How does marketing differ from branding?
To know the answer to that question, you must first understand the meaning of branding. Even those considered business savvy don’t always understand the meaning of the term and often simply lump it into the overall category of marketing. While that’s true to an extent, the concept of marketing and branding are actually quite different.
Marketing is an effort to actively promote a product and convince consumers why that product is better than the rest. You’re telling the public why the product is the latest and greatest, that the gadget is cutting edge, or that they simply have to have it. While marketing is so much more complicated than that, it really boils down to getting the word out about a product or service.
Branding, on the other hand, should come before marketing. Branding is essentially used to tell a story. It lets consumers know what a company stands for while communicating the values and characteristics of that business. The brand is meant to tell the public who you are and why your business is important to you. A brand is a company’s identity and should stand alone even as marketing efforts ebb and flow.
Is it time to rebrand?
Corporate identities change over time, and it’s important for your brand to change as well. Ideally, you should examine your brand every seven to ten years to determine if it’s still reflecting your core principles and values. Typically, there are obvious reasons to rebrand, but there are often more subtle reasons for determining the need to evaluate whether your brand is still working for you. The following are just a few reasons why it might be time to sit down with the professionals.
Image is Everything
Perhaps you’ve had a pretty successful business thus far, but you feel like your image hasn’t kept pace with current trends. Maybe your brand worked well for decades when mom and pop ran the business, but you’ve noticed over time that your customer base hasn’t seen a great deal of growth or expansion. Rebranding is a way to capture an entirely new audience while keeping your existing buyers. It could be that you’ve simply faded into the background noise of ever changing trends. By revamping your image, you’re telling new, as well as existing customers, that exciting things are happening in your organization. Consumers will take notice of the changes and want to check in to find out what surprises you have on the horizon.
Your Business or Audience has Evolved
Maybe your original scope has evolved over the years, but your brand hasn’t. If your business started as a catering service but has since grown to include event planning, then it’s time for your brand to reflect that. If someone is looking for a party planner, you don’t want to be passed over simply because your brand identity doesn’t give any indication that you offer those services. Perhaps your target audience is evolving as well. If you started in medical sales, with a focus on large medical facilities and practices, but you’ve since expanded into home health, then it’s time for your brand to indicate such.
It’s all about the Message
If you feel like you’ve missed the mark on your efforts at attracting the customer base you’re seeking then you might need to examine whether your message is the reason. It’s time to appeal to a whole new demographic. Rebranding can send a specific message to attract the audience you’re after. Switching direction doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be drastic with the changes you make. Sometimes it’s as simple as altering your message to reach a new segment of the public. In an effort to attract health conscious customers to your new restaurant, promote your exclusive use of grass fed beef or your creation of several new vegan dishes. If you want to brand yourself as a family friendly health clinic, get the word out that you offer flexible hours and a child friendly environment. Let your message tell your story.
What is it you do?
Most of us have, at one time or another, been challenged to explain what it is we actually do for a living. Even though we know what we do on a daily basis, it’s difficult to explain. When asked about your business, you should be able to easily communicate what service or product you provide. It could be that your brand has diversified over time, resulting in confusion for consumers. If you find it difficult to explain to others what your company actually does, then it’s time to sit down with the professionals for a makeover of sorts to help you simply your mission.
Mergers and Acquisitions
This one happens to fall into the category of obvious reasons for rebranding. As companies merge or acquire new businesses, it’s important for their brand to reflect their new identity, often with a change in company name. Consumers will want to know that they can still place their confidence in your product or service, regardless of any restructuring of your company. A name change can bring some much needed life to your organization, but it can also be confusing for clients. It’s important to marry the brands without taking away the identity that customers have come to know and trust.
Chatter Marketing Can Help!
Chatter Marketing understands the process of rebranding can seem rather daunting. While the familiar may seem comfortable, it might not produce the results you’re really after when it comes to targeting your preferred audience. Don’t let your fear of change keep you from taking your business to the next level. Whether it’s simply time for a change or it’s a necessity for your company to move forward, we have the tools necessary to successfully implement your rebranding effort, start to finish.