Let’s talk about the big picture of your life and goals. Let’s talk about high-level strategy for a moment.
Forgive me for writing this as a business topic. However, frequently that’s what makes the world go round on Earth at the moment. Commerce, finance and organization are somewhat necessary to get anything done—even in the arts. Thus, my interest in the area.
If you want to make a large effect, it’s necessary to form or join a group. When you do this though, you’re instantly committed to learning an overwhelmingly large number of subjects in order to be successful. There’s just a lot to it. Finance, marketing, sales, strategic planning, hiring, training, branding… the list goes on and on. It’s necessary to know a bit about these things.
Thus, a brief discourse on the subjects of branding and marketing strategy. I’m constantly talking to clients about these areas and people often have a hazy idea of how they fit together. Therefore, I thought I’d just jot down a few notes to help clarify things.
Branding, marketing strategy and business planning are inextricably intertwined. In fact, viewed from the bigger picture, they almost aren’t even different subjects. They’re different sides of the same coin—different lenses looking at the same thing.
When you’re talking about a business plan, you’re talking about where you’re trying to take your company—how you’re going to get from point A to point B. This would, of course, imply a destination. It assumes you have a goal you’re driving toward. Therefore, if you don’t have a goal, get one. Everything streams out from there.
When we talk about marketing strategy, we’re talking about one aspect of a business plan. We’re discussing the mechanics of how to get customers and make sales. The details of what you do on social media, what mailings you send out, how you set up your website—these are vital parts of your marketing strategy.
A tremendous amount of know-how and skill goes into creating a successful marketing strategy; you have to understand the ins and outs of marketing. However, really this is just one aspect of your business. It’s just a single part of your overall planning.
By itself, a marketing strategy is sort of like tires without a car—it isn’t attached to anything, isn’t going anywhere and is pointless.
Branding is the outward representation of your company. It’s your personality, your identity. It’s how customers and the broad public perceive you. However, keep in mind that the way you want people to perceive you is dependent on who you want to be in the first place. If you lack a firm sense of your own identity, you’re going to have a hellacious time with branding—you’re trying to convey an idea to others that you don’t even know yourself. Good luck.
Your goal determines your business plan.
Your marketing strategy is one specialized aspect of your overall business plan.
Your branding is the outward representation of all of this to the public.