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I have a friend who started an online business last year. She is a caterer and she decided to take her catering business online. Since she started the business, she hasn’t gotten the traction she hoped. In March 2022 she acquired a loan from her family member to improve her business. She decided to spend 70% of the funds in marketing. After numerous research, she got confused on which part of marketing to focus – growth marketing vs brand marketing.
A lot of start-ups have no idea of the difference between growth marketing vs brand marketing. Both are very important in establishing a strong and successful business. What does growth marketing vs brand marketing mean? how they’re carried out and the kind of influence they’ll have on your business? This article would do these in the proceeding paragraphs. It’ll also examine what differentiate growth marketing vs brand marketing. Let’s get right to it.
Branding is an ancient and ageless tradition. In ancient times, the owners of livestock e.g cow will brand their livestock with a sign for ownership recognition. For cow, they use an heated branding iron to mark them and claim their ownership. This same method was used on slaves but we’re not talking about that. Basically, what branding does is create an identity for a business or product. It is something people would see and easily recognize and say oh! This stuff belongs to that company. Like the Nike check logo. There’s no way you will see the mark and not know the products it’s on belongs to Nike. Even if it’s the upside down check mark, people would just say it’s a fake Nike.
Many think brand marketing is limited to name of the company, the logo, their colours and other bits that represent. Branding is however much more than all this. It stands for everything a company represents, it encompasses it’s products, services, goals, vision, company culture and core values. You don’t see a start-up going to pitch their products and showing the company logo and tag-phrase only.
Investopedia defines a brand as an intangible marketing or business concept that helps people identify a company, product or individual.Investopedia
What is a Brand?
A brand is a feeling, idea or image people have in mind when they think about a company. It is not the physical feature or product alone that creates a brand. It is the feeling and connection a customers developer with a company or it’s products.
Example of the effect of Brand marketing?
Product is copiable but brand isn’t because it is always unique.Sefeoluwa
#1. Coca-cola and Pepsi
For example, not everyone can differentiate the taste or look of Coca-cola and Pepsi. Yet, some people still affirm that they love Pepsi more than Coca-cola and vice versa. This is because they feel more connected to one than the other.
I’ve heard some people say drinking Coca-Cola makes them feel good.
Although, I lack the physical feeling of what happens to the lovers of Coca-cola. Most lovers claim they have the feeling of joy, happiness and contentment when they sip Coca-cola. You will agree with me that the company has spend lots of advertising over the years. The ads passes the message that one experience the feeling of joy, happiness and contentment in a sip of Coca-Cola.
The message became ingrained in the minds of the public. So, if people don’t say they do feel it, then their advertisements have failed woefully. Well luckily for them, the public agrees.
#2. Apple Inc
Another company that invested a lot of money and time into creating a memorable brand identity is Apple Inc. Apple has created for it’s consumers a feeling luxury and affluence whenever they’re holding an apple product in their hands. Having an Iphone is like being a member of exclusive club. It’s like holding luxury right in your hands. This is exactly what an effective branding is meant to achieve.
In the same way that people own unique traits, brands own attributes that differentiate them from their competitors. Words like “innovative”, “dependable”, “unique”, or “authentic” or used to describe brand attributes. This creates an expectation in the mind of potential buyers or users of a company’s products or services.
Brands strive to ingrain this in the minds of the public over the years. A potential customer already knows the kind of attributes the company and their products stands for before purchase.
How is Brand Marketing carry out?
The way and manner brand marketing is carried out varies with the type of companies and their target audience. When performing marketing as a brand, ensure you perfectly understand the following:
- The objectives your brand aims at achieving.
- The values which brand represents.
- The benefits users derive from using your product.
- The feature of your product.
Brand marketing aim at bringing all these pointers above to the customer.
Companies have to use different tools to achieve this and some of them are as follows:
A brand has to clearly define their purpose, values, and promise in their marketing.
A brand’s identity should be clearly defined as this would ultimately determine how a company is perceived by the public. These includes:
- The company name.
- Tone of voice e.g messaging.
- Visual identity designs like their logo, color palette, typo-graphics are parts of what defines a brand’s identity.
Identify a strategic target market
A business that doesn’t know the market they’re directing their sales is definitely not ready to succeed. If you don’t identify your target audience, your brand marketing efforts would be useless. Having a target audience would ultimately set the pace for everything else the brand would market. The tone of the brand’s voice, visual appearance, and modes of advertisements are defined by the brand’s audience.
Advertisement and communications
Social media ads, radio, TV, outdoor ads like on billboard, et.c are major tools used in brand marketing.
To create a solid and distinguished brand identity, brands should strive to create emotional connection with their customers. They can achieve this by:
- Great product and packaging designs.
- In-store experience.
- Mode of delivery.
- Excellent customer service
These are all types of factors brands use to create an emotional connection with their customers or potential ones.
Zappos for example is known for this. They sent flowers to a customer recovering from surgery. They also deliver a free pair of shoes to a shoe-less best-man at a wedding.
Zappos has created an emotional connection with it’s customers, building loyalty which leads to repeat purchases and advocacy.
A company’s pricing strategy can also be a tool for brand marketing as it has been evidenced in the Fashion Nova brand selling inexpensive street wears.
Also, the price of any product from a luxury brand must reflect the key messages of any luxury brand which is quality, heritage and exclusivity.
The way Tesla cars are considered high end and luxurious, their pricing fits the identity making it highly exclusive. Same goes for BMW which is considered as the most luxurious car brand in the world, their pricing also doesn’t come cheap.
All these aforementioned tools work together to create what is know as brand equity. According to Amazon, a brand equity is the value of a company’s brand, or the measure of consumer perceptions of the brand. A strong brand equity has to do with how well consumers know a brand, why they’ll chose it over others in the market, the level of connection they feel with the brand and the level of loyalty they have for the brand. Most brands have established themselves using ‘emotional branding’ while creating an almost cult like following. People still argue online about how they prefer a Samsung to an Iphone with the Iphone users holding similarly strong convictions. Same for Coca-cola and Pepsi.
Brand Marketing Strategy
Moving forward, in creating a brand marketing strategy that fits your business, company or personal brand, consistency is the major key to achieving your goals. You can’t decide on a strategy today, put all your marketing budget in it and decide to change it to something totally different in few months. Thus, identify your brand identity, your target audience and your advertising mediums and market your company, business or personal brand like crazy, consistently and it would generate life-long results for you.
We have already looked at what brand marketing does for a company and you’re probably wondering what else you could possibly need growth marketing for again. Well you’re going to find out but first let me tell you what growth marketing or growth hacking is all about.
Growth marketing is linked to an entire pathway through which customers pass through. It is the process of directing your marketing activities towards generating revenue for the company not solely by attracting new customers, but by acts geared towards customer retention. When done the right way, it adds value all the way through the marketing funnel by attracting users, engaging them, retaining them, and finally turning them into advocates for your brand.
According to Mike Volpe, CEO of Lola.com, “Growth marketing is removing the boundaries of marketing to enable every aspect of the customer experience to focus on attracting more engaged customers”. Growth marketing is an upgrade of traditional marketing methods. It is a data driven process that operates on a cyclical sprint model where performance is constantly tracked, tweaked and optimized.
Growth Marketing for startups
Growth marketing started in relation to early stage start-ups that require rapid growth within a short time on tight budgets, and also reached bigger corporate companies. It has however evolved from the “get-grow-quick” tactics. Successful growth marketers don’t just grow a larger user base; they build a highly engaged audience that will help reduce churn, as well as increase the lifetime value of each individual user. This kind of focused marketing is known to lift revenue by up to 15%, and increase the efficiency of marketing spend by 30%.
The most important aspect of this type of marketing is that it is user-oriented. For this reason, growth marketing majorly looks into adding value to a company’s client base. It helps in better engagement with your customers and focuses on customer retention rather than simple customer acquisition. It further helps companies conceptualize and design their goals to make marketing campaigns more impressionable.
Growth marketers are not just marketers per-se. A growth marketing team should be made up marketers, product managers, developers, data analysts and designers that specifically focus on building and engaging the user base of a business. Growth marketers essentially make use of the following tools;
This involves deploying either an “A” and a “B” test, or series of multiple tests to determine which variation of your brand’s content does a better job of engaging your audience and increasing your conversion rate. You can then optimize future marketing campaigns around that variation while continually iterating on your successes to enhance performance with every test. This an aspect where a data analysis skill strives.
This the journey your customer or consumer embarks on as they learn about, interact with, buy or convert, and re-engage with your company. Growth marketers continually devise ways to communicate and reach out to their customers during these stages to enhance and purchase customer retention. No single stage outweighs the other in terms of importance and they should be treated as a major requirement in the marketing process.
This focuses on building a strategic channel plan to reach your customers, and can include email marketing, push notifications, in-app messages, direct mails, and other channels based on your audience preferences. A/B testing can help you discover which medium generates much response from your target market.
Ways by which companies can market for growth includes; loyalty rewards and referral programs, customer on-boarding for new customers, social media engagements with customers, even giveaways and so on.
Now that we’ve extensively examined what brand and growth marketing mean, their importance for a business or company and how they are achieved, it’s important to discuss the differences between the two them so you can easily choose the type you’ll focus your time and funds to campaign for.
Differences between Growth marketing vs Brand marketing
The major differences between growth marketing vs brand marketing are:
- The central goal of growth marketing is to generate income while the broader goal of building a brand is to grow a community. That community can of course lead to sales. To build a brand, your focus would not be on the number of products you sell or the number of leads you generate, you’re more focused on engagements, reach and recognition.
- Growth marketing is way more technical than brand marketing. It involves skills engineered towards generating sales through customer acquisition, retention, loyalty and referral and essentially leading to the growth of the business.
- A brand can exist independently of the business which is why you can multiple businesses or companies under one brand like the Coca-Cola company producing Fanta and Bigi having sausage rolls and different drinks under one brand name. Thus marketing the brand would not ne focused on the products but on the identity of the brand and everything the brand represents. Conversely growth marketing would be focused on generating sales for the company, getting more and retaining customers in order to grow a business.
- Businesses may fail, but a brand identity can never be taken away. If a brand fails, the community that has been built can continue to keep the business alive. So brand marketing is just like inventing immortality spring for your business to keep it alive no matter what happens. Growth marketing on the other end of the spectrum is geared towards user attraction so they can make a purchase, stay loyal and even refer other people around them.
Conclusively, as an entrepreneur, start-up or if you’re trying to build a personal brand, growth marketing vs brand marketing are both indispensable if you want to succeed and continue to succeed. Marketing both of them simultaneously would make your reach your goals rapidly. Most marketers often fail to realize that both these strategies when implemented together, bring optimal growth to your business, company or personal brand. Remember my friend the caterer, well she’s now implementing both brand and growth marketing for her business and in just one month since she started them, she has noticed changes in brand outlook generally and her business is growing considerably well.
What is the difference between growth marketing and marketing?
The major differences between growth marketing vs brand marketing are:
– The central goal of growth marketing is to generate income while the broader goal of building a brand is to grow a community. That community can of course lead to sales. To build a brand, your focus would not be on the number of products you sell or the number of leads you generate, you’re more focused on engagements, reach and recognition.
– Growth marketing is way more technical than brand marketing. It involves skills engineered towards generating sales through customer acquisition, retention, loyalty and referral and essentially leading to the growth of the business.
– A brand can exist independently of the business which is why you can multiple businesses or companies under one brand like the Coca-Cola company producing Fanta and Bigi having sausage rolls and different drinks under one brand name. Thus marketing the brand would not ne focused on the products but on the identity of the brand and everything the brand represents. Conversely growth marketing would be focused on generating sales for the company, getting more and retaining customers in order to grow a business.
– Businesses may fail, but a brand identity can never be taken away. If a brand fails, the community that has been built can continue to keep the business alive. So brand marketing is just like inventing immortality spring for your business to keep it alive no matter what happens. Growth marketing on the other end of the spectrum is geared towards user attraction so they can make a purchase, stay loyal and even refer other people around them.
So leave a comment and let me know if you’ve tried any one or both of these before and the kind progress it got your business, company or personal brand.