Are branding issues a Business or a Marketing Problem?

By Ian Segail | Blog | 2 Jan 2020 |

It’s often said that good marketing can sell just about anything, but even if you employ the world’s best marketing strategies, nothing can save a business if the business is the problem. That's why we say that Branding Issues Are a Business Not a Marketing Problem. If the product is lame, the business is awful, and the service is slack, nothing a marketer can do will save it - it’s like dressing mutton as lamb. Sure, it might work for a while, but consumers will soon work out that the brilliant marketing is masking a crappy product, the young and juicy ‘lamb’ on the plate turns out to be tough-as-old-boots mutton. Identifying the weak link in the chain - where branding problems are due to the business, not the marketing - is crucial if the aim is to turn things around and succeed.  

First, Identify the Problem

In order to get the help you need for your business, you ought to take the time to understand the true problems you face as a company, or you’ll just waste time and money on a fix that doesn’t work. You can do this yourself or hire someone. Before you begin you need to know what marketing can do and what it can’t do.

What is marketing?

In simple terms, marketing pushes a message to get you lots of sales or clients. ‘This product is better than theirs, so buy it’, basically, but it can also be just what you need to fix this or that problem, or because this famous person loves it, and all your friends have one.

  • Marketing gets people to the "front door", whereas selling gets them through the checkout!
  • Marketing gets the customer to the shelf, the packaging design gets them to put the product into the shopping basket!

The important point is that this is not branding.

What is branding?

Branding pulls rather than pushes and it should be the bedrock of any marketing strategy. It expresses the fundamental value or truth of any business or organisation, service, or product and should communicate values, features and attributes - what the brand is and what it isn’t. The brand doesn’t actively encourage people to buy, but it does help and support the marketing plan. A brand should simply say: ‘This is what I am, why I am here, and if you agree then buy me and tell all your friends.’

The Brand is Bigger Than the Marketing

The brand is what is left after the marketing has gone home. It’s what stays in the mind and what is associated with an organisation, service or product and whether or not you actually buy, it will, in the end, be why you become a loyal customer or client or not. Marketing might be why you bought a Mitsubishi, but the brand value will determine whether you buy Mitsubishis in the future. A brand evolves through experience, from the advertising to the sale, the way the service centre treated you and down to the performance of the car. Now you know the difference, you can work out whether your problem is branding or marketing.

Is it a Business Problem?

To find out if you have a business problem there are steps to take, which include doing your homework. A good start would be to talk to your customers and your team to drill down to the core issues. Another is to carefully consider the following checklist:  

  • You have difficulty finding and keeping talent
  • Competitors products or services are no different to yours
  • Your service or product doesn’t match its promise
  • You have too many unhappy customers or clients
  • You fail to comprehend what matters to your customers
  • Your business is not solving your customers’ main problems
  • You need a more streamlined buying process
  • Your service or product is not what people seek
  • You fail to keep abreast of industry standards
  • You find regulations or new laws have an impact on your business
  • You compete on price rather than on value and price
  • You have low profit margins

Is it a Marketing Problem?

To find out if your problem has anything to do with marketing, check out which of these points you can agree with:

  • Do people know your company exists?
  • Do you invest enough time and money in marketing and is it up to date?
  • Does your message communicate well to customers?
  • Is your brand message well-defined and consistent and are you keeping up with trends?
  • Is your target market too narrow or too broad?
  • Do you have more market competition?
  • Are your points of differentiation clear?
  • Are you attracting new customers, website traffic and leads?
  • Are you keeping news customers and converting leads?
  • Do you have authority in your industry or niche, a good reputation and good press?
  • Are you keeping track and measuring your marketing strategy?
  • Do you have brand advocates, testimonials, reviews or referrals from customers?

At Jam&Co we’re all lovers of nature, heavy metal lovers, cat lovers, dog lovers… basically, we’re a diverse bunch of passionate individuals. We like to think it’s what keeps us creative and helps us look at things differently. We’re a service-based industry so we’re here to help you with whatever problem you have that needs solving. Across the team, we’ve got experience in strategy, branding, packaging, print and digital communications, and even sales strategy. Let us show you something beautiful today. Call us on +61 2 92113883


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