Brand or product marketing? The rivalry between them is unending. In times like these, though, companies no longer have the luxury of letting them duke it out. Both types of marketing have their benefits, and these benefits can be maximized by employing them alongside one another.
The key to getting the most out of your marketing efforts is using the right type of marketing in the right place and at the right time. By balancing the respective strengths of brand and product marketing, you can leverage them both into a new type of synergy for your ad team.
What Is Brand Marketing?
Brand marketing is when you promote your products or services based on your brand's name recognition, values and mission.
Think, for example, about a cleaning supply company that builds their brand marketing around their mission of helping take care of families. Their commercials are filled with smiling faces of families as they clean their home or wash their laundry.
You might be able to name 10 specific products underneath this company's umbrella, but when you see their logo on an item, you have the sense that the product is safe to use based off of the message they promote in their commercials and ads.
What Is Product Marketing?
Another option for promoting your goods is through product marketing, where you market the product itself. The product could be from a well-known brand or not.
The classic example of product marketing is an infomercial. You have no idea what brand the products are and it doesn't really matter because they are trying to sell products based on features. The product usually does something unique that no other product can do, and it very often solves a problem. That's how they try to hook you.
Product marketing can help when you don't have a strong brand established yet or when you believe your product solves a problem in a unique way for your customers.
When to Use Brand vs. Product Marketing
Knowing when and how to use each form of marketing will help inform the choices you make as you put your marketing strategy together. Let’s look at the benefits of both types as well as explore how to use them.
1. Brand Marketing: The Power of Storytelling
One of brand marketing’s biggest assets is its ability to craft an encompassing narrative about your company: how you started, where you came from and your vision. While customers undoubtedly want to know about the products you offer, they also want to feel like they understand your brand’s ethos.
Brand marketing does this by refining every aspect of your business’s optics. Whether it’s a cohesive art style, a compelling narrative, or a lofty goal for your company, brand marketing makes the intangible selling points of your brand clear and appealing to all prospective customers. People love a good story, and brand marketing can help you give them one.
2. Product Marketing: Better Metrics Tracking
The trouble with marketing your intangibles is that it’s not always easy to know what the impact is. How can you measure if customers have the same vision of your brand that you do? Product marketing gets around this issue by narrowing in on what’s being marketed, making your efforts easier to evaluate over time.
By balancing the respective strengths of brand and product marketing, you can leverage them both into a new type of synergy for your ad team.
This also gives product marketing an added level of dynamism: if you find that a certain product marketing push hasn’t actually led to an increase in sales of the product, you can drop it and move onto something new. The faster you act and react, the more powerful your marketing efforts can become in the long run.
3. Brand Marketing: Customer Recognition
Even so, your company is much more than just a product. Every business leader wants their enterprise to grow and evolve over time, but how can you be sure your customers will still be along for the ride? Focus too much on product marketing and your clients will suffer from whiplash every time your company decides to go in a new direction with your marketing materials.
Brand marketing creates a cohesive image that transcends individual products or pushes. This means that through visual palettes and common language, you will be able to draw upon your existing client base with every new development your company comes up with.
4. Product Marketing: Customer Knowledge
Brand marketing crafts an image of your business in the minds of your customers. It can be compelling, long-lasting, and exciting—but it’s unlikely to be highly informative. Even the best brand marketing tends to leave customers with more of an impression than a tangible understanding of what you do.
Product marketing, on the other hand, is your business’s chance to really sell. Let your customers know what makes your product different: the specs, the price, the style—whatever separates you from the competition. Customers want to feel your brand, but they want to know about your product. So tell them.
Marketing is an endless balancing act. By using the right combination of brand vs. product marketing, your company can strike just the balance you need to take your marketing game to the next level.
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