Brand marketing is a long-term strategic approach to promoting a brand’s products and services in a way that constantly enhances its recognition and reputation.
While an excellent product range is the chief ingredient of a business, it’s not enough alone anymore to appeal to the target customers. Branding represents a company’s personality and makes it stand out among its peers.
In a market of increased online business activities, your success depends on how well you strategise and conduct your brand marketing. That’s why every frontrunner across industries invests a significant chunk of their budget in brand marketing initiatives.
However, brand marketing is a multidimensional concept. Be it personal branding or the more traditional offline branding, each type has its perks and drawbacks. You need to choose the ones that align with your business activities.
In today’s article, we will discuss the nine most popular types of brand marketing to make your choice a little easier.
Top 9 types of brand marketing
1. Product branding
Product branding, also known as merchandise branding, is when a business introduces a product or a product line to the public with its own unique identity.
The unique element can be the product’s name, logo, or design. It has to be an aspect of the product that differentiates itself from all else. The goal here is to associate a symbol with a specific product so that it’s easily recognizable.
Product branding makes your products the star of your brand. However, the usefulness of product branding depends on the size of your business as well. Big corporations like Apple spend a considerable amount on their product branding, while start-ups focus on marketing the company as a brand.
Companies prioritize product branding to raise visibility around their primary product or a line of products. Brands often distance the product from their shadow so that the audience views a specific product for its own unique identity.
When we talk about product branding, few will come close to the success of PepsiCo’s product marketing strategy for Lay’s potato chips.
Who makes these chips? Ultimately, it’s PepsiCo. But nobody thinks of buying a packet of Pepsi Chips when they feel snacky.
Pepsi already has a very strong identity and could overshadow the strength of the product brand of the chips. As a popular and globally recognizable brand, it realized that holistic branding for Funtime snacks could hide the product itself.
So PepsiCo chose product branding as the solution. They gave Lay’s potato chips a separate identity.
People across the world recognize Lay’s chips for their different flavours, not because of a bigshot name like PepsiCo.
2. Personal branding
If your goal is to become a trustworthy name in your field, personal branding is the way to go. It is marketing the identity of your brand that accurately reflects what your business stands for.
Unlike product branding, personal branding makes your entire brand stand out in the market. It ensures your target audience knows who you are as a business and why they should choose you over your competitors.
Through personal branding, companies endorse their values to the world. Each product must reflect a uniform personality and align with the identity of the brand.
Personal branding allows companies to get the message across through particular elements, like a logo or a slogan. This is particularly effective because it leverages the short attention span of the modern audience.
Social media is a powerful tool for building a personal brand. It allows you to connect to your audience by communicating through a personal platform. People get to know your brand as a whole, find you more credible, and are more likely to give you their business.
In the television and entertainment industry, the name “Oprah” needs no introduction. Nicknamed “Queen of All Media”, she is a personality of unparalleled influence and one of the most recognizable faces in the world.
Winfrey attracted an average of 12 to 13 million viewers each weekday during her show’s peak years. She is a frequent addition to Time Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th Century.
But how did she achieve this fame through a talk show? By building an emotional connection with her audience. Oprah rejects the idea of her being a brand — which is an important part of her brand itself.
Instead of hosting just another talk show, Oprah used her platform to educate viewers on topics like self-development, social issues, and health. The show became a colossal success, with earnings of $125 million within its first year of production.
3. Service branding
Service Branding is an approach where a brand’s services are the star of its marketing endeavours. This type of branding creates a unique identity for the business’s services to optimize reach and sales.
Service branding plays an important role in the contribution to value creation and economic growth at the company level. Businesses like airlines, banks, different agencies, consulting firms, and cab services opt for service branding to create a personality for their brand.
Unlike products, services are not tangible. A service brand adds value through intangible skills. Here, the involved elements are more subjective.
Marriott is one of the most recognized hotel brands in the world. The quality of its services distinguishes keeps its identity unique among other businesses in the hospitality sector.
Marriott built this easily recognizable hotel brand based on a complex service branding strategy. Their marketing focuses on their hotel’s architecture, employee training, and impeccable services. The brand maintains a specific operational standard and leverage that to create and maintain visibility.
4. Geographic and cultural branding
Geographic and cultural branding focuses on the uniqueness of a particular region, area, or culture. This is the most prevalent marketing technique across the tourism industry.
Geographic marketing builds visibility around a region’s or culture’s distinct traits and highlights why someone must visit.
Japan is a country of striking individuality. But the government noticed that most tourists limit their visits to a few places and miss out on the culturally significant Japanese experience. Hence, Japanese tourism started pushing their lesser-known geographical attraction through a series of ads.
Sake is a significant part of Japanese culture. So, the country also announced that if a foreign tourist buys sake following a brewery tour at one of the country’s over 3,000 sake breweries nationwide, Japan will offer them exemptions from paying liquor and consumption taxes.
5. Retail branding
Retail branding is the marketing approach that creates a strong perception of your store in your customer’s minds. The aim here is to build long-term customer loyalty.
This genre of marketing is all about how you make a customer feel when they visit your retail store — be it physical r online. It requires thorough customer research and cross-channel consistency to help the customer feel as familiar with the brand as possible.
Successful retail branding helps you increase traffic to your store, increase your conversion rate, and outshine your competitors. It helps you enhance customers’ understanding and enjoyment of the products and the brand itself, creating brand awareness and customer loyalty. This type of marketing is also effective in boosting customer advocacy.
Reliance Retail is one of the most prominent retail brands in India. While it’s not the sole element of its marketing, the brand relies heavily on retail branding.
In a populous country like India, Reliance realized the importance of pricing. So, the brand offered a price that’s lower than its competitors. This approach helped them create a retail brand that’s instantly recognizable across the country for its low prices and exemplary customer service.
6. Online Branding
Online branding, also known as e-branding or internet branding, is a marketing approach that uses the web and social media to drive brand awareness.
It builds a brand’s identity by placing it in the spotlight through marketing channels like Instagram, Facebook, Google, blog posts, etc.
Online branding develops brand presence and conversions by pushing the brand story and establishing a dialogue with the target audience. It helps businesses control the narrative of their brand in the public eye and highlights its qualities to its potential customers in the digital space.
Amazon’s marketing strategy integrates several targeted online marketing channels, such as associate programs, sponsored search, and social media channels. Their strategy is simple. Amazon collects first-party and third-party customer data and pushes products according to the customer’s preferences and search history.
7. Offline branding
Offline branding is a traditional marketing approach that functions outside the internet space. It targets audiences who are not that active on the web and builds brand awareness through different offline channels like TV, newspapers, billboards, etc.
This type of marketing is effective if your target audience is older, who are more likely to choose offline methods of media consumption like televisions and radios. Many companies also conduct offline branding through promotional items and sponsorships.
Coca-Cola has kept its position as one of the market dominants in the beverage industry. Instead of heavily jumping on the digital marketing bandwagon, the brand remained consistent with its offline branding through TV ads, print ads, and billboards.
8. Corporate branding
Corporate branding is a type of marketing approach that focuses on presenting the company’s identity in its overall marketing efforts. It allows you to highlight your business’s purpose and the ethos behind your services.
Effective corporate branding leads customers to trust, rely and commit to the company, which helps the brand outshine its competitors. It requires the company to push the brand’s logo, image, style, and voice in different marketing materials to make them instantly recognizable.
IBM is a multinational technology corporation and one of the world’s biggest IT companies. However, the company’s fame is not limited to technology enthusiasts.
Most people around the world recognize the company instantly because of its effective corporate branding. Their marketing campaigns aim to educate audiences on what IBM does as a company, how it does it, and who it does it for.
9. Experiential branding
Experiential Branding is a marketing approach that focuses on indulging the customers in sensory interactions with consumers to influence their preferences and increase the brand’s positive perception.
People forget names, but they remember experiences. When a brand gives its target market a memorable sensory experience, it ensures an increased eyeball effect and a stronger footfall. Experiential branding drives your brand away from the generic trade and gives the consumers an emotional connection, building customer loyalty.
Red Bull created a firm foundation of brand marketing through its experiential branding efforts. It successfully connected storytelling and brand awareness with one-of-a-kind event experiences.
The brand is well-known for its street teams. In these events, the brand ambassadors toss free drinks to passersby.
Red bull also organizes various exciting branded events, such as Red Bull Kluge, Red Bull Downhill Race, Red Bull Stratos Jump, and the Red Bull Air Race.
Such experiential initiatives led them to build a brand that connects people with its products based on memorable experiences.
Your brand is the most valuable asset of your company. It is more than a smart slogan or a quirky logo.
A brand is how a business presents itself to the audience. How you choose to do your branding can make or break your business.
That’s why you must prioritize building a brand and communicating it to your target audience effectively. For that, you need to choose your preferred brand marketing methods carefully.
To get a competitive edge, you must reflect the USPs of your products and services. Whether you choose corporate branding, retail branding, or a combination of different approaches, make sure it reflects your mission and vision.
Run competitor analysis, audit available resources, and ensure thorough customer research to create a suitable strategy. While every brand marketing type has its own set of challenges, a focused and aligned approach will get you the desired business results.