engagement" with customers. Brands then measure who want their product and who is willing to buy it. Strive to build a brand image with as many strong, favorable, and unique brand associations as possible.

Companies (brands) address customer needs by putting forth a value proposition, a set of benefits that satisfy those needs. We can think of marketing as the identification, creation, communication, delivery, and monitoring of customer value. Satisfaction reflects a person's judgment of a product's perceived performance in relationship to expectations. This "satisfaction judgment" produces brand advocates and user communities. The customers have joined promotional programs (which you create) and "talk" about the brand. They are engaged in the brand. They are the "pull" and they'll increase sales.

In this way, brands stay in touch with consumers' needs and seek new advantages, instead of relying on past strengths. Marketing must balance the communication: search, advertising, social media, direct e-mail, and text/SMS marketing.

As a result, the market share will be secure and a "push" for greater market share will exist. This marketing concept, to go after a larger share of the market, is crucial to achieve superior customer value. 

  • Selling focuses on the needs of the seller.
  • Marketing focuses on the needs of the buyer.

Build relationships and networks.

Build an effective network and profits will follow. Own brands to build customer loyalty.