BRAND STRATEGY IS YOUR TRUE-NORTH

Brand strategy forms the essence of any business operation. It starts with the company’s storyboard, runs through to the market positioning, then brand positioning and product differentiation – all combining to a cohesive brand strategy. Datavision has compelling answers in this regard.

Understanding the Difference Between Branding and Marketing

Firstly, branding is strategic and marketing is tactical. Importantly to note is that all marketing efforts contribute collectively to a brand. Simply put, a brand is what remains after a marketing campaign has been completed. Branding thus reflects the long term position of a company in contrast to marketing which depicts its short-term position.

Secondly, branding does not push it pulls. It does not proclaim ‘please buy me’ but rather encourages and directs marketing activities by expressing its values and attributes and what it stands for. It says instead: ‘This is the reason why I exist. If you like who I am and what I stand for, then please buy /use me and even recommend me to your friends’. Branding precedes marketing and is the underlying motive to any marketing effort.

Furthermore, marketing’s primary engagement is to unearth and activate buyers for its product. Branding on the other hand aims to create loyal customers, or even advocates, out of those who bought the product. In the journey of any company, branding indicates where the company wants to be whereas marketing reflects where the company is in its journey.

[Taken from James Heaton (2016)]

The ServBRAND Framework application can be found in the following sectors of the services economy, including but not exclusive to:

  • Education, health services and the public sector
  • Financial services
  • Communications and media
  • Leisure, hospitality and gastronomy
  • Professional and business services
  • Transport services
  • Real estate, renting and leasing

According to the ServBRAND framework, people (or brand personification) are at the centre of service brand building and includes the dimensions of attitude and demeanour, personality and values, personableness, product knowledge and client knowledge. Relationships are at the pinnacle of the framework (as the ultimate aim) of the framework and concern both interpersonal relationships and partnerships.