Integrated Marketing Is Specific–It’s not the Same as Branding
Integrated marketing is a great phrase. Branding expert Ken Bator’s goes way beyond integrated marketing to focus upon customer experience. Ken shares the keys to branding for success. When it comes to Ken’s branding for success, I’m tempted to turn to clichés such as ”He’s the cat’s meow.” But that would be so unfair, since Ken is so much more, seriously, the cream of the crop…ok. Enough with the clichés.
Marketing, whether you call it integrated marketing or just marketing is not the same as branding. Branding and marketing are not synonyms. Marketing is a specific function. Branding is much bigger than that, especially when it comes to branding for success and where customer experience becomes key
Ken’s B + C + S formula is BRAND + CULTURE + STRATEGY. Ken’s formula is not just another three words he came up with to capture our attention. Ken has distilled his years of creating customer experience on the front lines, solving issues for services brands. After seeing the failures and implementing branding for success, Ken came to a realization…these three words are the exact three areas business owners should focus upon when branding for success.
Branding for Success Includes Customer Experience
Ken has more than 20 years of experience in focusing upon customer experience as part of branding for success, particularly for service brands. Ken helps brands reach new levels of effectiveness by helping them learn his B + C + S formula, Ken has hosted and produced four different shows, including the Cool Culture Corner, Branding The Experience, The CU Business News podcast, and Beyond The Call.
Key take aways:
- If you drive people to a customer experience of your brand that doesn’t match with brand integrated marketing, then you’re going to have a real problem on your hands.
- Branding for success doesn’t have to be expensive. Instead be consistent in telling people about what that customer experience is going to be. And match the experience to what you tell them.
- In a service-based business, the customer experience is as, or more important than the actual product.
- The customer experience is actually the more important part of branding. Sometimes, one incident can just kill the entire brand
Connect with Kenneth Bator:
Connect with Cheryl Hodgson:
Brand Strategy to Launch
A brand strategy for launch, or when it’s time to rebrand is vital for the life and longevity of your brand. Brands that lead develop and implement a brand marketing strategy early in their business. A well-defined and executed brand strategy affects all aspects of a business and is directly connected to consumer needs, emotions, and competitive environments. A clear brand strategy is as important as your overall business plan. You can do amazing things with even tiny budgets, but you’ve got to figure out what you’re going to stand for in someone’s mind. First, what is that unique value?
Your brand strategy is going to create that human side to your brand, which is required to make the connection out in the marketplace and also make the point of difference out in the marketplace. It’s really important for startups to be thinking about that at the same time early and often in the development of the brand. Launching your business with a brand strategy is vital, since you don’t want to leave it up to your customers or your competitors to define what your brand is about. You have to consciously address it, or end up having it defined for you.
“The paradox of branding is that you must change to stay consistent.
We have to evolve as brands and along the way, we have to still be recognized. We still have to stand for that thing that is important to our target customers.
Brand Strategy to Evolve or Rebrand
Brands are never finished. They’re a river, not a pond. So that means you have to manage them. It’s not a set it and forget it thing. You have to evolve with it. You have to understand that the brand and your brand strategy has to be managed along with that change to create an up to date marketing strategy.
Your brand must be close with your target customers, especially when thinking of evolving your existing content marketing or digital marketing strategy. This is even true when opting to rebrand, We really have to understand what matters to customers so the brand can move along with them. Brands that look ahead to the future, understand that marketing strategy is creating the future. Use content marketing as part of the rebrand marketing strategy to paint a bigger vision of what’s ahead and how that can be exciting for your audience and customers
Derrick Daye & Cheryl discuss:
- A brand is the sum of all experiences a customer has with you. Everything, all of the touch points, everything adds up to this one thing, and that is your brand.”
- Each touch point where people are interacting with the brand is where the promise that you’re making to your customer must come to life.
- Today where trust really missing in parts of our society, your brand has to be a symbol of trust to lead today.
- Brand consistency is the backbone of trust. People watch your behaviors over time. They come to trust those behaviors and that’s a result of consistency. So if you are making changes with your brand, they should be evolutionary rather than revolutionary. A complete rebrand may not be in order, but evolution of your existing brand.
- Every action we do take, we have to be careful. And the moves we’re making and they have to be purposeful and they have to be on brand. They have to be meaningful to our target customers.
Takeaways from this episode:
- Brands are never finished. They’re a river, not a pond. So that means you have to manage them. It’s not a set it and forget it thing. You have to evolve with it. You have to understand that the brand has to be managed along with that change.
- The fundamentals of brand management transcend all business inquiries in all stages of a business’s development. And as far as when you should be thinking about this is in the embryonic stages of your brand, you think about a business plan. At the same time, you should be thinking about your brand strategy.
- The brands that look ahead to the future understand that marketing is something that creates the future. They can use that to paint this bigger vision in their marketing strategy of what’s ahead and how that can be exciting for their target customers.