When you look back to the days you first started dating, what do you remember as the most exciting part of this experience?
For me, it was the chase that came just before the date. Ladies I don’t know if this rings true but some of the little things that took place during this phase were simply exhilarating. I remember times when my friends and I would pretend not to like the guy when in fact we did, strategically planning our walks by the same corner he hangs out with his boys just so he could take notice of our presence or just the simple act of waiting for that promised call to come through the landline (phones of yore). These things just did it! The allure of the unknown was exciting and senseless all at the same time
Branding is more like dating. Our customers are our potential mates, and the brand represents the partner that is hellbent on luring the customer to the ‘date trap’ or in this case, ‘The business deal’. To win the customer over, the brand will employ some branding tactics to make sure the overall package looks attractive. This will include having a great logo, the right colors, a well-crafted tagline that portrays its essence and even going down to ensuring its unseen yet very important aspects such as its brand values are aligned to the promises it makes and is seen to stand for.
Juxtapose this to the dating world, and you will find that that these maneuvers can be equated to the suit the guy wears, his charisma, personality, his looks, and everything else that generally exhibits who he is as a person and to some extent his family background. All these traits are packaged in this one gentleman and will be presented in the most appealing way possible. This is exactly what Branding is. It is a concept that deliberately seeks to create a certain image that one would like to be defined by.
Once the 2 potential partners have locked in on each other, the next stage is the going out on actual dates! From going to the movies, having picnics, eating out at different restaurant cuisines to just chilling together at home, there is always something new and exciting to do with your potential partner. This is a phase that allows you to learn more about your partner with one end goal in mind; -To make sure that she or he eventually agrees to become your girlfriend / boyfriend / wife / husband. This I liken to what the experts will call the marketing activities or tactics.
Once your customers have been identified, there are many activities that will be carried out to ensure the brand’s features are projected in a way that gets the customer to connect and take a positive action towards the brand. And this is where marketing comes into play.
Marketing will generally revolve around the 4P’s of marketing and is done with the overall intention of making a sale or closing the deal. This will mean working on activities that ensure we adopt the best place or route to market to guarantee the highest margins, the right price point that will convert the customer faster, the best product or service that fulfils a certain functionality or purpose that the customer seeks and finally the right promotion tactics that will bring in the right awareness level to eventually lead to the sale.
This is a simple yet necessary illustration that seeks to bring out the difference between Branding and Marketing. A question that I have encountered repeatedly in my career.
While Branding seeks to create a certain image, Marketing seeks to rouse interest and drive towards a specific action. These two concepts are like 2 peas in a pod and one can never stand in isolation without the other.
Depending on where you are in your life, whether in the dating ring or in a scenario where deal may have closed a long time ago, it is necessary for you to employ branding and marketing techniques to stand out.
If you are in the second bracket of people like I am, I can only assume you did something extraordinary to standout from your ‘competitors’ for your partner to say yes to you. Perhaps with the yes, came new extensions of you and your partner? Or maybe new acquisitions? Whichever the case, the real output is that there is some aspect of growth in your life now just like there will be growth in your business when both Branding and Marketing are well synchronized.
I ask you today, what are some of the tactics you have employed in your life to #Standout4Growth?