Brand Marketing: What It Is + How to Create Your Brand Marketing Strategy

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Explore how brand marketing helps businesses build brand equity and promote their product lines, and discover the steps to creating a brand marketing strategy for your business.

[Featured Image] A brand manager points to a chart as she discusses brand marketing with five people at a conference table.

What is brand marketing?

Brand marketing refers to promoting a company’s brand as a whole rather than highlighting individual products and services. In this approach, a company might build marketing collateral that showcases its look and feel, transmits its values, and tells a compelling brand story. 

Brand marketing serves several purposes, including boosting your brand’s reputation, building brand equity, and inspiring consumer trust and loyalty. In addition, an effective brand marketing strategy can also make it possible to increase consumer engagement with your brand, increase revenue, turn loyal customers into brand ambassadors, and have a positive impact on people’s lives. 

Branding vs. marketing 

While brand marketing combines concepts related to branding and marketing, these two business practices are different. Branding is the process of developing a distinct identity for a company and an experience for consumers. Marketing refers to the tactics a company uses to promote products and services to a specific market segment using insights from research.

Now that we’ve defined brand marketing continue reading to build your strategy. These skills and processes can be useful in developing your own business or pursuing a career as a brand marketer.

Build your brand marketing strategy in 5 steps. 

A brand marketing strategy is your long-term plan to improve your brand’s position in the marketplace. A strategy helps organize efforts to educate consumers about your brand. Gather any brand assets and marketing collateral you may already have, including design elements, social media content, buyer personas, and ad campaign creatives. Then, follow the steps below to build your brand marketing strategy.  

1. Identify your brand marketing goals.

Articulate what you want to achieve with your brand marketing efforts. That way, you can determine your tactics and approaches with intention and have a basis for measuring your progress over time. Make these goals as specific as possible, understanding that you can adjust as needed as you build other sections of your brand marketing strategy. 

Draw from these examples of brand marketing goals: 

  • Develop marketing content to elevate brand vision and philosophy and increase customer engagement with such messaging.

  • Understand the brand’s overall appeal.

  • Recruit brand ambassadors from the existing customer base who willingly participate in promotional activities. 

2. Define your brand story. 

A brand story is a coherent narrative about a brand’s origin, mission, purpose, and role in customer lives. A good brand story should captivate customers because they can relate to their experiences or aspire to what the brand represents. Because humans respond emotionally to well-crafted stories, having a coherent brand story can make your brand marketing more effective. 

To define your brand story, start by reviewing everything that comprises your brand’s identity, from the visual and language elements that consumers first encounter to the values and philosophies that undergird these elements. Next, answer these questions to bring brand story material to the forefront: 

  • How did this brand originate? 

  • What were the events that led to its inception? 

  • What inspired you to develop it? 

  • What problems do customers have that your brand helps to solve? 

  • What desires do customers have that your brand satisfies? 

  • What ideas and principles went into this brand’s design? 

  • What goes into the development of each product and service? 

Then, shape the raw brand story into a short but coherent narrative. You might consider developing several versions of the brand story—a short one that can be verbalized in a few seconds or added to a social media profile as a brief introduction and a longer one to add to a page on your website.  

Your brand story can serve as the basis for brand marketing collateral, which we’ll cover later. 

3. Determine your brand marketing tactics. 

Review any market research you’ve conducted, your brand marketing goals, and your brand story to determine the tactics you’ll use to market your brand. Answer the following questions to decide on your tactics. For each answer, you should include why you’ve chosen each tactic and how you see it helping you reach your brand marketing goals: 

  • On which marketing channels will you develop a brand presence? 

  • How can you coordinate paid ad campaigns and organic content to tell your brand’s story and extend its reach?  

  • How will you leverage social media influencers' relationships with their audiences to reach new niche markets? 

  • What affiliate marketing and referral programs can you offer to turn loyal customers into brand ambassadors? 

4. Develop brand marketing collateral. 

Your goal in this step is to create brand marketing collateral that communicates your brand’s values, mission, visual identity, and story in compelling ways to use across all marketing channels. Collateral can include: 

  • Email campaigns and sequences  

  • Web copy, blog articles, or other written content  

  • Social media posts

  • Videos 

  • Digital or print ad creatives 

  • Business cards and other print collateral 

5. Measure your success. 

For this step, review your goals and tactics, and decide on the key performance indicators (KPIs) you’ll use to measure the success of your brand marketing efforts. That way, you can find out what’s working and what isn’t and adjust your strategy accordingly. KPIs might include the number of site visitors during a specific period or the performance of individual pieces of branded content marketing. 

Next, set up analytic tools on each marketing channel to monitor KPIs and set calendar alerts to review them. 

Brand marketing key takeaways and best practices

Remember: Marketing your brand as a whole can boost its reputation, help you increase revenue, and inspire customer loyalty. Set long-term goals and be diligent with your efforts to see results over time. 

Keep these best practices in mind as you implement your brand marketing strategy:

  • Monitor your competition’s brand marketing tactics continually so that you can market your brand to stand out.

  • Watch for trends in brand marketing, such as creating videos to tell a brand story, using omnichannel marketing techniques, improving your content marketing, and working with influencers to reach new markets. 

  • When designing paid ad campaigns and content for your organic marketing, ensure that you consistently use your brand assets (name, logo, fonts, voice, etc.). 

  • Revisit your brand marketing strategy periodically to account for new products and services and optimize your tactics for better results. 

Improve your brand marketing with Coursera.

Taking online courses can be a great way to build brand marketing skills that will serve your career, whether you’re developing your own business or helping companies market their brands.

Deepen your knowledge of branding, improve your content, and develop high-impact campaigns in IE Business School’s Branding: The Creative Journey specialization. 

Explore branding, digital marketing, and developing businesses in a global environment with the University of London’s Bachelor of Science in Marketing degree. 

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