Oh, No She Didn’t Say the B-word!
Branding needs to come before marketing, says a startup founder. "She used the b-word," many direct marketers may say. Pure-play direct marketers don't like to talk about brand marketing, but Nikki Kaufman writes in her blog post for The Wall Street Journal that companies must brand before they build.
"As a startup, marketing is crucial for brand-building, awareness and building your necessary customer-base," reads the Friday post. "More important than getting the word out, however, is making sure that the message you're sharing about your brand is the right one, and that your method of delivery will reach the type of customers you want to reach."
Kaufman, the founder and CEO of Normal, which manufactures custom-fit 3D-printed earphones, says companies need to:
1. Be Different. How will the brand stand out from a sea of "me"s? What is the brand? "Spend time to develop your voice, aesthetic and ethos into something that will continue to guide future decisions," she says. As in, can the company answer, "Is this on-brand?"
2. Find an Audience. Who would care about the brand?
3. Decide What Marketing Fits Best. How will it enhance the customer experience? Because Normal makes bespoke earbuds, Kaufman's direct marketing emphasizes that personalization—from the handwritten notes by the employee who creates the headphones to the headphones' customized, laser-etched carrying case.
Do direct marketers agree with Kaufman?
Please respond in the comments section below.