Businesses have a high risk of failure in their first few years. Often, failure is caused by a combination of factors, but neglecting to tackle marketing is one of the more common errors. Marketing is complex and requires identifying customer pain points. Another aspect of marketing is ensuring that you build a brand that consumers can trust.
This article will discuss the differences between brand marketing and product marketing, how to harmonize the two, and how to generate leads and sales no matter what stage a business is in.
Brand Marketing vs. Product Marketing: What’s the Difference?
Brand and product marketing are both necessary for designing a comprehensive marketing strategy. Each part relies on the other for your overall marketing plan to succeed.
Brand marketing is the main approach you use to generate a relationship between your brand identity and your customers. Ultimately, the goal of building strong brand marketing is to connect consumer experiences and emotions to your brand.
In general, brand marketing uses product marketing insights to determine how to reach consumers. It focuses on the following:
- Building brand awareness
- Accumulating brand equity
- Understanding, processing, and influencing consumer brand perceptions
- Tracking your brand, its identity, and recognition
Conversely, product marketing focuses more on strategic positioning and company alignment. It usually involves working with sales and product teams and includes lead generation activities.
Product marketing works to:
- Develop and execute go-to-market (GTM) plans
- Understand target segments
- Research competitor activities
- Create product value propositions
- Build messaging strategies
- Educate customer and sales teams about product features
Stretchy Jeans and Brand/Product Marketing
Let’s take a quick look at an example to understand how harmonizing brand and product marketing works. Mugsy, a clothing company, primarily focuses on selling stretchy pants and jeans to men.
Bigger and often athletic, men face a huge problem: their pants are too tight. This problem is often called a pain point. Pain points are areas where consumers have a need and a product fills or fixes that need.
To help overcome the problem of poor-fitting clothes, Mugsy has built a line of clothing ranging from ultra-soft t-shirts to chinos and jeans. Mugsy uses fun photographs on its website to illustrate how much stretch you can get from a pair of their pants.
Here, product marketing has developed stretchy jeans as a solution to the problem that many men face. Brand marketing then builds a story for shoppers, whether it’s a more comfortable lifestyle or shorts that look good and feel great. In the end, Mugsy builds a complete picture for their male audience.
Designing Your Product Marketing Playbook
So, how do you use these strategies to monetize your online business and generate more sales? Product marketing can seem daunting at first. Sometimes, organizations are unclear about how product marketing fits in their company. However, product marketers can work across their organization to look for ways to benefit customers and create better products.
Product marketing will also change as your company grows and develops. The first thing you should do is ask yourself:
- Is my company growing?
- Does my company already have a well-defined market?
Additionally, it’s important to leverage product marketing differently depending on whether your product has already been launched or not.
Companies in the growth stage should focus product marketing on finding avenues for their product, developing content, fine-tuning their messaging, and minimizing problems when finding ways to demo products.
Product marketers can be used together with your sales team once a product is launched. For example, I discussed Mugsy and how they identified poor-fitting jeans as a pain point for consumers. Once you have launched your product, the marketing team can help focus on other pain points or understand them more in depth. This will help sales teams close sales.
Additionally, product marketers will help your sales team preempt customer questions and present a playbook to them that will help sell solutions to customers.
By dividing your approach between pre and post-launch, you can leverage product marketing more effectively. Additionally, product marketing should shift its focus depending on what stage of development your company is at.
Step-by-Step Brand Marketing
Now that we’ve taken a look at product marketing let’s look at brand marketing and how to build a strategy there. Today, many businesses are built on e-commerce, and owners can have trouble turning leads into sales. But, by utilizing brand marketing, you will have no trouble increasing sales and making more money quickly. Don’t forget to leverage a good QuickBooks alternative to track your marketing expenses too.
A good way to understand brand marketing is to think of it as how you execute your product marketing strategy. Unlike product marketing, which focuses on consumers and how to reach them, brand marketing leverages your brand equity and helps improve its perception.
Brand strategies should be used to build brand equity. Research demonstrates that consumers often connect emotionally, so you will be sure to build stronger brand equity by using storytelling and emotions to connect your brand to people.
Build your online presence and then understand what your customers want or what they want to become. Then, align your identity with the audience. Afterward, you can mold your personal and company brands to match these previous focuses. Together, all these factors will help you create content guidelines for marketers and reach consumers better.
A recent example of this is the latest Super Bowl advertisement by Google. The ad connects a story to viewers of color. It features images of washed-out photographs that fail to capture certain skin tones correctly. Then, the ad shifts and displays images captured with Google’s newest Pixel phone and their Real Tone technology. The storytelling and emotional appeal are simple, but they help influence audience perceptions of Google and its new phone.
Google’s ad perfectly demonstrates how to develop brand equity through storytelling. It utilizes lessons Google has learned with product marketing and puts them to work. Remember, the overall goal is to improve audience perceptions of your brand.
Connecting Product and Brand Marketing
Once you have both of these pieces developed, they can then be united together. Use product marketing to generate market research, analyze competitors, and determine how your product resolves customer pain points. Then, once you’ve done your baseline work, you can leverage brand marketing to build audiences and create an identity that they can emotionally connect to.
By leveraging your work from the product marketing level, you can empathize with your audience, define your mission, and measure whether your ideas resonated with your customers.