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  • 🧠 Branding vs Direct Response.

🧠 Branding vs Direct Response.

What's most important? Branding or Direct Response Marketing? One pays the bill now, and one pays the future bill. In this newsletter, we'll dive into the nuances of each.

Hey there đź‘‹

Welcome back to the 13th edition of Brandish.

I hope you’re having an extraordinary weekend and are ready to crush the week ahead!

In today’s newsletter, I’ll talk about the difference between branding and direct response marketing.

And NO, it’s not what you think…

PS: Don’t tell Ash about this newsletter since he will KILL me.

But first…

I’ve got a few things to share with you before we dive into it.

1). We recently launched the Daily Chews concept with which you’ll receive a tidbit of knowledge from me and my co-founders every single day - via SMS.

Hundreds of people have already signed up and we’d love to send you some actionable tips as well. Click here to sign up in less than 10 seconds

2). We recently launched our BFCM episode on the “Chew On This” podcast where we take you behind our closed doors on what we’re doing with Obvi and the other brands for this Q4.

Go ahead and have a listen to that!


Now with that out of the way…

Grab your Brez, and lets dive straight into it!

Branding… what is it actually?

Let’s first define the term “branding” to make it easier for you to understand.

Branding is about “associations” in the simplest terms.

If you have SHITTY images on your website/pdp people are going to perceive the product as being of a lower quality.

Hence, people will associate your brand with, quite literally, “SHIT”.

On the other hand, if you have a really well-designed and aesthetically pleasing website, people will perceive the entire brand to be of a higher quality.

Even though you may not be generating as many sales, yet the consumer will trust you more just because they “associate” your brand with higher quality.

Now that we’ve defined this term let's get into how “Branding” differs from “Direct response marketing”.

Branding vs Direct Response

Listen, I get it everyone’s gotta pay bills.

But, you’ve gotta remember direct response marketing is a short-term strategy that will make you money right now.

But… it won’t keep making you money like a brand will.

And that’s what is SO attractive about it since you’re able to measure the ROI immediately.


… direct response is not about actually providing value to the consumer.

Confused? Hear me out.

Note: From now I will call “direct response marketing” “DR marketing”.

In DR marketing, your main objective is to get the consumer to make a purchase instantly by calling out their pain points, main desires, using scarcity tactics etc

Hence, the consumer doesn’t get enough time to experience your brand, since they are in the mindset of making a purchase instantly.

They are not even thinking about your brand at that point, all they’re thinking about is their particular pain point and the solution to that (your product).

But, this cannot be sustained for the long term as for the returning customers you have to make them feel that you genuinely care about them and are not just doing it to make a quick buck.

That’s where the importance of branding comes in.

Just imagine, you walk into a store and get a red carpet welcome from all the employees.


… there’s an assigned rep just for you.

But, wait there’s more….

You also get complimentary drinks whether you make a purchase or not.

Just think, how special would you feel and how likely are you to make a purchase?

Well, I can’t assure you’ll make a purchase instantly, but I can say it’ll be higher as compared to a store where no one cares about you.

Even though you wouldn’t make a purchase instantly, you will still remember that warm welcome you got from everyone and ultimately will tell your friends and family about that store.

You never know, you may even end up making a purchase in the long term with them, since you’d prefer that store over any other store selling the same product.

Do you see what happened there? Just by doing this once, that brand ended up getting you as a customer and not only that you sent your friends and family to them as well.

FREE Marketing for that store…

Remember what we said earlier, brand is about “associations” and what you’d be associating that brand with would be “caring”, “warm” and “premium”.

And at the end of the day, if you make a customer feel you genuinely care about them, they will buy from you only.

Now, let's apply this same thing to your eCom storefront.

Think of your website as that “physical store”.

Your landing page/website has to make your customer feel welcomed (mainly through the first set of images someone sees, and your website aesthetic).

Your website has to do the job of educating your customer and making them feel you care about them.

Even though you might think its minor details, but these minor details convey the exact same message in a different way to the consumer.

Hence, that’s why it's important to put some time and energy into creating an aesthetically pleasing experience for your customers when they land on your store.

Remember - the first impression is the last impression.

The exact same approach applies to the organic content when someone lands on your IG/ FB page.

Don’t get me wrong, both DR marketing and branding marketing are important in their own way.

You don’t get to see immediate ROI on branding, and honestly to invest more into branding you need the dollars from DR marketing.

So, both of them sit in their own positions and shouldn’t be deemed as more important than the other.

And its okay to put up some of those non-branded aka “ugly” ads since their job is to make money which can then be put into more aesthetic content.

Customer Support Is Your Lead Brand & Retention Driver - NOT a cost centre

Customer support is the main protector of your “brand identity” since these are the people who communicate with customers on a daily basis and are often the first touchpoints for customers.

Again brand is about associations and if we want to make them feel welcomed, the CS team has to do so and actually serve customers.

Often brands neglect this part and outsource it to cheap labour without proper training - then imagining why aren’t they making as much money.

Well of course you won’t, if the CS team doesn’t actually work to serve customers - the customers won’t have a positive experience with your brand.

On the other hand, if the customer actually feels served (just like in that physical store example) they will tell their friends and family about it and end up sending more customers to you.

So, in order to build a brand, invest your time and energy (and even money) into your customer service team.

Don’t be cheap here and give up your long-term profits!

Well, that was a really long one, but I hope the difference now makes sense to you.

I hope with this, you’re able to communicate with your team members in a more aligned way than usual.

Quick question…

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Thanks for reading along

As always, thanks a lot for reading along.

I appreciate you and look forward to seeing you again next week.