What's the difference between building a brand and building a business?
Have you found yourself wondering why some marketing strategies don’t seem to be giving you the results that you want? You’ve seen them work for other people and ensured that your campaigns follow the data, but something is still off.
Many small business owners often confuse the strategies of growing their business with the ones for growing their brand. If your marketing or digital PR strategies don’t seem to be taking off, maybe you aren’t focusing on the right area.
Let’s go over some of the main differences between building a business vs building a brand so that you can move on and get the best possible results from your efforts.
What’s the difference between building a business and building a brand?
If you want your business to succeed in 2022, you must have a 5-star digital strategy. More people are turning to online shopping, digital payments, and other technologies changing the business and marketing landscape across industries.
Now, 75% of consumers prefer to use digital methods to communicate with brands. As a result, companies are scrambling to establish themselves online. Since this is fairly new territory for smaller businesses, some aspects of doing business online get confused.
Building a business and building a brand are intrinsically intertwined, but some differences dictate how your business should approach them.
Building a business
Business-building efforts geared toward in-market buyers, or buyers with high intent to buy, are crafted to capture an audience seeking the products and services your company is offering. This can include:
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Content marketing
- Triggered emails
But capturing conversions is easier said than done. Building trust through regular engagement (aka brand-building activities) is vital to turn prospects into qualified leads.
Building a brand
Brand-building is what keeps customers coming back for more of what you have. Before and after converting a lead, there is much work to build and maintain strong bonds with customers. It’s about creating a community of like-minded brand advocates by generating awareness of your products and services and getting customers involved with your brand.
Branding tells your customers a lot about your organization. Through your brand-building activities, you show customers your business values, what you’re doing to help customers, and how you interact with them.
Strategies for building your business
To build your business and grow your customer base, it’s important to continuously deliver value to your new and existing customers. Although you know how fantastic your product is, it can be tough to get the word out there.
Here are three strategies for building your business:
Leverage social selling
Social media is one of the best ways to reach consumers for many reasons. First, social media is where consumers get recommendations from their peers, learn new things from industry leaders, and follow brands and personalities they love.
You can turn social media into a conversion machine with some creative planning and a little strategy. Half of revenue is influenced by social selling in numerous industries. Connect with your target customers where they are at and speak to them in a voice that matches the platform's tone.
Be willing to adapt
While you can’t accommodate all of them, it's crucial to listen to what your customers want so that you can provide them the value that they need. It may be that your customer journey needs some tweaking, perhaps your products are not meeting their quality standards, or maybe you need to update your offerings.
Businesses that can adapt quickly to customer needs and provide them with personalized services that they want will always surpass those that don’t. If you find yourself saying that “you can’t” or “you won’t” in sales conversations, see where you can adapt to provide value to your customers.
Nurture your existing customers
Many small businesses make the mistake of not contacting existing customers. Instead of saying goodbye once the sale is over and the payment has gone through, consider saying hello to a brand new customer journey.
While it’s toeing the line between brand and business building, nurturing your existing customers by continuing to deliver value is the key to having more happy customers. Not only that, but you can also use nurturing activities to look for cross and upselling opportunities.
Strategies for building your brand
Increasing sales and revenue is essential to running a successful business, but building your brand is equally important. The truth is that most business comes from existing customers. So, if you want to continue to see year-on-year increases, you should be thinking about keeping your customers coming back to your brand.
Here are three strategies for building your brand:
Become a thought leader
One of the best ways to establish your brand’s values, goals, and outlook is to become an industry thought leader. Thought leaders share advice, best practices, and more expertise that your customers crave through content marketing.
Thought leadership is a great way to build trust among your audiences and increase the value of your brand with exciting posts filled with info from knowledgeable brands.
Building a knowledge base of helpful articles and expertise takes time, so don’t expect to become a thought leader overnight. Incorporate thought leadership into your existing content marketing process, follow the data, and adjust according to customer needs.
Invest in research
A successful brand strategy must speak to customers and stand up against the competition. Thorough market research and ongoing competitor monitoring can help distinguish between a good brand campaign and a great one. Without it, your company will get lost in the noise.
Another critical aspect of building a good business reputation is to hire the right people. Your workforce is the lifeblood of your company. Research the talent market to discover untapped talent pools and recruit individuals aligned with your brand vision.
Highlight your uniqueness
Setting yourself apart from other brands is all about highlighting the unique qualities of your brand that no one else has. Even if your offering isn’t truly unique, your approach to the product and your messaging can be.
In addition to your brand name and logo, you can customize your brand strategy through your vision statement, company values, and even highlighting a characteristic of your unique audience.
A marketing approach that combines brand building and business building with comprehensive insurance policies in the event of the worst happening as a back-up helps ensure financial stability in uncertain times as well.
Putting it all together
Strategies for building a business and brand should be used together to create growth and increase customer loyalty. While the techniques for achieving them often get confused, reaching your goals will require a unique approach for each organizational focus.
To build your business, focus on the numbers, conversions, prospecting, and marketing activities. To improve your brand reputation, develop thought leadership, nurture customer relationships, and create a brand personality that accurately reflects your audience.
The bottom line is this: you can’t have one without the other. Invest in brand-building tactics as well as sales and you will be on your way to creating an empire.