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I've mentioned before in previous blogs the difference between marketing and branding. To refresh your memory a tad bit, marketing is just getting your message out to the masses where branding is how you are perceived by the masses. The two are very different but also very similar to another. It is also oftentimes confused between the two. Another way to think about it is by getting your message heard versus getting your message seen.
Today's lesson is another lesson in Branding.
When I mention the "Golden Arches", what should come to mind is McDonald's. When I say the saying "Have It Your Way", should think about Burger King. When I sing Ray Charles's song (and trust me, you don't want to hear me sing), "You Got The Right One Baby. Uh-huh." You should think about Pepsi. All of these are great examples of branding. You have McDonald's brand that is mainly known as the golden arches. You know this is McDonald's without having to say their name. So what makes these examples stand out is that by only seeing their logo, or hearing a jingle, a tagline, whatever, you're able to identify the company in question. What is cool about that, is that it's stuck in your brain whether you want it there or not.
I hate seeing Taco Bell commercials sometimes, because even though I'm not hungry or maybe I just ate if they catch me at the right time in the right mood, you'll find me in a Taco Bell drive-thru line. NOW THAT'S GREAT MARKETING!! I know, I've digressed a tad bit, but did I really digress?
I was just able to give you another example of branding and marketing. Taco Bell's commercial is marketing. So with all that being said, what will your customers remember about you?
I'm being a stickler about the difference between market and branding because I want you to have a solid difference between the two. Knowing the difference between the two can greatly help you hit success. Not only that, but you'll get brand recognition. Brand recognition is being able to recognize a company through its brand. If we were to revisit the example I gave earlier with McDonald's, you can go anywhere in the world, and people will automatically associate the golden arches with McDonald's. That is Brand Recognition.
So with all that being said, what will your customers remember about you?
Do you have a jingle? A catchy catchphrase? A celebrity endorsing your product? How are you being memorable? As a small business competing with bigger companies to be the top-of-mind of our customers, how do we stand out amongst the noise? I'm sure I'm not the only one who had these thoughts since the difference between our small businesses and the bigger businesses is the budgets we use to get to our customers. How can we compete with these bigger brands with bigger pockets? Allow me to try to put your mind at ease.
Imagine the bigger brands as huge battleships and your brand as a small gunner boat. When that battleship wants to make a turn, that turn has to be thought out because it's so big and takes more time to turn. You as a gunner boat are a smaller, more agile boat that can jump in and out of turns. With that in mind, you have advantages as a small gunner boat that the bigger brands don't have as a battleship. Bigger brands tend to be far removed from their customer's needs, whereas you as a smaller brand can interact with your customers on a personal note. That's how you stand apart.
To talk more about that, I had to enlist some help from this guest professor just to pick her brain. This guest professor has a unique position to speak on branding as she's leading the fight herself in your business to win the top spot of being on a customer's mind. Here's more about our guest professor to teach us a lesson on branding.
Guest professor Sharifa DeArmon is the Vice President of Operations for Frontline Entertainment Media Group. Her career started when her cousin asked her to be the manager of his group. After working with them for over a couple of years, she received a call that would change her life. She was asked to help start an entertainment company. She flew out to Las Vegas and two months later, helped launch Frontline Entertainment Media Group. As of last year, she was named music director for Urban World FM.
With her experience in the entertainment business, who's best to tell us how to be on top of people's minds with our brands? She has experience with branding in a way I think we should consider, having to run multiple campaigns to get her clients seen. Her strategies explained in this episode have completely changed the way I think towards branding and have made such an impact on me, that now I'm reimagining my own brand and how I want it to come across to potential customers. As always, take great notes from this episode because I think she'll have you rethinking your branding strategy as well.
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