The Importance Of Brand Building And How To Create A Brand Identity

Brand building is the set of activities that help companies to build an identity that can be recognized by its audience. Thus, it works as a mechanism of identification through core values that signal trust and that help build long-term relationships between the brand and its key stakeholders.

DefinitionBrand Building is a strategic process aimed at creating and enhancing the perception, reputation, and recognition of a brand in the minds of its target audience. It involves deliberate actions and campaigns to establish a brand’s identity, values, and promise while fostering positive associations with the brand. Effective brand building leads to increased brand loyalty, customer trust, and competitive advantage. It encompasses various elements, including brand strategy, messaging, visual identity, and customer engagement.
Key ConceptsBrand Identity: The unique set of traits, values, and attributes that define a brand’s personality and distinguish it from competitors. – Brand Awareness: The degree to which a brand is recognized and remembered by consumers. – Brand Equity: The intangible value a brand holds, influencing consumer preferences and purchase decisions. – Brand Consistency: Maintaining a uniform brand image and message across all touchpoints. – Consumer Perception: How consumers perceive and interpret a brand’s identity and offerings.
CharacteristicsStrategic Planning: Brand building is guided by a strategic plan that outlines objectives, target audience, and brand positioning. – Consistency: Consistency in messaging, visual elements, and brand values is crucial for building a strong brand. – Emotional Connection: Effective brand building often involves creating emotional connections with consumers. – Customer-Centric: The process revolves around understanding and meeting the needs and preferences of the target audience. – Long-Term Focus: Brand building is a long-term endeavor, requiring ongoing effort and investment.
ImplicationsBrand Loyalty: Successful brand building cultivates customer loyalty and repeat business. – Market Differentiation: Strong brands can stand out in competitive markets and command premium prices. – Consumer Trust: Building trust with consumers leads to increased confidence in the brand. – Perceived Value: A well-built brand is often associated with higher perceived value. – Word-of-Mouth: Positive brand experiences lead to word-of-mouth recommendations and referrals.
AdvantagesCustomer Loyalty: A strong brand can foster deep customer loyalty and advocacy. – Competitive Edge: Effective brand building can create a competitive advantage by differentiating the brand from rivals. – Premium Pricing: Brands with a strong reputation often command higher prices for their products or services. – Consistent Messaging: Consistency in brand messaging helps in building a clear and memorable brand identity. – Increased Market Share: Strong brands can gain a larger share of the market and attract new customers.
DrawbacksResource-Intensive: Building a brand requires significant time, effort, and financial resources. – Long-Term Commitment: It’s a long-term endeavor that may not yield immediate results. – Consumer Expectations: High brand expectations can lead to disappointment if not met consistently. – Market Changes: External factors and market dynamics can affect brand perceptions. – Risk of Negative Associations: Brands may face challenges in managing negative associations or crises.
ApplicationsConsumer Goods: Consumer product companies invest in brand building to establish brand loyalty and influence purchasing decisions. – Technology: Tech companies work on brand building to create trust and a positive image in a competitive industry. – Hospitality: Hotels and resorts focus on brand building to attract guests and provide memorable experiences. – Fashion: Fashion brands build their image to stand out in the fashion industry and connect with style-conscious consumers. – Services: Service providers, such as banks and airlines, invest in brand building to gain customer trust and loyalty.
Use CasesApple: Apple’s brand building is characterized by innovation, sleek design, and user-centric experiences. – Nike: Nike’s brand building emphasizes athleticism, empowerment, and iconic endorsements. – Marriott: Marriott’s brand building in the hospitality industry focuses on quality, comfort, and memorable stays. – Coca-Cola: Coca-Cola’s brand building centers on a timeless, refreshing, and universally recognized brand image. – Amazon: Amazon’s brand building revolves around convenience, customer-centricity, and innovation in e-commerce.

The modern father of brand building in a tech-driven world

As Steve Jobs put it in a speech dated 1997:

To me marketing’s about values this is a very complicated world it’s a very noisy world and we’re not going to get a chance to get people to remember much about us no company is and so we have to be really clear on what we want them to know about us.

This statement alone might well be considered the essence of brand building, and what it really means to build a brand. Indeed, as Steve Jobs highlighted building a brand is not about writing your mission statement, creating your list of values so that you can match that to who you think can be your customers.

That way is doing it backward. Brand building is about who you are and the kind of company you want to build. And communicating it clearly is not about words.

A business making money is not a brand. And you can still build a business that makes money without building a brand. However, as that company grows your brand will be a way to align people within and outside the organization, thus enabling those people to relate with your company.

This isn’t just a matter of philosophy, where to paraphrase a popular business author, you need to “start with your why.”

There are deeper implications of brand building, that have an evolutionary value, and that might make the long-term survival of your organization depending on your ability to build that brand.

Identity: beyond the job to be done to define who you are

In the same speech in 1997, Steve Jobs was trying to revitalize Apple’s brand. As he got back to the company after being ousted more than a decade earlier, Apple’s sales had experienced a massive decline. Several CEOs were hired and paid millions just to make things worse.

Steve Jobs had pretty clear what had happened to Apple. As he highlighted:

The question we asked was our customers want to know who is Apple and what is it that we stand for where do we fit in this world and what we’re about isn’t making boxes for people to get their jobs done although we do that well we do that better than almost anybody in some cases but apples about something more than that.

And he went on:

Apple at the core its core value is that we believe that people with passion can change the world for the better. That’s what we believe and we’ve had the opportunity to work with people like that…and those people that are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones that actually do.

Beyond the inspirational quotes, Steve Jobs made an important point. In a tech-driven business world, where technological innovation might seem to be the main driver of success. And where digital channels make it easy to track your marketing strategy.

It’s very easy to get confused about the things that really matter. The rational and conventional approach, based on jobs to be done, starts from several assumptions that might make it hard to build a brand in the first place.

Some of those assumptions are:

  • People always want convenience and low prices.
  • If A is more functional than B, then everyone will want to have A, rather than B.
  • Rationality is what drives people’s actions.
  • What cannot be explained by rationality is either stupid, irrelevant, trivial or not worth our attention.
  • Marketers are liars trying to manipulate people.
  • Perceptions don’t matter as much as engineering.
  • People are biased, and we need to leverage those biases.

I could go on listing dozens of those assumptions, but you get my point. In a tech-driven world, where tracking visible metrics has become inexpensive, those metrics become the key drivers of startups, that neglect their brands and focus on building functional products.

And the thing is, large tech players, with the most valuable brands in the world, are aware of the fact that their brand-building activities are a key element of their success. But they pretend those don’t count.

Companies like Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft, spend billions of dollars in advertising, brand building, distribution, to pass the message that the reason they are so dominating stands with their superior technologies, innovation, supply chain or accounting department.

There is more to the story and this is called brand building. Referring to Nike, in the 1997 speech, Steve Jobs explained:

Nike sells a commodity they sell shoes and yet when you think of Nike you feel something different than a shoe company and their ads as you know they don’t ever talk about the product they don’t ever tell you about their soils and why they’re better than Reebok so what Nike is doing in their advertising they honor great athletes and they honor great athletics that’s who they are that’s what they are about.

Trust: how do I trust you if you don’t “waste money” on branding?

A flower is a weed with an advertising budget. ― Rory Sutherland, Alchemy. 

Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman of Ogilvy in the UK, in his book Alchemy, explains the evolutionary forces behind branding. As he highlights ever since science has become so powerful in explaining physical processes.

More and more intellectuals tried to apply the scientific method to real-life scenarios, where there is an extremely high degree of uncertainty. As former trader, Nassim Nicholas Taleb explains in his book Antifragile, in the real world, what’s really hard is understanding the problem in the first place.

Indeed, often we try to solve a problem that makes us look good but it’s the wrong one, we tend to apply rationality and logic (that look good on paper) to situations of high uncertainty. In short, as Jeff Bezos highlighted and recounted in a Shareholders letter in 2006:

We have made a decision to continuously and significantly lower prices for customers year after year as our efficiency and scale make it possible. This is an example of a very important decision that cannot be made in a math-based way. In fact, when we lower prices, we go against the math that we can do, which always says that the smart move is to raise prices.

In short, this is not a sort of decision that can be made with mathematical models, but it requires vision and the understanding of hidden facets of reality (which the human brain might be wired for).

Where Amazon is endowed with price elasticity models able to predict in the short-term that lowering prices has short-term negative consequences on the bottom-line, Jeff Bezos highlighted:

Our judgment is that relentlessly returning efficiency improvements and scale economies to customers in the form of lower prices creates a virtuous cycle that leads over the long term to a much larger dollar amount of free cash flow, and thereby to a much more valuable

While this decision didn’t make much sense from a purely economic standpoint, it did generate the so-called Amazon Flywheel or virtuous cycle.

In short, there are certain decisions, where optimization is worth pursuing. And in these cases, quantitative and mathematical models do work well. In all the other cases, where there is a high degree of ambiguity and uncertainty, those models won’t work.

But there is more to it. In a scenario of ambiguity and uncertainty (as most of the important business decisions), Rory Sutherland highlights how psycho-logic plays a key role. In short, what seems irrational it has an evolutionary value that can’t be explained by logic.

Rory Sutherland in The Wiki Man highlights:

I think if you set out to build a great business, you’ll stand a fair chance of building a great brand. I am not equally confident that someone aspiring to build a great brand will build a great business.

And money spent on branding seems to be one of those things that while can’t be explained by economists, it is instead an element of trust. In short, as a subconscious assumption, if you’re spending money to build a brand and a reputation, you have more skin in the game, and more to lose.

As such you might deserve more trust (this isn’t supposed to be rational or logical, but rather make sense to our subconscious).

Reputation and social proof: I show you who I am by telling you who you are

“capitalism is not “materialistic,” but “semiotic.” It concerns mainly the psychological world of signs, symbols, images, and brands,” ― Geoffrey Miller, Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior.

Advertising and branding play a key role in building up trust. And we might argue that those are the backbones of capitalism itself. In short, larger companies that have a presence that goes beyond the neighborhood, need brands to thrive. And this is even truer in the digital age.

Imagining a train of thoughts of the person that engages with our brand and expensive branding campaign, the subconscious might implicitly say something along these lines “hey if you can afford to spend money on advertising your product, it must be good. And besides, you have money to allocate for that, which tells me you are financially more reliable. Thus I know you’ll be able to assist if the product won’t work and you’ll stick around long enough for me to trust you.”

In addition to that, branding has a social role, that Geoffrey Miller explains well, in his book, Spent:

All ads effectively have two audiences: potential product buyers, and potential product viewers who will credit the product owners with various desirable traits.

And as he explains in the same book:

The rich covet the new iPod not for the sounds it can make in their heads, but for the impressions it can make in the heads of others.

The power of perception: 2+2 does not equal 4

Engineers, medical people, scientific people, have an obsession with solving the problems of reality, when actually … once you reach a basic level of wealth in society, most problems are actually problems of perception ― Rory Sutherland, Alchemy. 

This isn’t easy to grasp and internalize, however, perception can enhance our products. However, perception isn’t just about improving the user experience, building more technical specifications in your product, or adding features.

Perception can be way cheaper to implement yet more powerful. However, it requires a shift in mindset, as things that might sound trivial, irrational or illogic will suddenly unveil their genius.

Coca-Cola knows that well when it developed a unique shape for its bottles. And that happened a century ago. As the story goes, when Coca-Cola wanted to preserve its brand, it invited its bottlers to come up with a “bottle so distinct that you would recognize if by feel in the dark or lying broken on the ground.

Also, tech giants know that. When Google launched its search engine, its super-clean design, not only enhanced user experience. But it also signaled one thing (as Rory Sutherland explains in Alchemy) that Google was actually good at search!

So much so, that “google it” became a synonym for “search it” and it actually now became ever more used:


How “google it” has become more popular than “search it” (according to Google Trends). In short, not only Google has become a synonym with search, it has expanded its meaning, as it has made searching go mainstream, thus educating billions of people to google things out.

There are thousands if not millions of hidden possible ways we can use perception, at no additional cost, or capital investments to improve our business right now, by changing the way our product or service is perceived.

It just requires creativity and the ability to think that what might seem illogical can actually turn out to be subconsciously rational, even if hard to explain.

Signaling: how I look and what I do have nothing to do with how I look and what I do

“The peacock’s gaudy tail does not enable him to fly any higher, but it raises his status in the eyes of the peahen.” ― Nicholas Humphrey, Consciousness As Art.

If you think that showing off, advertising and branding are just synonyms of stupidity, let’s try to consider them from a different perspective. According to evolutionary psychologists, like Nicholas Humphrey, there are hidden reasons why we act the way we do, even when it seems irrational.

And it is often due to signaling. According to the signaling, theory from an evolutionary standpoint, those signals need to be costly. For instance, in the peacock case, the signal of fitness is so costly that it actually becomes a handicap.

According to the Handicap Principle,” reliable signals must be costly to the signaler, costing the signaler something that could not be afforded by an individual with less of a particular trait.”

Some evolutionary psychologists might go as far as saying that developing wings in the first place was for sexual selection and that flying was a side effect of that.

Thus, if you do understand signaling in that context, you also understand why it becomes important for brands as well to advertise themselves to become “fit.” And the best way to advertise themselves to choose to build a business that lasts.

Context and meaning

A last key principle to internalize is the importance of context in human decision making. The way we perceive things is driven by context. That might sound trivial, yet it is important to recall that wearing a mask or costume at the office on Halloween is acceptable (also among engineers) but wearing the same costume on a regular day would qualify you as a freak.

Understanding the kind of context people experience your product or service. Or determining the kind of context you want to create for your brand it is critical to building a successful brand.

The power of brand recognition

In a paper entitled Heuristic Decision Making, Gerd Gigerenzer and Wolfgang Gaissmaier highlighted how consumers might use brand recognition, which in some instances might be “even more important than attributes that are a more direct reflection of quality.”

As explained in the same paper, in a blind test, when choosing between a high-quality peanut butter to two alternative low-quality, most people picked the highest quality. However, when a brand label that people could recognize got attached to one of the jars, suddenly most of the people picked the brand they recognized.

The experiment might well suggest that brand recognition not only facilitates the choice, but it changes the perception and “taste” of the product itself. Almost as the brand name is creating a parallel reality in the consumers’ minds which goes beyond the ingredients. 

Value: the sweet spot between pain and perception

A value proposition is about how you create value for customers. While many entrepreneurial theories draw from customers’ problems and pain points, the value can also be created via demand generation, which is about enabling people to identify with your brand, thus generating demand for your products and services.

In a tech-driven business world, it’s easy to fall in love with theories that focus too much on problems and pain points and lose sight of the importance also of demand generation. 

Companies like Nike, know that extremely well, and that is why they spend billions in “demand generation:”

Nike’s vision is “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.” While its mission statement is to “do everything possible to expand human potential. We do that by creating groundbreaking sport innovations, by making our products more sustainably, by building a creative and diverse global team and by making a positive impact in communities where we live and work.”

To be sure, this is not an invitation to overspend on marketing. Rather, it’s an invitation to look beyond what your customers are currently telling you so that you can pass their expectations.

In the end, the value as a business is also given by the fact that you can experiment and challenge assumptions around what people really want. And this is at the core of Customer Obsession, which Amazon has been using as North Start since its inception:

Customer obsession goes beyond quantitative and qualitative data about customers, and it moves around customers’ feedback to gather valuable insights. Those insights start by the entrepreneur’s wandering process, driven by hunch, gut, intuition, curiosity, and a builder mindset. The product discovery moves around a building, reworking, experimenting, and iterating loop.

Part of the process is about uncovering problems customers have. Another good part of it is about a discovery process, of serendipitous insights. The company stumbling upon them will also reap the benefits on its bottom line, as a side effect.

Therefore, the business able to devote part of its time and resources to explore value beyond the narrow boundaries defined by existing customers, might also benefit from a burst of innovation, and leap ahead of the competition, thus creating a blue ocean:

A blue ocean is a strategy where the boundaries of existing markets are redefined, and new uncontested markets are created. At its core, there is value innovation, for which uncontested markets are created, where competition is made irrelevant. And the cost-value trade-off is broken. Thus, companies following a blue ocean strategy offer much more value at a lower cost for the end customers.

Key Highlights

  • Brand Building and Identity: Brand building involves creating an identity for a company that can be recognized by its audience. It works as a mechanism of identification through core values, building long-term relationships with key stakeholders.
  • Steve Jobs on Brand Building: Steve Jobs emphasized that brand building is not just about writing mission statements or matching values to customers. It’s about defining who the company is and the kind of company it wants to build.
  • Importance of Trust in Branding: Building a brand helps establish trust with customers. Spending money on branding signals commitment and reliability, leading to increased trust and loyalty.
  • Brand Recognition and Perception: Brand recognition plays a crucial role in consumer decision-making. People tend to choose products with recognizable brands, and branding can influence their perception and preferences.
  • Signaling and Branding: Signaling theory suggests that branding and advertising serve as signals of a company’s fitness and reliability. Spending money on branding can be seen as a costly signal, indicating commitment and trustworthiness.
  • Context and Meaning: Understanding the context in which customers experience a brand is crucial for successful branding. Perception and meaning can significantly impact how a product is perceived and valued.
  • Value and Demand Generation: While addressing customer problems is essential, demand generation through branding can also create value. Discovering innovative ways to meet customer needs beyond their expectations can lead to a competitive advantage.
  • Blue Ocean Strategy and Innovation: Branding can lead to innovation and the creation of uncontested markets, enabling companies to offer unique value at a lower cost. Exploring value beyond existing customers can lead to leaps ahead of competitors.

References and suggested readings

The ideas behind this guide have been inspired by several books and authors:

Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life

Other business resources:

Visual Marketing Glossary

Account-Based Marketing

Account-based marketing (ABM) is a strategy where the marketing and sales departments come together to create personalized buying experiences for high-value accounts. Account-based marketing is a business-to-business (B2B) approach in which marketing and sales teams work together to target high-value accounts and turn them into customers.


Ad Ops – also known as Digital Ad Operations – refers to systems and processes that support digital advertisements’ delivery and management. The concept describes any process that helps a marketing team manage, run, or optimize ad campaigns, making them an integrating part of the business operations.

AARRR Funnel

Venture capitalist, Dave McClure, coined the acronym AARRR which is a simplified model that enables to understand what metrics and channels to look at, at each stage for the users’ path toward becoming customers and referrers of a brand.

Affinity Marketing

Affinity marketing involves a partnership between two or more businesses to sell more products. Note that this is a mutually beneficial arrangement where one brand can extend its reach and enhance its credibility in association with the other.

Ambush Marketing

As the name suggests, ambush marketing raises awareness for brands at events in a covert and unexpected fashion. Ambush marketing takes many forms, one common element, the brand advertising their products or services has not paid for the right to do so. Thus, the business doing the ambushing attempts to capitalize on the efforts made by the business sponsoring the event.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing describes the process whereby an affiliate earns a commission for selling the products of another person or company. Here, the affiliate is simply an individual who is motivated to promote a particular product through incentivization. The business whose product is being promoted will gain in terms of sales and marketing from affiliates.

Bullseye Framework

The bullseye framework is a simple method that enables you to prioritize the marketing channels that will make your company gain traction. The main logic of the bullseye framework is to find the marketing channels that work and prioritize them.

Brand Building

Brand building is the set of activities that help companies to build an identity that can be recognized by its audience. Thus, it works as a mechanism of identification through core values that signal trust and that help build long-term relationships between the brand and its key stakeholders.

Brand Dilution

According to inbound marketing platform HubSpot, brand dilution occurs “when a company’s brand equity diminishes due to an unsuccessful brand extension, which is a new product the company develops in an industry that they don’t have any market share in.” Brand dilution, therefore, occurs when a brand decreases in value after the company releases a product that does not align with its vision, mission, or skillset. 

Brand Essence Wheel

The brand essence wheel is a templated approach businesses can use to better understand their brand. The brand essence wheel has obvious implications for external brand strategy. However, it is equally important in simplifying brand strategy for employees without a strong marketing background. Although many variations of the brand essence wheel exist, a comprehensive wheel incorporates information from five categories: attributes, benefits, values, personality, brand essence.

Brand Equity

The brand equity is the premium that a customer is willing to pay for a product that has all the objective characteristics of existing alternatives, thus, making it different in terms of perception. The premium on seemingly equal products and quality is attributable to its brand equity.

Brand Positioning

Brand positioning is about creating a mental real estate in the mind of the target market. If successful, brand positioning allows a business to gain a competitive advantage. And it also works as a switching cost in favor of the brand. Consumers recognizing a brand might be less prone to switch to another brand.

Business Storytelling

Business storytelling is a critical part of developing a business model. Indeed, the way you frame the story of your organization will influence its brand in the long-term. That’s because your brand story is tied to your brand identity, and it enables people to identify with a company.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is one of the most powerful commercial activities which focuses on leveraging content production (text, audio, video, or other formats) to attract a targeted audience. Content marketing focuses on building a strong brand, but also to convert part of that targeted audience into potential customers.

Customer Lifetime Value

One of the first mentions of customer lifetime value was in the 1988 book Database Marketing: Strategy and Implementation written by Robert Shaw and Merlin Stone. Customer lifetime value (CLV) represents the value of a customer to a company over a period of time. It represents a critical business metric, especially for SaaS or recurring revenue-based businesses.

Customer Segmentation

Customer segmentation is a marketing method that divides the customers in sub-groups, that share similar characteristics. Thus, product, marketing and engineering teams can center the strategy from go-to-market to product development and communication around each sub-group. Customer segments can be broken down is several ways, such as demographics, geography, psychographics and more.

Developer Marketing

Developer marketing encompasses tactics designed to grow awareness and adopt software tools, solutions, and SaaS platforms. Developer marketing has become the standard among software companies with a platform component, where developers can build applications on top of the core software or open software. Therefore, engaging developer communities has become a key element of marketing for many digital businesses.

Digital Marketing Channels

A digital channel is a marketing channel, part of a distribution strategy, helping an organization to reach its potential customers via electronic means. There are several digital marketing channels, usually divided into organic and paid channels. Some organic channels are SEO, SMO, email marketing. And some paid channels comprise SEM, SMM, and display advertising.

Field Marketing

Field marketing is a general term that encompasses face-to-face marketing activities carried out in the field. These activities may include street promotions, conferences, sales, and various forms of experiential marketing. Field marketing, therefore, refers to any marketing activity that is performed in the field.

Funnel Marketing

interaction with a brand until they become a paid customer and beyond. Funnel marketing is modeled after the marketing funnel, a concept that tells the company how it should market to consumers based on their position in the funnel itself. The notion of a customer embarking on a journey when interacting with a brand was first proposed by Elias St. Elmo Lewis in 1898. Funnel marketing typically considers three stages of a non-linear marketing funnel. These are top of the funnel (TOFU), middle of the funnel (MOFU), and bottom of the funnel (BOFU). Particular marketing strategies at each stage are adapted to the level of familiarity the consumer has with a brand.

Go-To-Market Strategy

A go-to-market strategy represents how companies market their new products to reach target customers in a scalable and repeatable way. It starts with how new products/services get developed to how these organizations target potential customers (via sales and marketing models) to enable their value proposition to be delivered to create a competitive advantage.


The term “greenwashing” was first coined by environmentalist Jay Westerveld in 1986 at a time when most consumers received their news from television, radio, and print media. Some companies took advantage of limited public access to information by portraying themselves as environmental stewards – even when their actions proved otherwise. Greenwashing is a deceptive marketing practice where a company makes unsubstantiated claims about an environmentally-friendly product or service.

Grassroots Marketing

Grassroots marketing involves a brand creating highly targeted content for a particular niche or audience. When an organization engages in grassroots marketing, it focuses on a small group of people with the hope that its marketing message is shared with a progressively larger audience.

Growth Marketing

Growth marketing is a process of rapid experimentation, which in a way has to be “scientific” by keeping in mind that it is used by startups to grow, quickly. Thus, the “scientific” here is not meant in the academic sense. Growth marketing is expected to unlock growth, quickly and with an often limited budget.

Guerrilla Marketing

Guerrilla marketing is an advertising strategy that seeks to utilize low-cost and sometimes unconventional tactics that are high impact. First coined by Jay Conrad Levinson in his 1984 book of the same title, guerrilla marketing works best on existing customers who are familiar with a brand or product and its particular characteristics.

Hunger Marketing

Hunger marketing is a marketing strategy focused on manipulating consumer emotions. By bringing products to market with an attractive price point and restricted supply, consumers have a stronger desire to make a purchase.

Integrated Communication

Integrated marketing communication (IMC) is an approach used by businesses to coordinate and brand their communication strategies. Integrated marketing communication takes separate marketing functions and combines them into one, interconnected approach with a core brand message that is consistent across various channels. These encompass owned, earned, and paid media. Integrated marketing communication has been used to great effect by companies such as Snapchat, Snickers, and Domino’s.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy designed to attract customers to a brand with content and experiences that they derive value from. Inbound marketing utilizes blogs, events, SEO, and social media to create brand awareness and attract targeted consumers. By attracting or “drawing in” a targeted audience, inbound marketing differs from outbound marketing which actively pushes a brand onto consumers who may have no interest in what is being offered.

Integrated Marketing

Integrated marketing describes the process of delivering consistent and relevant content to a target audience across all marketing channels. It is a cohesive, unified, and immersive marketing strategy that is cost-effective and relies on brand identity and storytelling to amplify the brand to a wider and wider audience.

Marketing Mix

The marketing mix is a term to describe the multi-faceted approach to a complete and effective marketing plan. Traditionally, this plan included the four Ps of marketing: price, product, promotion, and place. But the exact makeup of a marketing mix has undergone various changes in response to new technologies and ways of thinking. Additions to the four Ps include physical evidence, people, process, and even politics.

Marketing Myopia

Marketing myopia is the nearsighted focus on selling goods and services at the expense of consumer needs. Marketing myopia was coined by Harvard Business School professor Theodore Levitt in 1960. Originally, Levitt described the concept in the context of organizations in high-growth industries that become complacent in their belief that such industries never fail.

Marketing Personas

Marketing personas give businesses a general overview of key segments of their target audience and how these segments interact with their brand. Marketing personas are based on the data of an ideal, fictional customer whose characteristics, needs, and motivations are representative of a broader market segment.

Meme Marketing

Meme marketing is any marketing strategy that uses memes to promote a brand. The term “meme” itself was popularized by author Richard Dawkins over 50 years later in his 1976 book The Selfish Gene. In the book, Dawkins described how ideas evolved and were shared across different cultures. The internet has enabled this exchange to occur at an exponential rate, with the first modern memes emerging in the late 1990s and early 2000s.


Microtargeting is a marketing strategy that utilizes consumer demographic data to identify the interests of a very specific group of individuals. Like most marketing strategies, the goal of microtargeting is to positively influence consumer behavior.

Multi-Channel Marketing

Multichannel marketing executes a marketing strategy across multiple platforms to reach as many consumers as possible. Here, a platform may refer to product packaging, word-of-mouth advertising, mobile apps, email, websites, or promotional events, and all the other channels that can help amplify the brand to reach as many consumers as possible.

Multi-Level Marketing

Multi-level marketing (MLM), otherwise known as network or referral marketing, is a strategy in which businesses sell their products through person-to-person sales. When consumers join MLM programs, they act as distributors. Distributors make money by selling the product directly to other consumers. They earn a small percentage of sales from those that they recruit to do the same – often referred to as their “downline”.

Net Promoter Score

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a measure of the ability of a product or service to attract word-of-mouth advertising. NPS is a crucial part of any marketing strategy since attracting and then retaining customers means they are more likely to recommend a business to others.


Neuromarketing information is collected by measuring brain activity related to specific brain functions using sophisticated and expensive technology such as MRI machines. Some businesses also choose to make inferences of neurological responses by analyzing biometric and heart-rate data. Neuromarketing is the domain of large companies with similarly large budgets or subsidies. These include Frito-Lay, Google, and The Weather Channel.


Newsjacking as a marketing strategy was popularised by David Meerman Scott in his book Newsjacking: How to Inject Your Ideas into a Breaking News Story and Generate Tons of Media Coverage. Newsjacking describes the practice of aligning a brand with a current event to generate media attention and increase brand exposure.

Niche Marketing

A microniche is a subset of potential customers within a niche. In the era of dominating digital super-platforms, identifying a microniche can kick off the strategy of digital businesses to prevent competition against large platforms. As the microniche becomes a niche, then a market, scale becomes an option.

Push vs. Pull Marketing

We can define pull and push marketing from the perspective of the target audience or customers. In push marketing, as the name suggests, you’re promoting a product so that consumers can see it. In a pull strategy, consumers might look for your product or service drawn by its brand.

Real-Time Marketing

Real-time marketing is as exactly as it sounds. It involves in-the-moment marketing to customers across any channel based on how that customer is interacting with the brand.

Relationship Marketing

Relationship marketing involves businesses and their brands forming long-term relationships with customers. The focus of relationship marketing is to increase customer loyalty and engagement through high-quality products and services. It differs from short-term processes focused solely on customer acquisition and individual sales.

Reverse Marketing

Reverse marketing describes any marketing strategy that encourages consumers to seek out a product or company on their own. This approach differs from a traditional marketing strategy where marketers seek out the consumer.


Remarketing involves the creation of personalized and targeted ads for consumers who have already visited a company’s website. The process works in this way: as users visit a brand’s website, they are tagged with cookies that follow the users, and as they land on advertising platforms where retargeting is an option (like social media platforms) they get served ads based on their navigation.

Sensory Marketing

Sensory marketing describes any marketing campaign designed to appeal to the five human senses of touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound. Technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are enabling marketers to design fun, interactive, and immersive sensory marketing brand experiences. Long term, businesses must develop sensory marketing campaigns that are relevant and effective in eCommerce.

Services Marketing

Services marketing originated as a separate field of study during the 1980s. Researchers realized that the unique characteristics of services required different marketing strategies to those used in the promotion of physical goods. Services marketing is a specialized branch of marketing that promotes the intangible benefits delivered by a company to create customer value.

Sustainable Marketing

Sustainable marketing describes how a business will invest in social and environmental initiatives as part of its marketing strategy. Also known as green marketing, it is often used to counteract public criticism around wastage, misleading advertising, and poor quality or unsafe products.

Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Word-of-mouth marketing is a marketing strategy skewed toward offering a great experience to existing customers and incentivizing them to share it with other potential customers. That is one of the most effective forms of marketing as it enables a company to gain traction based on existing customers’ referrals. When repeat customers become a key enabler for the brand this is one of the best organic and sustainable growth marketing strategies.

360 Marketing

360 marketing is a marketing campaign that utilizes all available mediums, channels, and consumer touchpoints. 360 marketing requires the business to maintain a consistent presence across multiple online and offline channels. This ensures it does not miss potentially lucrative customer segments. By its very nature, 360 marketing describes any number of different marketing strategies. However, a broad and holistic marketing strategy should incorporate a website, SEO, PPC, email marketing, social media, public relations, in-store relations, and traditional forms of advertising such as television.

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What is brand building process?

Brand building is the set of activities that help companies to build an identity that can be recognized by its audience. Thus, it works as a mechanism of identification through core values that signal trust and that help build long-term relationships between the brand and its key stakeholders.

Why is brand building important?

Brand building is critical to building a successful long-term company that has the potential to scale as more people can relate to the brand, the more they can trust and purchase its product. Also, a strong brand creates a positive perception in the customers’ minds, thus, prompting them to promote the business.

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