I’m not exactly a salesman, by definition. Every business owner however has to be able to promote their own products and services. I class myself as a storyteller, more than a marketer. Or a storytelling marketer. Or a storytelling marketer with a big belief in the importance of branding. If you want to put a label on it.
Even when working a lot in the areas of social media marketing, branding & design is where my passion lies. Marketing is a vital part of every business, but unfortunately that is often confused with what a brand identity actually is.
Very bluntly put, the difference between a brand identity and a marketing strategy lies in the feature image above. A brand identity show off your brand, its ethos, its care, its consistency and eventually, its products. A marketing strategy shows off the products and where to buy them, how to best convert a potential customer, and tracking the metrics of those.
Branding, for me and my business anyway, is a long term strategy of storytelling the business into the world, in a world where marketing is a method of sale and conversion.
Very often. Too often, people think branding & marketing, are the same things, it’s the way you sell your stuff. Not entirely, no. Whilst marketing dips into the stats, conversion rates and actual number of clicks, purchases, conversions etc. branding is all about the essence. The vision of the business. The..brand.
My opinions definitely lie on the brand side, as this is my area of work. Creating brands. Enhancing their visual presence. Adapting them to the 2017 world. Not making sure that people buy the product at first glance, but making sure they remember what, why and where. What the brand is. Why the brand is. And where the brand is.
A business has to have a clear definition of what it is. Whether you sell products or services; whether you are B2B or B2C etc etc. Defining that clearly is the first step to portraying it and storytelling to your target market.
Why is this business a thing? What problem does it solve? Maybe there’s a personal reasoning from the founder of it. Then there’s a story behind it. Often businesses are started by accident, because that one small idea someone had and brought to life, helped them, and suddenly they realised it can help other people too. There is always a story behind every businesses; telling the story of it is an important part of the brand identity.
Behind every business there is a brand; and behind every brand there is a business.
This can mean many things, I like to look at this as a ‘where’ the business is in terms of strengths. A photographer’s or a video studio’s strengths will lie in visuals and imagery, and therefore storytelling in a visual way. Their brand vision may be to provide the ‘most wonderful and modern event capture in town’; in terms of an online presence they would probably be best suited for a visual medium like Instagram or Pinterest; as well as factoring a million other things that would consider them ‘branded’ in this way. A huge corporate company however, that deals with reusable energy materials, working on a global scale, might want to brand themselves as ‘saving the planet’ and being ‘green’ and ‘environmentally friendly’, and basing their vision on scientific fact like global warming, the effect their methods are having on the world etc.
You can see what I’m getting at. There is no white-box copy and repeat process for two different businesses in terms of their branding. The story and reasoning behind the business stems from the very route and ethos of the business.