Guide Whatever You Do Brand You

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For more information on the brand strategy tutorial, visit here where you will find a fuller explanation and link to a free download of the first video. Your email address will not be published. Leave this field empty. Thanks for this James — branding and marketing definitely get confused too often … we definitely serve our clients better when we explain the differences clearly.

Well, just to challenge the standard view a bit: what if the idea that branding precedes marketing comes from a too narrow view of marketing?

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But marketing has been developed also as a strategic tool, which is itself at the very core of the entire business strategy. How can branding suddenly take its place? As I started to develop city marketing in the s, when branding was not developed at all in this particular area, I seem to have developed a different view than those who see marketing as just a tool for branding.

Thus, it is still an integral part of strategic marketing. Does this make any sense? Yes it does. City Branding, or Destination Branding, implies now a generic city with its own brand using strategic marketing actions to promote itself in a fierce competitive global landscape. Marketing is tactical. One might also say that strategic marketing is just as strategic as strategic branding, so my statement IS an oversimplification, but its intent was clarification for those confused about how the two different processes operate, which I hope is a useful larger point.

Marketing operates primarily through tactical means, and branding, while manifest in all things including every tactical action, is to my view, really about what people hold in their minds, and this is significantly more about strategic positioning than tactical action.

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So it goes. In the 15 months since I wrote this post, I have, it turns out, spent more time talking about marketing than I have about branding, and this could be a reflection of my own awakening to just how much strategic ground marketing could be made to cover. Branding though still remains, for me, fundamental. To take your example, when it comes to marketing a city, is it more important to look inward and create a brand that is true to the experience of those living or visiting that place, or is it more important to think about what the city has to offer in terms on the needs of those who use it?

For me this difference in approach is a key difference between branding and marketing. Each approach to the problem of what to do yields a slightly different outcome. Each implies differing tactical actions, and I now believe each approach benefits from the insights brought by the other. In our own Branding and Marketing Discovery process, we now do both things—we try to get at the truth of the brand from the perspective of those who know it well, and then we also try to understand the brand offer in terms of the needs of those who do and might potentially consume it.

Is this what really happens? In any event, thanks for helping me think about it. I will continue to do so as I want to always be learning. Thanks for your thoughtful reply. Good points. I am luckily out of the whole marketing game. And I am glad you have a rather pragmatic view of it, too. But about the original question, I probably have a simply old-fashioned view of it, as I was like sleeping for some twenty years — I had nothing to do with marketing after the latter half of the s — and when I returned to the topic recently, it seemed that the discourse was more about branding than marketing, and it sure attracted my attention.

If I try to explain what I meant in the previous reply, I simply see that the product dimension of marketing grew out from its original place in 4Ps and became a kind of spearhead dimension through the interplay of business strategy, product development, and the symbolic aspect of communication, which for understandable reasons started to change the traditional idea of the marketing mix. This, together with fundamental changes in the economy of which you know more than I do and what Lash and Urry, for example, refer to as economies of signs and space , and a general emphasis on the increased symbolic nature of economic life incl.

This is why I see that the DNA of branding is in the interplay within the product-communication axis. Hence the brand is now at the core of the new discourse. As to your question about city branding, I guess I am not completely wrong if I translate the dilemma into the relationship of brand identity and the brand promise of the city. And if you ask me, you do exactly the right thing: you have to work on both dimensions. Yet, there are two extremely important things to take into account. First, a city is a reflexive entity. Thus, when we brand a city, we are also reworking the identity of the city, because there is no longer the same identity that there was before we started our endeavour.

Of course, this requires that our actions are influential and meaningful to the community. With this exaggeration I am just trying to point out the very evolutionary nature of brand identity in the case of city branding. Branding is meant to point out weak points, gaps, cleavages, and tensions that require not only narrowly defined branding designed for external audiences but also profound changes in the self-perception, conditions, and policies of the urban community in question.

This is a well-known story in many post-industrial cities which really needed a large-scale restructuring in order provide decent working and living conditions for their citizens. Sometimes it works, sometimes not, but in such cases there is no other way than just to try. Glasgow, Bilbao, Pittsburgh etc.

This message is getting too long, but let me just summarise. Yes, sometimes you must ask the city to reform itself in order to be able to attract desired values from the space of flows. Thank you for taking the time to thoughtfully answer my question. I see you are publishing what looks to be a fascinating book on this subject: The Political Economy of City Branding.

We are beginning to brush up against these very issues as we work on branding and marketing projects involving keynote public institutions—like museums—in smaller cities. Their fate and identity is deeply intertwined with that of the city itself. So the questions we face sometimes grow larger as we get deeper into the real issues at play, until we are inevitably talking about the brand of the city itself, and how that will change or force changes on the institutions we are seeking to help and vice versa.

I must soundly disagree with your position.

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Everything else is a cost. Your view of marketing as a tactic is much too narrow and simple. Marketing is everything that an organization does to get and keep a customer. Sorry for the lateness of my reply. I was off grid practicing what I preach in How Not to Vacation. I do not disagree with you at the level of the most general definition of marketing.

You might also notice that I touch on the question of the ongoing debate over whose concept is bigger in my discussion above with Professor Anttiroiko.

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I do not want to add fire to that. If you want marketing to be the first principal, fine, but the marketing approach and the branding approach remain distinct and complementary aspects of the what should be a synthetic and comprehensive process. I maintain that understanding their distinctive roles and contributions to this process makes for better marketing your definition. I certainly do NOT disagree with Peter Drucker or his statement about the essential role of marketing for all businesses.

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On this point, please see my post: Marketing is Not Optional. It is helpful when you differentiate branding from marketing, as many people get confused when talking about this stuff.

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It was a pleasure reading your post. More Power! Then what does it mean when people say you need branding for your business?

I mean, if branding is what we are then why do we have to do it? Thanks for the question.

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So, the truth and effectiveness of your brand expression matters a great deal. This requires expert and persistent articulation and supporting expression across all the constituent elements of your brand, at least those over which you exercise direct and indirect control. This includes, but is not limited to, your employee training, your vision statement, your physical spaces if you have them, all of your deployed brand assets such as photography , videos , logos, graphics, colors, how you use language, and of course, your marketing communications expressed through websites , printed materials and all manner of advertising.

Your brand is a living, breathing thing that is simultaneously within your organization and spread across all those who ever have and will ever encounter you. In my opinion, Branding and Marketing, and Sales, are more intimately connected than we think… And they should be treated as one function. Hi guys! If yes, can you give me an example?

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  8. So I guess that this ID is built up by marketing tactics, which cost money. Am I wrong? It can and should also be more than that. Crucially, it has to have external manifestations through whatever means including marketing. Your brand exists, I think, in the interplay between what you are and what you do including your marketing tactics on one side, and the idea your consumers retain about you on the other. So I see marketing and branding as two essential aspects of the ongoing relationship organizations have with the world. Marketing, as I describe it, is also there looking at the issue from its vantage point in the mind of the consumer.

    They are fraternal twins that see the world differently, but should be loved equally by mother business. Organizations do not HAVE to spend money on branding, but many do and rightly so.

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    They spend money on branding when they need assistance with what should be natural and easy, but actually is not—finding clarity. Organizations also often have to spend money on branding, when they or their marketplace is evolving or changing, or when they are having trouble expressing themselves effectively across all communication pathways. We actually have two rubrics for strategy: one that assesses the brand viability of an idea or execution from the mind of the organization and another that assesses the marketing viability from the perspective of the mind of the target consumer.

    Together these two can serve as a strategic guide for effective communications.

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    Neither is truly fixed. Perhaps this is just the consequence of a basic reality: things always change—markets, people, tastes. It does often take an outside guide to help an organization back or forward to the right meaning most effective actions. In the end, brand communications natural or supported should serve to foster a more positive and constructive influence over your brand as it exists and evolves in the mind of your brand consumers.

    I think it worth mentioning that for a company to succeed, it needs both branding and marketing. Marketing for short term cash flow, and Branding for building the loyalty or equity. Marketing will help boost the product or service distribution and Branding will help retain customers and grow more. Your brand will develop a reputation, initially by marketing tactics, but ultimately by consumer experience.