Why branding and marketing are the key ingredients for your business’s poke bowl of success

branding

A traditional poke bowl. source: Charlotte Karlsen/Unsplash

We all love a good poke bowl, but can you really enjoy a bowl with just one ingredient? That’s crazy talk, right? Believe it or not, the same analogy applies to branding and marketing.

How so? 

Marketing and branding are two distinct concepts that tend to be lumped together. 

Even though they do complement each other, like any good relationship they need to be established separately, to begin with.

The best way to understand these practices, is to dive into what each term means and how they can be used together to drive sales and spread your business’s name.

So, what is branding?

Branding is best described as “who you are”. It’s your name, your values and your visual characteristics.

Branding identifies your business within the market, helping to build a reputation and allow customers to connect with the personality of the business.

To most people, branding is just a logo. That’s like wanting to make that poke bowl and all you have is avocado with no other ingredients. Even though avocado is great for you, it doesn’t make up a proper poke bowl by itself.

Branding works the same way; it takes several ingredients to build a brand. This can include:

  • Tone of voice
  • Colour scheme
  • Business culture
  • Design
  • Values
  • Brand mark
  • Personality
  • Guidelines
  • Photography
  • Representation
  • Type or Fonts

Using all these elements allows you to stand out, be individual, and hold your own within an industry. It is essential to get your brand right to show customers what you do stand for and what you don’t stand for.

“A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or company.” – Marty Neumeier

What’s marketing then?

Marketing isn’t as scary as it may seem. It’s a form of persuasive communication. It helps a brand get out into the world and show you what they have to offer.

It is an essential part of growing any business if you want your name to be known and for sales to be made. Any form of convincing customers to purchase from you instead of others, whether that is a service or product, is marketing.

A productive tool to consider when promoting your business, is the marketing mix. It includes:

  • Product – What are you selling?
  • Price – How much will it cost?
  • Place – Where will it be located?
  • Promotion – How will customers know about it?

Incorporating the 4 P’s into your marketing strategy can help ensure you’re communicating to your preferred audience. 

Marketing is most effective when several tools are being used to attract attention to your business. If you solely rely on one avenue your strategy, unfortunately, won’t be very successful.

Imagine you’re holding a poke-bowl dinner party. First of all, am I invited? 

Secondly, you want all your friends to come but you have only told one person about it so far. How will your other friends find out about it? Maybe through word of mouth?

You can’t rely just on that and hope for the best. You’d never do that in real life, yet we see businesses every day relying just on word of mouth when it comes to marketing.

I know. The struggle is real!

The same goes for marketing your business. If you solely rely on one form of marketing, it will result in that pond drying up quickly, and you will struggle to attract new customers.

Marketing is all about connecting on several mediums to gain as much exposure as possible. Using tools such as social media, advertisements, emails, product displays, brochures and more can help you spread the word. 

Just imagine how many people would show up to your poke bowl dinner parties!

How do they go together?

To have the perfect poke bowl you need lots of fresh ingredients and some decent kitchen skills, right? They’re both essential when making the perfect bowl and you can’t do one without the other. 

Branding and marketing are the same. If you aren’t confident in your branding, then your marketing won’t be easy. Branding represents your unique business characteristics and marketing allows you to connect with customers based on those values. 

For example, you could offer the freshest organic ingredients for making the best poke bowls. 

Your branding would be focused on the fresh organic ingredients you offer, and your marketing strategy could be raising awareness on how you’re the best poke bowl maker in your town, and your fresh home-grown organic ingredients are sustainably farmed.

Healthy eating, while being mindful of the environment. Benefits, benefits & more benefits. Everybody wins!

This is where branding and marketing can work alongside each other to create an overall concept for a business, even though they cannot be interchangeable. 

The differences between them

There are several differences between marketing and branding, but the most important things to remember are these:

Marketing is strategic and information-based. It provides the customers with the benefits of the products or services at the time the information is delivered.

Branding strives to be a long-term investment by keeping customers happy and ensuring they will be return buyers based on the brand values.

What is more important, branding or marketing?

The easy answer is both! Remember you can’t hold a poke-bowl dinner party without your two main factors: fresh organic ingredients (branding values), and the benefits anyone would gain from coming to your party (marketing).

Marketing can provide great returns if done correctly; effort and money will determine the success through sales made.

Branding is a long-term investment for your business and is something that can be built on as you grow and develop as a brand.

In saying this, there would be little success for marketing if branding didn’t set the tone for a business. You can’t promote a poke bowl with no ingredients.

Branding is what makes an audience initially interested in your business and keeps your values in the customer’s minds.

It’s essential to listen to what your customers are asking for and let their needs help craft your communication to them because, without loyal customers, a business is in trouble.

Like a perfect poke bowl presentation, branding and marketing shouldn’t be rushed. They are something a business will always need to invest in if they want to stay relevant within this fast-paced, marketing world.

NOW READ: Five brand marketing lessons to take from COVID-19

NOW READ: Colonial Brewing, Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben’s: Experts chime in on product branding amid Black Lives Matter

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