In a recent video, I briefly explained the importance of having your brand in place before creating and implementing your marketing strategy. Your brand should be at the root of all your business operations. Marketing without branding is sort of like attempting to spread a message with no content; like raising a plain, white billboard.
In order to understand branding’s role in your marketing plan, it can help to better understand the art of a marketing strategy. A marketing strategy is all about finding and capitalizing on opportunities. It is a group of choices that help you decide where to compete, what to compete with, how to compete, and how to champion your niche or market. It involves:
- research for finding the best market for your product
- analysis for identifying your competitive advantage within that market
- vision for setting sales objectives
- tracking of analytics to develop a marketing mix
- testing and adjustment for management of the marketing plan
Branding and its Value to the Marketing Strategy
In order for your marketing strategy to be effective, consumers must be able to perceive a positive net value. This is how the net value is calculated:
COSTS – VALUE = NET VALUE
In short, the value that the customer believes he’s receiving must outweigh what he’s spending in order for your marketing strategy to be effective. It is impossible to market anything when the consumer feels he’s shouldering a loss.
COSTS include the money spent to buy the product or service, the time spent making the purchase decision, the psychological cost of worrying if the right decision was made, and tangible efforts made to shop for or retrieve the items (driving, searching, lifting, transporting, etc.).
VALUE includes the benefits of the product, any additional services that come with the purchase (warranty, support, membership, etc.), and the value of the Brand.
And there it is: one of Brand’s crucial roles in the marketing strategy. It adds value.
What if your product’s net value is a negative? You have two choices: increase value by adding benefits, adding services, or building the reputation of the brand OR decrease cost by reducing time, anxiety, or physical work involved with the purchase. Never lower the price beyond coupons, sales, or special buys. This works against your efforts to add value by lessening perceptions of quality.
Can you imagine how much simpler a marketing strategy would be to implement when the perceived value of the brand is high? There’s proof of this notion: branded items are always more expensive than unbranded ones. Do you think people are assessing the quality of every product? Or are they buying into a brand they know, trust, and respect?
Markets are created, powered, and managed by brands. Therefore, it only makes sense that a marketing strategy without a strong brand to build upon would suffer in any market. Brands change markets for the better (and in their favour) when they’re innovative, influential, meaningful…and when those things are in place, the marketing strategy virtually speaks for itself.
Branding is not only essential to the building and management of a marketing strategy, it is the core of all company operations. It brings people together with branded language and unified processes for interacting with clients and with the public. It sets quality standards. It infuses values into a work environment and it drives all team members toward a common goal.
The interplay between the brand and the marketing strategy is complex, ever-evolving, and always fascinating. The brand creates value, which is necessary for marketing. The marketing strategy increases the brand’s prominence in the market, which in turn increases the effectiveness of the marketing strategy and the value of the brand.
Having just any brand isn’t enough. A strong brand is necessary for any marketing strategy to be profitable.
Are you interested in learning how an investment in branding can improve your marketing strategy? Are you interested in how it can increase your visibility and profitability? Then you’re ready for our full-day, fully immersive branding experience: the B.R.A.N.D. Building Bootcamp. Register for an upcoming date here, and get ready for a day of branding and marketing wisdom that will change how you think about building your business.