Donald Miller, an American author, public speaker, and business owner recently published a video stating that “you shouldn’t even consider branding until you’ve made at least 500 million, until then you need to do marketing”.
If you’re a creative like me or understand the value of branding, this probably really got under your skin! It sparked a major debate among the creative community and I’m here to tell you that statement is totally false.
Donald Miller is a marketer, so he promotes marketing! Just as I am a branding strategist so I promote branding but I definitely don’t throw marketing in the trash because your business relies on BOTH of these things to work together.
Here’s What Happens When You Only Invest In Marketing:
Let’s say you produce hand made floral crafts for weddings, you are so eager to start selling your products you DIY a quick “logo” on Canva and piece together a Shopify site with lots of pink colors.
You market your business on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, at local vendor booths, and on google, but you only sell 1 product over a 3 month period. That 1 product was also purchased by your sister.
Now you’re thinking you need to offer more products and provide discounts to sell your items because you’re “new to the industry”.
So you offer a 25% discount to new customers and… still no orders.
That’s because your real problem is the fact that you invested $0 into branding.
The customers you’re attracting are women from ages 16 - 60 and the slim few who happen to be “brides to be” aren’t interested in buying anything from you because your branding doesn’t really have a significant style, your social media feed and aesthetic aren’t consistent with the website, your photos are all very different, and the brand you do have is not strategically designed to resonate with them (your ideal customers).
Here’s What Happens When You Only Invest In Branding:
You have a rock star solid brand designed to attract thousands of brides to be searching for wedding decor BUT your website views are only hitting 20 a day.
So you think you need to offer a freebie, add some more photos, make it more interactive… but still no more views and no customers.
That’s because no one knows your brand exists. Without taking the time to invest in your social media and marketing efforts, no one will ever come to know your brand therefore no one will be buying from you.
Here’s What Happens When You Invest In Branding AND Marketing:
You establish a solid brand strategically designed to attract brides to be, your social media is super aesthetically pleasing, you’ve got branded photography and awesome product photos, your color usage is super appealing to your customers and you’ve got all of them excited about the launch of your business.
You announce your online shop is finally open for business and make 20 sales that first day.