by Ronii Bartles | Featured Contributor
What do you think of when I say the word branding? Your logo? Your brand story? Your official colors? The font you use?
According to Dictionary.com a brand is:
noun: kind, grade, or make, as indicated by a stamp, trademark, or the like: the best brand of coffee. a mark made by burning or otherwise, to indicate kind, grade, make, ownership, etc.
verb: to label or mark with or as if with a brand. to give a brand name to: branded merchandise. to promote as a brand name.
Recently I was moderating a roundtable discussion on ‘Branding Across Multiple Medias’ for our Charleston American Marketing Association (shameless plug alert!), which I’m currently the President of this year. During one of my sessions I got a really great question. One of the ladies at the table piped up and asked me the bold question, “What’s the difference between marketing and branding?”
What? That’s an interesting question.
Do you know? Can you guess? I just told you the formal definition of a brand but what does that really mean?
My answer: Your brand is the anchor for your marketing.
Short sweet and to the point.
What does that really mean though?
So your brand is the core of all your promotions. It’s more than just your logo. It’s why you exist. The story you tell, the visual identity that represents that story and the culture (or lifestyle) you create with your brand.
This is your anchor and it rarely changes.
Your marketing, on the other hand, is the creative muse for communication that places your brand in front of your customers’ eyeballs. Marketing is the messages and promotions you create to help convert sales. Your marketing messages can change frequently. They are here to support sales. But they are always anchored by the brand.
Here are 3 ways to anchor your brand message.
- Include your logo on all your communications: Including your email, social media, print advertising, everything! Don’t forget about those operational communications like invoices and memos too.
- Use your brand story as your elevator speech: We all that 30 second elevator speech that we use for networking to capture people’s attention and quickly tell them who we are, what we do and why we do it.
- Mix in brand messages and elements into your marketing messaging mix: When developing copy for marketing communications incorporate some of your brand elements like small pieces of your story or by using your colors and fonts.
Its easy to get confused on what’s your brand and what’s your marketing messages but keep this one rule of thumb handy: your brand is always the constant and your marketing message is the fresh and zesty message that drives sales. Happy anchoring!
Ronii Bartles – Marketing & Branding Expert from Bartles & Associates – Charleston, SC
Ronii is Bartles & Associates’ self-proclaimed Chief Rockstar. She has a whole list of amazing (but slightly boring) credentials like a Bachelor’s Degree from Shepherd University, a MBA from The Citadel, The Lowcountry Business Network Advisory Board Member and is President of the Charleston American Marketing Association, where she was also a 2012 Marketer of the Year Finalist. She loves to go around telling people that she actually is one of the Most Influential Women in Business in Charleston and a 40 Under 40 winner because the Business Journal told her so. Professionally, Ronii grew up in the marketing research industry and has been Director of Operations at ARG and W5. She took all that experience and started Bartles & Associates and roniibartles.com where Ronii and her team work with creative entrepreneurs and small businesses on developing branding and marketing strategies around what they do best, which they lovingly call Operations Marketing. B&A helps businesses uncork their potential by uncovering their WHY and then crafting that message into concise, memorable brand stories and marketing messages. Ronii is an active volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters for over twelve years, and won Big Sister of the Year in 2008. Originally from West Virginia (you can take the girl out of WV but you can’t take the WV out of the girl), she loves beer, college football (Let’s GOOO Mountaineers!), pizza, jeans and a t-shirt, and designer high heels. You can connect with Ronii on Twitter or LinkedIn or email her.