Branding is More Than Just Advertising

Here is a good article by Kimberly McCall(the marketing angel) about branding. She uses one of my favorite corporate punching bags – Sears – as an example.

A few years back, Sears launched a television campaign with the "softer side of Sears" as its tag line. The intended message was that the retailer was no longer simply a big-box store housing lawnmowers and tires, but a fine venue for kickin' clothes as well. The only problem: the company never did roll out more than pleather and polyester fashions, and it hadn't really mastered the "harder part of Sears."

Sears failed to reinvent its brand because it made adjustments only to its advertising-no organic changes that actually mattered to consumers took root.

For positive branding to occur, a company must consider every way it touches prospective and current customers-including advertising, public relations, and customer service. All elements of a company's marketing must mesh seamlessly for a new or reinvigorated brand to break through the clutter.

Too many business people think marketing is just advertising. It really is so much more, and a failure to understand that will usually be reflected in a company's bottom line.