Branding and marketing are often handled separately in many companies. This leads to a lack of coordination between the two teams, resulting in a fragmented approach to the organization’s overall marketing and branding strategy.
But the truth is that the two need to work together to create a consistent perception.
By working together, the two teams can align their goals and objectives, and it is more likely that the company will be perceived in a consistent and unified manner.
And that’s what we discussed in the Semrush Global Marketing Day 2023, moderated by Marilyn Zakhour with Cristina Guida La Licata, who spoke on marketer’s guide to changing audience perceptions about brands, and a panel discussion with Svetlana Glinkina, and our Founder Vanhishikha Bhargava on the same.
The importance of aligning branding and marketing
With the increasing number of channels and platforms, trends, and customer behaviors, marketing teams must constantly adapt and evolve their strategies to remain competitive.
That’s where they have to create campaigns and trends at scale.
Without focusing on the core message, the team risks sending mixed messages, confusing the audience, and leading to a lack of trust.
Let’s look at the example of Jeep.
They have always been known for adventurous drives. To make Jeep popular in cities too, they needed to align branding and marketing – so now the marketing team ensures that they use visuals that keep the core of the brand, aka adventure, in place – e.g., when they show city houses, in the visuals, on the glass behind, they show mountains to keep the true meaning intact.
How can you align branding and marketing?
1. Remember the pillars of audience perception
The pillars of audience perception refer to the five main factors influencing how people interpret a message. The five main pillars are:
- Customer experience
- Employee engagement
These pillars can shape how people perceive a message and thus influence their views and opinions.
For example, by using customer experience feedback and influencer outreach, marketing teams can shape the conversation around their product and create a positive message that resonates with their target audience.
2. Document your branding
By documenting your brand’s vision, mission, and desired perception, you are creating a plan of action to guide your brand’s messaging, visuals, and overall presence. This will give your brand clarity, direction, and consistency, all essential elements of a successful brand.
3. Create a handbook
Having clear and consistent branding guidelines will provide employees with an understanding of the company’s vision and mission, as well as the language and visuals to represent the brand. This will ensure that no matter where team members are located or which department they are in, they are all working together to communicate the same message.
4. Keep your existing customers in the loop
“Customers define a company’s brand. Companies don’t.”
When shifting your brand’s perception, it’s SO important to remember your existing brand lovers & bring them along for the ride. The more you involve them, the more you can leverage insights that could help you reach new markets. This also ensures they speak about your brand and how you want it perceived, ensuring word-of-mouth marketing works better for you.
“The customers are the beating heart – behind the wheel of any brand” – Cristina Guida La Licata
Provide personalized experiences to your customers, make them feel valued, and engage with them regularly.
5. Use social listening to tune into conversations
Social listening gives you an understanding of how people respond to your campaigns, their reactions, and the sentiment around your brand. This information can help you quickly identify what’s working and what needs improvement to create effective marketing campaigns.
For example, you can use social listening tools, like Radarr, to track the engagement of specific hashtags or the sentiment of conversations about your brand. This data can help you decide which campaigns to prioritize or which messaging to adjust.
6. Use sentiment analysis
To truly understand a conversation, it is important to consider the emotion behind the words. Jeep has recognized that and has made it part of its strategy to listen to conversations and understand the feelings and attitudes of those involved.
7. Optimize iteratively
By making smaller, strategic changes, you can more accurately measure the impact of each change and adjust accordingly. This will help you optimize your campaigns and ensure that you always do what will be the most effective for your business.
For example, you can start by changing the color of your website and measuring the impact on customer engagement and sales rather than making a full website redesign.
Boost your branding and marketing efforts with Contensify
When everyone is on the same page and working towards a shared goal, it allows for a more efficient process of getting the brand out into the market. It also helps to ensure a consistent message is delivered to the public, and that the brand is recognizable over the long term.
Also, it builds brand loyalty and creates a positive impression.
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