I apologize – it’s a bit of click-baity title, but I’m sure you saw it coming :).
In this article, we’re going to make the difference between Marketing and Branding. Way too many businesses are falling into the branding trap and forget about marketing.
Why you should (mostly) forget about branding
Let’s start with a bit of a controversy right away: branding is much more important to you than it is to your customers. Remember in the power of a great story, how we said the story is about your customer, not you?
Branding is much more about you and not a lot about your customer.
While you are obsessing with your logo, business cards, and choice of color palette, your customers want to know how your solution will solve their problem. The truth is, branding means (and is worth) nothing when nobody knows you.
a public image, reputation, or identity conceived of as something to be marketed or promotedMerriam Webster – Definition of Brand
Creating a brand takes a copious amount of time and(or) an insane amount of cash, which is completely out of the scope of regular businesses that don’t have millions to burn in advertising. Indeed, few companies can get away with branding only. Their market dominance is such that they barely have to explain what they are selling – they are mainly showcasing a lifestyle. They are household names that live “rent-free” in your mind, like Coca-Cola, Nike, Apple, etc.
The fact is that for business owners, their own business is SO omnipresent in their lives that they already live “rent-free” (and then some!) in their mind. Therefore they skip marketing and think they can just go with branding. That is not the case, and it requires some perspective to realize that.
The MOST important branding you can do as an SMB will happen by itself by word of mouth. Satisfied customers will recommend your products or services to others, talk about you on social media, and slowly but surely, your name will be known in the industry if you keep steady.
How you treat customers is the best branding action you can take for your first many millions of revenue. Once you have the budget to advertise in the hundred of thousands in branding, then you can start cementing it.
What you *really* want to do is Marketing
Marketing on the otherhand, is quite different and this is what you should focus about.
the process or technique of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or serviceMerriam Webster – Definition of Marketing
Marketing is not about star power; it’s about established techniques and principles that are often rooted in human science and psychology studies to understand how to get someone’s attention. A great story is a successful marketing campaign. It presents a premise that the audience easily understands and is engaging enough to buy into. It creates a desire to see the story come to fruition, which, in business terms, means to come to a sale.
In the next installment of this series, we will go over some basic marketing techniques that are all too often neglected by SMBs. Subscribe to be alerted of the next article! 🙂