Brand marketing is promoting a brand’s products or services in a way that elevates the brand as a whole. It involves creating and maintaining brand-consumer relationships and marketing brand attributes—the traits that people think of when they picture a particular brand.
In this guide, we’ll provide an overview of all things branding, including brand marketing strategy, types of brands, brand awareness, brand equity, brand relevance, and brand recognition, as well as highlight branding solutions from Amazon Ads.
A brand is how a company differentiates itself from its peer brands. A brand can be thought of as the personality of the company, communicated through an identifying mark, logo, name, tagline, voice, and tone. Some of the oldest and most recognizable brand names in automotive, toys, and food and beverage have been around for decades, with some surpassing more than a century of consistent and recognizable branding.
There are three main types of brands, including company/corporation brands, product brands, and personal brands, which apply to individuals. The rules of brand marketing apply, regardless of type. Now that we know what a brand is, let’s talk about how to create a brand marketing strategy.
Brand marketing is the process of establishing and growing a relationship between a brand and consumers. Rather than highlighting an individual product or service, brand marketing promotes the entirety of the brand, using the products and services as proof points that support the brand’s promise. The goal of brand marketing is to build a brand’s value – and the company’s value as a result.
The channels available for a brand marketing strategy are the same channels that companies can use for product marketing activities, such as digital, social, and paid search advertising. A good strategy is to use different channels together to create a media mix that reaches a wide audience. For example, brand marketers might use a brand advertising strategy supplemented by email and content marketing efforts to drive brand awareness and reach potential customers across multiple digital spaces. But when it comes to deciding the right messages for the right audiences in these spaces, we first have to consider brand attributes.
Just like people have their own unique combinations of personality traits, brands have unique attributes, as well. Attributes are identifiers that consumers see as part of a brand. These can include the name and tagline, colors, or even music or sounds often associated with the brand. In addition, attributes can be the feeling that a brand evokes. Example “feeling” attributes include authentic, innovative, dependable, honest, or transparent.
- Brand awareness is determining how many consumers are aware of a brand, and is measured through surveys and focus groups, social listening tools, and search and web traffic insights.
- Brand loyalty is measured using purchasing behavior insights like repeat purchase behavior and time between purchases.
- Brand preference is measured through insights such as purchase intent metrics and surveys.
- Financial metrics relate to sales lift as a result of brand marketing campaigns.
The brand-consumer relationship, also called the consumer-brand or brand relationship, is how well a brand and consumers are connected. Is it a strong connection or a weak one? A positive connection or a negative one? Are consumers functionally connected to the brand or are they emotionally invested in it? The best brand connections are strong, positive, and emotionally rooted. These are the connections that help turn buyers from one-time purchasers into lifelong brand advocates.
Branding is perhaps more important than ever as marketplaces become more saturated and it becomes harder to make genuine connections with consumers. Branding allows companies to tell their unique stories and shift perception by giving customers something to believe in. It sparks interest, and invites customers to discover, learn about, and establish a memorable relationship with their brand. Rather than specs and features, branding is about what a company stands for – who it is at the core. Branding is about making consumers feel good about supporting a company and establishing an emotional connection. Those that brand effectively create a lasting impression that helps grow advocacy and loyalty among customers for the long term.
- Remember branding and marketing are different. A company’s brand is its personality – marketing is how the company shares that personality with consumers.
- Spend time on research or measurement. Without due diligence to know how a brand’s peers are positioned, it’s difficult to differentiate the brand. And without proper marketing attribution, it’s challenging to know if a brand moved the needle or not. Spending time on both research and measurement will help define strategy and success for your brand.
- Show brand attributes (instead of telling). A company may want to position its brand as trustworthy – but it shouldn’t say that it’s a trustworthy brand. Instead, it should show trustworthiness through reliable products and customer service.
- Using programmatic advertising – the use of technology to buy and sell digital ads - to achieve greater efficiency, more customized reach, transparency, and real-time measurement and optimization for brand campaigns
- Incorporating video marketing to more effectively tell a brand’s story than static imagery and copy alone. Video is a useful for driving brand awareness and for reinforcing messaging with established customers. In fact, according to a Wyzowl study, 69 percent of customers surveyed said they’d prefer to learn about a new product or service via video over other mediums like text-based articles or infographics.3
- Taking an omnichannel approach to marketing a brand across channels such as digital, over-the-top (OTT), social media, company blog, email, and more to optimize performance.
- Supporting brand advertising with content marketing to reinforce a brand story. Tools like Amazon Posts and Amazon Follow enable consumer connections. According to Colleen Aubrey, Vice President of Performance Advertising at Amazon, “Once a customer ‘follows’ a brand, they gain immediate visibility into updates coming from that brand, including new product launches, deals, new Posts, and when a brand streams via Amazon Live—making sure the customer doesn’t miss a beat.”
- Using brand and product advertising together: Some brands that work with Amazon Ads use Sponsored Brands and Stores together with Sponsored Products to connect with consumers who are shopping for the types of products they sell – and keyword targeting to reach audiences with interest and intent who are shopping for products like theirs.
- Driving engagement and sales with a branded Amazon web presence: According to internal research, on average, companies that link their Sponsored Brands campaign to their Store have an up to 17 percent better return, compared to linking the campaign to a product page.4 That’s because Stores offer a branded presence right on Amazon, curated by companies to tell their brand story through videos, lifestyle and product imagery, and content.
- Optimizing brand marketing campaigns with analytics: MidWest Homes for Pets used Amazon Attribution to gain a single view of advertising efforts wherever they spend time, which in turn helped them determine which strategies were driving increased shopping activity. Optimizing for cost efficiency, the company was able to drive more sales and improve ROAS (return on ad spend).