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Branding Without Advertising

Social media advertising has taken the world by a storm. Open Facebook, you’re greeted by a sponsored ad of an online clothing site, offering mid-season sale. Open Instagram and you see a myriad of advertisements, from make-up to shoes to food delivery apps.

Digital marketing has become the patent formula for new brands flooding the market, each and every day. Advertising, no doubt, is one of the most impregnable ways to launch a brand and make a mark in the minds of the audience, but does the battle end just there?

Many a times, what brands fail to acknowledge is that, flooding the audience’s mind with catchy taglines and overt advertising, does not take the limelight away from strong branding. Quality is still the king.
Google, Amazon, Starbucks are some of the world’s most powerful brands; and they happen to advertise only rarely.

The product or the services offered are at the heart of a brand. Without working one’s fingers to the bone, in establishing the quality and trustworthiness of a brand, advertising through all mediums can turn into the Tower of Babel. The brand needs to speak for itself, ornate advertising alone cannot save a brand from failure. The right positioning, accountability and catering to all customer touch points, are the stepping stones in creation of a strong brand entity. The entire company, from the manufacturer to the retailer, should be in tandem with the ethics, vision and mission of the brand.

Traditional marketing tools, like positive reviews through word of mouth, are still very much a part of the consumer’s zero moment of truth. These narratives are potent tools which when shared on the mighty platforms of social media, by users, can make or break a brand.

A good advertising agency, can guide a brand on how to position itself in the market, but it ends there. Giving the right experience to the customer has no surrogate.
As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, aptly put it, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”

Navreen Pannu