A common marketing flaw is the failure to understand the difference and relationship between branding and advertising. While both are key elements of marketing, and are delivered with the express purpose of increasing revenue, they do so in different ways. And each has the potential to make the other more or less effective.
A brand is a set of expectations, memories and stories, which account for a decision to choose one product over another.
Critically, it is not the image you project, it is the recollection your audience feeds back.
Advertising supports branding through relevant messaging to your audience(s).
In today’s fragmented media channels, it’s important to develop consistent and distinctive brand messaging, to help create the memory structures that will place your brand front-of-mind at the critical decision time.
Advertising that has the power to engage emotionally on behalf of a brand has been proven to be much more effective than communication which follows a rational, persuasion strategy. We tend to make emotional choices, then post-rationalise our reasoning afterwards. How a brand makes us feel is consequently very important, from the tone of advertising messaging to the simplicity of UX on a brand’s website.
Brand storytelling is a key part of advertising as it is these narratives that help create the strongest memory structures. If the story can be enhanced into a positive physical brand experience then better still, because we are more likely to remember something we personally experience versus just being told. Successful advertising is distinctive and engages the audience emotionally. Combine this with distinctive branding and your brand will become memorable and grow. Simple.
Brand articulation is key
A simple focused articulation of what you want your brand to stand for, its tone of voice and key benefits can make a huge difference to the impact of your marketing communications.