What Is Branding, Anyway?

By November 18, 2013austin ama, Brand, Business, Events, Marketing

By Sheri Barros,

Sheri Bio ImageBranding (in its purest and true form) is the concept of establishing an emotional connection with the consumer.  It’s the psychology of marketing….which is probably why this psych degree recipient feels so “at home” in the marketing realm.  Of course marketing cannot succeed without data, ROI tracking, and technology in today’s business environment…but more and more marketers fail by overlooking the core of their product and how it connects to their consumer.  Which story are you telling?  Who are you telling your story to?  Are you basing your success on short-term achievements, and ignoring the long-term trends of your brand’s overall consumption?

Marketing is as much about answering the question of how your product makes your consumer feel, as it is about reaching your consumer and measuring sales figures.  In fact, exceptional branding can outpace the quality of the product as motivation to buy…

Would coffee taste the same if not purchased at a trendy coffee shop?  Probably.  Would a handbag be as functional if made without a designer label?  Absolutely.  Would my friends and family enjoy a night out at any number of entertainment venues?  Definitely.  So how (and why) does your brand motivate the consumer to take action?  And how will you sustain this connection, so that it supersedes the ups and downs that all brands experience?

Well, if you’re asking these questions, then you’re already on the right track…and paced to beat marketers who do not ask the question at all.  As a marketer of a major sports entertainment brand, I don’t have all the answers, but some of the best answers are in the questions themselves.  The nature of my industry demands strategy and short-term marketing of a product full of variables which can easily change…game to game; season to season; play to play.  It is an industry that demands strategy, and the understanding that our product is deeply interwoven into the emotional connection with the consumer.  I look forward to sharing my experiences, and discussing this topic with fellow marketers on December 3rd at When Branding Beats Marketing: Why the San Antonio Spurs are Investing In Branding In 2014 — And Why You Should Too. Go Spurs Go!

Sheri Barros holds degrees in psychology and sport management, with NFL and MLB experience, she currently leads the marketing department for Spurs Sports & Entertainment, and consults for OMBI Group in Atlanta, GA.  Connect with @sheribarros on Twitter.