Successful businesses put branding before marketing. There’s a reason. Without brand foundations, you don’t have a platform for your business.
Branding absolutely must come before marketing and I believe this more than ever.
With every brand development project I work on it becomes more evident that branding is the defining aspect of a successful business.
First, let’s clarify what we mean by brand, branding and marketing.
Brand is the perception your audience has of your business. It’s the relationship they have with you. Essentially, it’s the emotional instinctive feeling your audience has towards your business.
Branding is a strategic process focused on strengthening that relationship. It comprises of many different activities within the branding sphere.
Marketing is the collective activity that puts your brand in front of your target audience.
Quite simply, you wouldn’t build a house without ensuring proper foundations were in place. The same applies to the branding and marketing aspects of business.
Brand development establishes your foundations and allows you to explore why you exist beyond financial gain. It enables you to really look at your target audience and understand the nature of the relationship you have with them.
With that knowledge, you’re able to tailor everything from your key messaging, visual identity, tone of voice, all of the key elements that ensure you resonate on a deeper emotional level with your audience.
With those foundations in place, you become authentic, credible and consistently in tune with your audience.
There is always a keenness with businesses to be seen to be actively marketing. It helps people feel like they are being proactive, which they are, and that in turn gives them confidence that they are moving forward.
However, you only want to move forward if it’s in a way that resonates with your audience. If it doesn’t, then all those email campaigns, social media posts, content creation, website design, corporate documentation, proposals, the list is vast and far reaching…all of those elements that sit within the marketing activity space will be ineffective.
Ineffective and a waste of budget and resource as they repeatedly miss the mark.
When your brand foundations are in place, having followed an effective branding strategy, you are ready to move to the marketing strategy and activity phase.
You are best placed for success because your marketing activities will convey a consistent message that’s very much in tune with your audience.
The relationship they have, and want with you, is enhanced. It’s authentic and meaningful, to the extent they become loyal advocates.
Brand and branding absolutely should come before marketing. It’s important to get those foundations in place for onward success.
Brand development can sometimes be seen as a daunting prospect, but with a coherent strategic approach, it can be a straight-forward, enlightening and transformative process.
If you would like to discuss branding or marketing, please get in touch, I’m always happy to assist.