Brand Development and Marketing: Two sides of the coin

Brand Development and Marketing: Two sides of the coin

Business Development

Sangeetha Shankar

Sangeetha Shankar

12 Jun 2017, 08:54 — 4 min read

Typically, when people think about branding, the first thing that comes to mind is a logo. And when it comes to marketing, it is advertising and communications. This has always been the case and sadly there is little change in this thinking. 

 

Firstly, let’s not talk about branding and marketing in separate breaths. They are two sides of the same coin. A brand is not just about its logo, and marketing is not just about its advertising and communication campaigns. Brand development and Marketing are two separate disciplines, but they need to work together towards a common goal, which is achieving business objectives. 

 

When developing a brand, along with its inherent strengths, the target customer and the competition are studied before arriving at a strategy that defines 

  • What the brand stands for, 
  • What should people perceive it as, and 
  • How it is different from the competition so that customers see value in this difference. 

 

But it doesn’t end there and all of this is carved into the messaging strategy of the brand which forms the foundation for marketing to take off from. 

 

Coming back to the logo now, it is just a symbol which can be thought of as a mental short cut that evokes all these aspects of the brand in the minds of the target customer. 

 

The vehicle used to translate all the aspects of the brand to the customer and enable achievement of business objectives is marketing. The marketing discipline studies all the aspects discussed above and starts from the point of

  • Identifying the market opportunity, 
  • Funnelling it down to the right customer segment not in terms of demographics and psychographics alone, but also in terms of their mindsets given the current cultural landscape that they live in. 
  • Finally, the channels to be used to reach out to this customer segment are identified. 
  • This strategy along with the brand and messaging strategy form the basis for marketing campaigns. 

 

Therefore, logo design and advertising and communication campaigns are just the tips of the icebergs of these two disciplines.

 

We see that brand development and marketing, at least in India, operate as silos. This can be attributed to the fact that there are different specialists that offer brand strategy and marketing strategy as services. And they usually do not talk to and collaborate with each other. Brand strategies usually end up as pretty PowerPoint presentations that languish in computers and marketing strategies are developed in isolation of the fundamentals of the brand and only address tactical business situations. These are typically blind, stop-gap responses to changing consumer needs and new product / service introductions by competition. This results in the brand being diluted over time as well as losing relevance to the target customer that it is being marketed to.

 

In the Indian context, a mind shift is required that insists that brand development and marketing work together always, so that brands are developed keeping the business objectives in mind, and marketing enables to not just meet these business objectives but also strengthen and grow the brand over time.

This article is authored by Sangeetha Shankar and Lakshmi Iyer. Link with them to explore business opportunities.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views, official policy or position of GlobalLinker.  

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Sangeetha Shankar

At The Brand & Mark Co, we offer services right from building the brand, defining the target segments, defining the communication architecture and taking it to the market. We...