Branding and Marketing: What’s The Difference?

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Branding and Marketing: What’s The Difference?

Branding and Marketing: What's The Difference? With Vince Warnock

Sean: Hey guys, welcome back to the podcast for today. We have Mr. Vince Warnock and I’m so excited to have him here because this is going to be one of the first marketing-centric podcast episodes that we’re going to be having. Vince is an author. He authored the book, Chasing the Insights, which is something that I would love to read as well.

You know, me being a marketer, he’s also a podcast host, a marketing strategist, and a coach. And he has a long list of experiences. If you go and check out his LinkedIn, you’d see that he was previously the chief marketing officer at Cigna Life insurance and co-founder of High Growth tech startup, Common Ledger.

He has over 20 years in marketing. He was recognized as one of the top 50 marketers in the world. The list goes on, this is going to take an hour, so I’m just going to drop into it. Hey Vince, welcome to the show. Thanks for being here.

Vince: Thank you so much for having me. It is an honor, honestly, to be the first marketing focus show for you. I was like, “oh man, no pressure.”

Sean: It’s very exciting. And I love talking about marketing. I’m sure you do as well, you have over 20 years of it. I have a little over 10 years of it, so you’re definitely the senior here.

Vince: I love the way you’re subtly just calling me old. Yeah.

Sean: No. But really, you know, what is it about marketing that makes it so important for business?

Vince: Oh my goodness. I mean, marketing is everything. If you think about this. So I think there was a study done to show like the percentage of people that, where they focus on their business. So say, for example, new entrepreneurs, startups, even some of the larger companies as well. And a lot of cases they would spend – kind of like, prudence principle.

They would spend 80% of their time on the back end of their business; on developing products, on you know, the accounting, the income, all these kinds of things. They are like doing all the backend stuff and 20% of their focus is on the marketing and the sales aspect. But the problem with that is it’s the, it’s the reverse of what it should be.

And the reason for that is you should be spending 80% of your time on marketing and sales, because they are the two channels, the two different activities you do. They get you directly in front of your customers and your potential customers. And for any business, that is the core of what you do.

Like, yes, you have to have a good product, but you know, what, how do you design a good product? You deeply understand what your customers need. And the only way to deeply understand that is to talk to them through marketing, through sales. So the more you get in front of your customers, the more you start to understand them, the more you analyze them, the more you have conversations with them, the more you interview them, all those different aspects, which are marketing.

The stronger your business is going to be, the stronger your customer service aspects will be, the stronger your product design will be your offering design, whatever it is. It’s just, that is it. That is the number one thing you should focus on. There we go. Don’t tell the accountants, I said that. Thanks.

Sean: Thanks for the explanation. And one of the age-old questions that are often seen and often asked in Facebook groups now, especially for startup Facebook groups is, what’s the difference between branding and marketing?

Vince: Oh, okay. So not much. It’s kind of like the age-old question. What’s the difference between marketing and sales, in reality, they’re all blurred.

They are all kind of the same things. Essentially, if you think about branding in a traditional sense, branding is as two things. It is how your customers perceive it. So that is how they see you, what they think of you, their sentiment towards you, all those different things. And this is the weird thing that people have to get their heads around.

As often, we do our best to control our brand. We do our best to design our brand, but the reality is it really is down to how people perceive you. You could, you could say I’m the most trustworthy brand in the world. I want to build. I want to be the new Volvo, you know, where everything’s about customer safety and it’s all about, you know, looking after their customers and they trust us intensely.

But the reality is if you’re Volkswagen and you’re, you know, out there kind of skewing the tests and doing some Chiddy-dodgy kind of stuff out there, the customers are going to see you in a very different way from how you perceive yourself or want to be perceived.

So branding really is about their visibility. The other side of branding is who you are, and this is where your kind of branding comes from. As one of the first exercises we ever do with entrepreneurs, when we’re working on branding workers to go, what’s important to you. And by that, I mean, like, what are the things that you are not negotiating on?

What are your values? What do you stand for? What is your story? How did you get to where you are now? Where did you get to all of those aspects together from who you are as an entrepreneur or from who you are as a startup? And that is your core brand. I’ll give you a good example, actually.

And one of the organizations, I won’t name them because I might embarrass them a little bit. In one of my previous organizations, I did a whole pile of branding work with them to go, okay, how do we position ourselves as a company? And we started looking at what’s really important to it; like what’s really important to us.

And one of the things that came up was the environment. And we’re like, yeah. And genuinely what, so if you look at all the senior leadership there, the environment was a core part of what we believe is looking after this planet that we’re on, except there was a problem with that. Because if you look at yes, we all are doing our part.

As everybody there had reduced, you know, like got rid of single-use plastic bags, we’re all using recycled products wherever they can. They’re trying to use as many eco-friendly stuff as possible. However, as a leadership, we also would fly all over the country and all over the world on a regular basis for meetings that we probably could have done on Zoom.

And then a lot of cases, we wanted to fly to those places because it got really nice restaurants and it’s a lot easier meeting people face-to-face. So one of the challenges we had there is we wanted to be perceived for something yet at our core, that wasn’t really a not negotiable. It was nice to have, it was something we believed in, but we didn’t believe in enough to cancel our holiday plans. Or to stop traveling around the country or stop traveling around the world.

So the branding piece of that, where it’s really important, how you come up with that for a company is really understanding who you are, what you stand for. And then from that, we’ll flow everything and fro your color palette, your logo designs, the way that your imagery looks, you know, the different Like, for example, if you’re a not-for-profit, you’ll have a lot of imagery there where it’s people looking directly at you, or if you’re a charitable organization or they’ll be looking at you and the imagery like embedded designs and ads, because we know there’s a whole part of the psychology behind that.

Where if an image is looking directly at you like a person, then you feel like you have to do something good because you want to be seen to be good. Whereas if it doesn’t have a person on the like “I’d love to donate to this, but I also want to go out for dinner tonight. So maybe, I’ll do that instead” where someone’s looking at you like “yeah, yeah, yeah, no. I’m giving to the charity here you go.”

It’s all of those aspects, man. So that’s branding, whereas marketing, in general, is all of that and more. So it’s taking those core messages. It’s taking who you are and what you want to be known for and it’s aligning it with what the public thinks of you and sees of you, and then it’s putting out materials that solidify that.

So it’s making people aware of you, that’s grabbing their attention. It’s making them want to engage with you. And then the holy grail of all marketing is making them feel like they have a relationship with you, even though you’ve never met them before in your life.

And we call this a pseudo-social relationship, so it’s the whole concept. Like if you think for a moment about your favorite actors or favorite musicians. There are those ones that you have, like for me, Chris Pratt. Okay. So he Star-Lord off the Marvel movies, giant Marvel fanboy here. Chris Pratt is just one of those people where you see him on screen and he has this personality.

You see him off-screen where he’s behind the scenes and then he’s always joking around and having fun. The weird thing is I feel like I know this person I’ve never met Chris Pratt. He doesn’t even know I exist, man. Said, but he doesn’t know I exist, but I feel like I know this person so well because of how much I’ve consumed with his stuff.

And because of how much I align with who he is, I love his humor and his style or these kinds of things. So I feel like if he and I were to go out and have a beer somewhere or have a whiskey in a nice whiskey bar, we would be cracking up, laughing. I feel like he would totally get me and totally know me.

The weird thing is he’s never met me, and that is what we want. That’s a pseudo-social relationship. It’s a relationship where it feels like there’s something there, but in reality, we don’t know that person. And that’s what we want as a brand or a business because we want people to feel like they know us, they understand us, they align with us and they want to do business with us.

So you don’t have to go out and meet every single potential client face-to-face so that they get to know you like you and trust you and steered. All of that’s done through what you put out there, the content you put out there and the engagement that you do, the videos we turn up live, the podcast, you’re on all these kinds of things as well.

Sean: Brilliant. Love it. Love that answer. I feel like this episode is already good enough, you know, to be published.

Vince: I feel we’re done right now. I can go get a whiskey now.

Sean: Now what’s interesting for me is when you mentioned that marketing is huge and branding is just, you know; one facet of it. I wouldn’t say one small facet because it’s very difficult for a lot of people to get it, you know, what branding is.

And the thing is a lot of mom and pop businesses, startup businesses, or businesses that are have graduated from the five-year mark and are on their way to scaling up, as you mentioned, they don’t pay much attention to marketing. Do they, as you know where they’re trying to still make ends meet through cash flow, they’re still trying to figure out their accounting, their balance sheets, their legal and stuff.

What do you say to these companies who are not paying that much attention yet on their marketing?

Vince: I think one of the keys I say to them is to look at why that is. In reality, a lot of the time, it’s not necessarily that that’s not the core focus for them because everybody knows they need to drive their revenue, right?

They need to increase their client base and to do that, they know they’ve got to be more visible. They’ve got to put themselves out there. Otherwise, nobody’s going to know you exist. You’re the best-kept secret in the world, which is terrible when you’re going to see the bank manager, the bank manager goes, “I want you to be seen.”

So one of the bits of advice I’ve got for them is to actually look at what their hesitation and that resistance are. And for a lot of entrepreneurs that I deal with, most of that is around the sense of overwhelm and the sense of fear, because they’re like, well, marketing’s hard, right? Marketing is really complex and I don’t understand enough about it.

And what if I stuff it up? What if I screw it up, it’s easier to actually hold back and go. I’m not going to market myself. But the irony of that is, marketing isn’t that hard at all. In fact, the only people that make it harder are marketers and that’s cause we’re really insecure. And we want people to think we’re really intelligent beings.

So we use lots of acronyms and lots of industry terms and we make it sound overly complex so that you will all love us and think highly of us. But the reality is marketing is just making yourself visible and tapping into inherently who you are. And when that happens, like we talk about this factor, which most people buy from people, they don’t buy from a brand, they buy from a person. And by that, I mean that somebody that they know that they like and they trust. 

So those are the three kinds of leavers that you as an entrepreneur have, or you as a mom and pop star, a mom and pop startup, or you know, like an authentic startup, whatever you’re into, whatever you’re creating there.

Those are the three things that you need to cultivate. And you do that through marketing. You do that through; finding who you are. There’s a term that’s overused in marketing called the “authentic self.” Everybody, every entrepreneur, every coach out there at the moment it’s going, we want to find the authentic you, but actually, that is what you want to find.

I’ll give you an example. One of my clients, they are a knitting cafe in Melbourne. So they’re this little knitting cafe run by these two awesome women. Let’s put it that way. There are two awesome women and they’ve created this cafe there where people come in, they learn to knit, they buy their coffee and their scones and all that kind of stuff.

Maybe a glass of wine from there. Pretty sure they got a liquor license. Actually, they do. They buy a glass of wine from there and they learn to knit and then they buy their supplies from them. And then to supplement that business, they also run these vineyard tours. Where all these women and men get together and they go on this vineyard tour, they learn to knit, they drink a whole pile of wine, and then they get drunk and do karaoke.

Then they also do these knitting cruises where all these people come together on a big cruise ship. They learn to knit, they drink a lot of wine and they get drunk and do karaoke and dancing. So it’s a theme that comes across all of these things here. But what they’ve done is they’ve created this sense of community and all this.

Now lockdown happened in early 2020, right. And at the time I was talking to them, I’m writing a book at the moment called Ending Perfect. And they were one of the people I was interviewing for that book. So I was like, okay. I was just talking to them about limiting belief sets, like self-sabotage, imposter syndrome, all these things that kick in as entrepreneurs often.

So it’s talking to them about that and they turned around and said, look, we’d love to keep helping you. But the fact is we’re kind of freaking out right now, right. Melbourne was in a massive lockdown, Melbourne’s in a lockdown for almost a year I think it was. And they said, so we’ve got no revenue coming in the door. Like forget vineyard tours they’re off, cruise ships they’re definitely off.

And we have to close our shop and no one can come in and that means we’re making no money, but we still have the same overheads. So I just went okay. And part of me was going okay, do I just walk away from this and say, well, come and talk to me when you’re back on your feet. But in reality, they were looking at, are we going to exist in two months’ time?

And I couldn’t let that go. And this is when I accidentally fell into being a marketing coach on. I left Cigna, so I left Cigna as the chief marketing officer there. The goal was to just focus on writing my next book, but then of course COVID happened. And I was like, well now I’m doing all sorts. I launched my podcast.

I’m writing another two books at the moment as well. And then I accidentally found myself as a marketing coach. Cause I just went, I can’t stand by and let this happen. I need to help them. So I sat down with them and said, look, what if we were to put all your products online? What if we were to make this happen?

And they were like, “well, that’s never going to happen, Vince, we’re technological retards.” And I went – well, first of all, you can’t use that word. I don’t care how old you are. But also I think I can teach you how to do this. I think if you give me a weekend, I can teach you basic principles of e-commerce basic principles of marketing, `and I can teach you Shopify and put together a website for you, like an online shop where people can buy your products.

And they were like, “well, I don’t think we can do this.” And I said, well, how about this? If I fail at this at the end of the weekend, I’m going to buy you both a bottle of gin. And they’re like, Ooh, hang on. Then I realized that was a really dumb thing to do because they could have just sabotaged it, got a free bottle of gin each.

 But over the weekend, we did exactly that. So I talked them through what they needed to do for Shopify. I talked them through the basic principles of this. They launched the shop on Monday during a Facebook live, so they do this Facebook live with their community and the two of them were drinking lots of wine and then going, “we did this.”

Because I didn’t do it for them. I refuse to do it for them because as I see them, they can’t afford what I’m doing, but what I will do is teach them how to do it and empower them to do it themselves. And the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction they had was phenomenal. They were just like, oh, they were buzzing, man.

And they were on this Facebook live and they’re all giddy with excitement. “And our shop is live, now you can buy all the products, blah, blah, blah” and all this. What happened from there was amazing. First of all, they ended up getting a notification from Shopify to say they’re the 15th. I actually know they got, they got to 13th I think it was, highest transaction shop in Australia.

 And then they ended up tripling their revenue. And the reason for that is because they didn’t even know what they had there. They thought they had this little niche boutique shop with a couple of kinds of side ventures there with the cruisers and with the vineyard tours.

But actually, all of Australia was waiting for what they had to offer. But the interesting thing is there is from a marketing perspective. They were doing all the work already. They said to me, we don’t understand marketing. We know nothing about social media. We need you to teach us. And I was like, okay. And I’ll say I was a little bit confused because I’d seen what they’re doing on social media.

So I said, “talk me through what you do.” They say, “`well, we do this weekly Facebook lives.” And I said, sure, how many people turn up to your Facebook live – “not that many anywhere between 500 and 750.” Okay. Huh. And how many of those people are engaged during the Facebook to live? And they said, “oh, it’s so tiring, that’s everybody.”

And I’m like, okay, can I tell you, I know big brands and I’m talking really big brands that would kill for those stats that would just die to have 750 people on a Facebook live, actively engaging with them the whole time. And the fact is they didn’t know that they were already doing the marketing and the reason they were doing it was because they were being themselves and they were being authentic.

And I said to them, why do you feel like I need to teach you social media? They said because we don’t know what we’re doing with these lives. And if you watch them, you’ll understand what they mean. They jump on there, they’ve got their little iPad and they’re going, “is it on, is it on dear? I think it’s on. Or can you hear us? Can anyone hear us? I don’t know if they can see us. Can you see us?”

And there’s this hilarious kind of interaction they have with the crowd. And what they didn’t realize is they attempted to inherently who they are. Yes, they’re not tech-savvy. Like they thought they had to be these super professionals, you know, turn up there with their radio voices on and go welcome everybody to the knitting show.

But in actual fact, they were just themselves and that’s what people connected with. That is what their audience connected with. They connected with who they are. They connected with the sense of community and acceptance they got from these two women. And that was what caused their shop to go absolutely viral.

It wasn’t weird or anything like taught them. I just taught them the basics, how to set it up, and the principles behind it. But they were the ones that were the marketing geniuses there because they were just themselves.

So to anyone who’s going, I’m not focusing on marketing because it’s overwhelming or it’s too hard. I say to you with all kindness and with like the best intentions; bullocks, it’s absolutely untrue. You just need to find out who you are and put that forward because people are going to want to buy from you, they want to go in to want to engage with you.

Sean: Brilliant, that’s a really, really good story, dude. I mean, who would have thought, and yeah, you’re completely right. 500 to 750, that’s a lot of people, I was laughing so hard.

Vince: Really jealous. I don’t get that many.

Sean: Likewise, likewise. I know. Right. But yeah, really good stuff.

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