Your brand is the most important thing your business has in its asset column, and one of the most direct ways you can try to influence is through your marketing.
It’s worth thinking for a moment about what your brand is. Brands are not something you can create outright: customers make a brand, by taking every different instance of contact with your company, from advertising to in-store experience, word of mouth and what happens when they pick up the phone to your customer service team. Even how easy it is to contact your customer services can affect your brand: limiting how customers can contact you can reduce unnecessary contacts and drop refund numbers but at the cost of making you appear distant, or like you’re attempting to hide something.
In this context, it’s clear that you can’t think of marketing as something directly ‘creates’ your brand, but it can influence and provide a framework for customers to place all the fragmentary experiences that go together to create their overall impression of your company’s identity. The most important thing is consistency: your marketing is your chance to articulate the key characteristics you want your customers to pick up about your brand. If you use that opportunity to tell customers things that are inconsistent with how your brand actually works in reality you will, at best, create confusion. At worst it can thoroughly undermine the work you’ve done to build your brand and depress sales.
It’s tempting to think of your brand as resistant to being quantified and measured. In truth, if you adopt a brand performance marketing stance, with help from an expert market research company you’ll find you can reliably assess your marketing campaigns based on how they affect your brand.
The key metrics include unprompted recall (do customers remember your business?), purchase intent (do they want to buy from your business?) and net promoter score (would they recommend your business to other people?).
If you track these metrics and compare them over time, as different marketing campaigns are released, you can judge how your marketing affects your brand. As you learn this, you can start making plans for how your brand is going to affect your marketing: when you know what elements of your adverts have the most effect and how they influence your customers, you can plan future campaigns to have a specific effect on your brand.
How does your brand influence your marketing? By learning how your marketing influences your brand!