Hands up who thinks running an ad in the papers or on TV is considered doing branding.
Now hands up who is surprised when I say advertising is just the tip of the iceberg and branding encompasses so many more things such as strategic planning, brand identity development, packaging, design, alignment of entire company staff with corporate identity, pre- and post-purchase customer service etc.
I’d safely most of you raising your hands that second time think you know the difference between the two but actually you don’t, because your ad agencies throw in a bit of packaging and design services for free, and you happily accept it as a good deal.
Perhaps the conversations we’ve been having in the magazine and on this blog are premature because the issue is not about building bigger and better local brands to take worldwide – the issue is that we mistake branding for advertising and thus will not be able to ever build those brands.
Branding is about the intangibles (service, image etc.) as much as it is about the tangibles (ad campaign, packaging) and all that contributes to you handing that $6.00 over for a Java Chip Frappuccino at Starbucks.
I had the privilege of meeting with the guys from Landor Associates recently and Sydney-based MD
Your brand should be your value creating tool, he says.
But marketing can be accountable and intangibles can be measured so systems have to be put into place to help us better understand that the investments we are making outside of just advertising can in fact bring us the Holy Grail of marketing – ROI.
Food for thought.
NB. This happened to be the same topic Marketing's inaugural Hong Kong edition ran as the cover story in March. While the article is currently not available online, if you want to have a peek, send me an email at email@example.com.