Branding, Marketing & Advertising 101

Branding 101:

  1. Branding is the Big Picture.
  2. Branding is the sum of all impressions one has of your business.
    • Such as, the quality and detail of your seasonal collections; public relations and news about the organization; social media output; your name, graphic and visual identity; packaging.
    • Deliver a consistent on-target brand experience across all consumer touch points – brick and mortar, web, media, print, and product.
  3. Your brand should be consistent in standing for something.
  4. Your team should exude passion, knowledge, and enthusiasm about the brand and what it stands for.

This principle sounds easy and straightforward but in fact it takes a lot of introspection and work to create your vision, believe in it and be true to your brand.

Marketing versus Advertising 101:

Marketing is a plan and strategy in executing your vision and goals.  It’s how you communicate your brand.  Marketing is not advertising, social media, and public relations [PR].  It is all of these and then some.  Advertising, social media, PR, product placement, sales, pricing, etc. are single components of the marketing process.  Questions that should be answered when developing a marketing plan: What is your value proposition?  Does your consumer experience or receive something of value?

The best way to distinguish between advertising and marketing is to think of marketing as a pie, inside that pie you have slices of advertising, market research, media planning, public relations, product pricing, distribution, customer support, sales strategy, and community involvement.  Advertising only equals one piece of the pie in the strategy.  All of these elements must not only work independently but work together towards the bigger goal.  Marketing is a process that takes time and can involve hours of research for a marketing plan to be effective. Think of marketing as everything that an organization does to facilitate an exchange between company and consumer.

Now, many of you think social media is marketing and that’s it. Wrong.  As stated above, it is a part of your marketing strategy. Caution: do not let social media be your only means of communicating to the consumer.  Develop a total marketing plan that will bring you commercial success.  Social media is good for reach and engagement, across all media platforms, offering high quality content, information, exposure, and brand awareness.  The key is to measure how much it brings you commercial success.

Image:  Barbara Kruger, artist, Frieze Los Angeles (2019)

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Rhonda P. Hill

Founder, Publishing Editor

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