Branding versus Advertising


As an advertiser, you are still a consumer. Take a step out of your “advertiser’s role” for a moment and think solely as a consumer. There are certain brands that I am brand loyal to, and have been for at least the past 3-5 years. As I sit here, there are several that spring to mind, my dog’s brand of dog food, my toilet paper, and my favorite mascara. I have never seen a commercial or any form of traditional advertising for either of these brands, EVER. Through the years I have seen many commercials, print and digital ads for the competition, but never for any of my preferred brands. None of my preferred brands are significantly cheaper than their competitors, however I remain brand loyal. As an advertiser you might wonder why is this, especially if you are the competition. But think about it, consumers become brand loyal for a number of reasons, and usually advertising won’t affect these reasons at all. Branding has three main purposes: product identification, repeat sales, and new-product sales. Many brand names are familiar to consumers and indicate quality. A brand that has high awareness, perceived quality, and brand loyalty among consumers has high brand equity. Starbucks, Apple, and Subaru are all companies with high brand equity. Now, Apple has ramped up their advertisements over the years, but this is only to indicate the differences between your current device and the device they are advertising. They don’t have to talk about Apple, the brand, they simply have to persuade you on the particular product in the commercial. They have a well-known and respected brand, so the advertisements that you see are solely to introduce the new product. So now, as an advertiser I want you to consider what kind of message you are sending through your forms of advertising, whether it be commercials, print, or digital ads. Are your ads affectively reaching your target market or are you wasting hundreds to thousands of dollars on ads that will simply be seen without any call to action. An ad that doesn’t affect your bottom line is basically money that you threw in the street.

In next month’s blog, I will discuss how your packaging can affect your branding. Packaging is not just the method used to hold contents together and protect goods as they move through the distribution channel. Packaging is also a way to promote your product and stand out from the competition.

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