Brand vs. Campaign

If you’ve read any of my blogs up to this point you will know I constantly preach consistency in branding. It’s the key. It’s what makes your brand work over time. But consistency doesn’t mean there isn’t flexibility in your brand for more than one message. This is where a campaign comes in.

Branded Beautiful| What's the difference between a campaign and a brand? This blog breaks it down and provides next steps what to do when you are ready to create a campaign.A brand is your core message. A campaign is a subset of the brand.

A campaign is a singular message told over a specified amount of time that falls in line with your brand and has a specific call to action to a specified audience. The timeline and message of a campaign may be dictated by other things happening in the world like back-to-school, football season, Halloween or Christmas. Or, it could be dictated by the life cycle of your business – a grand opening, new product or service launch, or highlighting of a service or product you want to sell more of. Like a brand, a campaign should have a consistent design and message. But at the same time, a campaign should live within your brand.

A campaign is part of a maturing brand. When you first create your brand you must nurse and tend to it, but eventually, your target market begins feeding your brand and it grows and needs a little bit less from you; like an infant growing into a toddler. Essentially, you take the feedback you receive and respond accordingly.

So, how do you know if you are ready to build a campaign for your brand? Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you have one message you are dying to tell?
  • Is there a specific beginning and end timeline? (This could be a timeline dictated by something else, like a holiday, or one you create yourself.)
  • Is there a sub-set audience within your overall brand audience you would like to connect with? (An example is people who have subscribed to your email list but have not downloaded your free download from your website)

If you said YES to ANY of these questions, then you are ready to build a campaign.

Here is how you build a campaign for your brand:

  1. DEFINE your message. What is the ONE thing you want people to know?
  2. PICK your call to action. What do you want your audience to DO?
  3. DIFFERENTIATE the look of your campaign from your brand. This might seem confusing, but your campaign should look different from your brand yet still like it belongs. Like your campaign is part of the family, but maybe a cousin rather than a child of your brand.
  4. CHOOSE your audience. Is this the same audience as your brand or possibly a subset?
  5. DECIDE which channels you will use to communicate this message. This should be dictated by your audience.

How do you differentiate the look of your campaign and still make it part of the brand? Good question. Here are some tips:

  • Review your brand identity. (Here’s a free download to help you establish these key pieces.)
  • Consider taking your core color and either making it bolder by raising the percentage of that exact color if it’s not already 100 percent, or do the opposite and make it more subtle by lowering the percentage. Also, consider one other color that is complementary to your existing pallet that can be used as an accent.
  • Consider imagery. How have you used it in the past? How does imagery relate to the story you want to tell?
  • Establish your tone and what you want to accomplish. This may very well be the key to how you want the campaign to visually appear.

And, the best advice of all: ask for help and have fun. If you feel overwhelmed, try going back to basics. Here’s a free resource to help with the process.

What’s the Difference Between a Brand and a Campaign?
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