Brand Marketing, not Brand Advertising! Difference?

Establishing a Brand is most successful when the marketing campaign is performed in a consistent manner that projects the image that the brand stands for. In the case of tangible goods this will affect the packaging, logo, advertisements, and quality of the product delivered to the public. The same principle is true for intangible goods there are just slight differences in the branding process.

Just as a brand is the sum of people’s perception of a name, a company logo, the products carrying the brand, and the packaging of the product. Marketing is the strategy with how the brand is utilized, this can be anything from placement to targeting. This is different from advertising, as advertising is part of marketing execution. While you can advertise something in the local paper, on the internet or even with radio, it is the marketing plan that decides what is going to be presented and how, for the specific purpose of accomplishing brand recognition and the long term call to action.

One Fraction of an Example:

  • Advertising – 3 Month Banner Ad on a website. The banner ad has the company name and offers 20% off with mention of this ad.
  • Marketing – A strategic placement of a 3 month banner ad to support the brand image that offers 20% OFF “product” with the donation of a nonperishable good for the local high schools food drive.

Advertising in this case is the action of getting the word out, marketing is the art of strategic placement of different advertising means to engage the general public and create additional sources beyond the first form of advertising. The marketing example here still offers a discount, but has engaged the consumer in the sense of “community support” and developed cross promotion from the would be customers in the school and it’s students. The consumer experience is presented as a great deal, helping out a good cause. When they leave the experience should have been consistent from entering the location (visiting the website) and leaving. When it comes time to make a purchase again, they will recall your brand as a positive experience with value and be drawn back.

Loyalty to Brands

People become loyal to brands and that loyalty may come from many different areas. They may be attracted by the packaging or a commercial they see. It can be as simple as a color scheme and of course the customer will expect quality. Quality is always important since you want someone to purchase your products or services more than one time.  Maintaining a brand is a major part of any marketing plan.

Customers are Fickle

Once a brand has become established, anything done to change the design of the packaging or the way the brand is advertised must be done with caution. Customers are fickle, and it is very easy for them to forget your unproven and time tested brand. It is also easy for a brand to become unrecognizable to a consumer who may decide to buy another product since they can’t find what they are looking for.

Challenges to Marketing a Brand

Brand recognition can be very tricky and many people will switch brands when a product becomes unfamiliar looking to them. They may even perceive that the quality of the product or service has changed even if it is exactly the same. This creates challenges to the marketers who are paid to advertise the brand.

Trial and Error

Discovering the right way to market a brand can be a game of trial and error. This may require a lot of research into the buying habits of those loyal to a brand. The important thing is that someone is paying attention when the marketing plan changes and stops the changes if they are not being embraced by buyers of the brand.

Marketing Must Meet Customer Expectations

The marketing of a brand must remain consistent with what people expect of the brand. Their perception of the brand has a lot to do with why they purchase it. If that perception is ever tarnished it is possible to lose a good customer over a failed marketing plan to increase market share.

The challenge to marketing a brand is to attract new customers while maintaining a consistent feel with the brand. Marketing must keep some life in the product or service offered without alienating loyal customers. This keeps the brand strong and vibrant and prevents customer sentiment from becoming stale.


It is my opinion that the development of a brand is the first stage in any successful business.

  • What do you offer?
  • How do you offer it?
  • What will it look/feel like?
  • What will it be associated with?

Now build a perception of it around what you have discovered here and with what need this product or business is meeting. Decide how you are going to market it, then decide which advertising means will help you accomplish your marketing goals to build that brand recognition.

TIME!!! It takes time to build consistent brand recognition, if your budget it $10,000 then make sure you invest smaller portions of that 10,000 for a longer period of time. The big banner ad for $1,000 a month will not bring the same consistent value as two smaller banner ads at $500 a month, and $500 more a month in community outreach and support. Spread it around a little and make it consistently last. Before moving forward consider how  this “spend” will fit into the brand in the next year, five years and ten years.



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