West Perth, Australia (PressExposure) September 16, 2009 -- Differentiation and ownership is a key component of any Branding process. The mental image, strong emotional connection and understanding in your customer's mind about your product or service is considered brand. This usually involves establishing differentiated identity, philosophy and personality around your company, product or service which fulfils a specific customer want or need. Branding then really is the promise your company makes to the customer and employees, and the relationship you have with them.
The development of channels and methods of communicating these brand messages is what's considered marketing. For example, whenever an employee has a conversation with a client or customer, they're effectively marketing your brand. Marketing communications are simply vehicles for Brand messages and positioning (how the company / product / service compares with that of its competitors). The brand personality, values and tone of voice should be clearly defined and communicated amongst your staff. Having defined brand identity and strategy makes strategic business decisions far easier.
Often the key to fully unleashing the power of a brand rests with its employees. As it is with organisational branding, so to with employer branding, it's imperative to define what your brand actually stands for. Employer Branding involves the development of a strategic employment value proposition and aligning this through recruitment, selection, induction and talent management activities. This ties in with a company's internal communications and talent management. However, if senior managers don't appear to care about the execution of the brand and its relationship to the customers, neither will your employees at the forefront of the organisation, so brand alignment is also very important.
Truly authentic brands (company, department, and its people) are increasingly successful because they develop unique brand identity and strategy - every bit as important as the product/service being provided and marketed. Marketing campaigns and their effectiveness are usually measured in months, whereas brand equity and strength can be calculated over years, even decades. Every marketing campaign and effort should go towards defining, positioning and strengthening brand.
A brand is the result of marketing consistency: customers expect that your brand will continue to display the same characteristics and attributes. It is this expectation which results in a covenant between the brand and your customer, this consistency is often upheld by the company's brand values. The process by which a company identifies its set of brand values is usually an introspective procedure, reflecting the beliefs of the company's management, employees and stakeholders, whilst marketing usually involves external communication of these messages.
Marketing communicates single-mindedly and quickly; branding is slow and multi-faceted because communicating to build brand character takes time. Marketing messages often lead with a USP (unique selling proposition) mantle, while branding is far more complex by design (rich brands being a plethora of many messages, associations and brand character traits combined). Brand values and associations forming your brand's character/personality are hardly ever one-dimensional. Such a mixture of marketing messages therefore is usually an asset to your brand.
Well developed and implemented brands offer tangible benefits including maintaining a genuine and defensible market position; improved external awareness, perception and desirability; development of a collaborative internal culture and brand alignment; the integration of all messaging; and probably the benefit of greatest interest to company stakeholders - revenue growth.