Branding vs Direct Response


Branding vs. Direct Response Marketing

What is Branding?

There is a big difference between branding content versus direct response marketing campaigns.  Both marketing strategies are very useful for attracting a following and increasing engagement but the messages used are completely different.  When we talk about marketing, we tend to discuss the practice as a whole- “Marketing.” How you structure the messages and position the brand of your business- the actual style of your company, hinges on making a crucial decision.  It’s important to understand your brand as a whole and if direct response marketing fits into your strategy. Do you want to create a branding message or a direct message/response marketing to focus on better ROI?  

Branding is the Messaging, Personality and Character

To understand the difference between these two types of marketing approaches, we need to understand the motives behind them.  Branding is a foundational business asset that crafts the messaging, personality and character of brand. delivers a message that represents the type of business and represents the core interests of the target market. 

It’s all about what your consumers want from your brand.  Think about Coca-Cola.  Their brand be about happiness, in the moment, living life to the fullest.  How does Nike brand fair?  They use stylistic imagery to represents a slick, new-age style.  They create a message that is trending and new.  And then you go a buy it.  You buy it because it makes you feel like the cool imagery they sold to you. 

There are some drawbacks to branding style ads and that is- Money.  In order for you to build a brand, create the imagery you want your brand to represent, you need to spend a lot of money building that brand. 

Knowing what your target audience wants takes time, honing your stylized brand, testing creative ad pieces.  What will resonate with your audience? What will make them identify with the imagery you sell them?

Direct Response Marketing Pros

A good example of direct response marketing is an infomercial.  You know exactly what to do if want that product in an infomercial.  The creators make sure you do.  What direct response marketing creates is a specific ROI on the money invested. This can be a TV commercial ad or paid online ad. This is a completely different approach to the marketing strategy.

In direct response marketing, the ad messaging is requesting viewers to “call now,” “hit a link now.” You can physically gauge how much sales you acquire based on the ad spend.  It may be a bit brash, in your face marketing, do this but it’s a type a strategy that leads to sales. 

If you do not want to spend money on building a brand and seeing a return down the future, direct response marketing can be a great way to increase sales faster. 

Example of an infomercial paid wall
Informercials (Credit: YouTube)

Branding and Direct Response Marketing for the Win

Whether you are in the branding game or direct response marketing, you are winning. More sales, more business and growth.  Having the skills to market content creation is the number 1 asset in business.  There is no business without sales.  To know what type of strategy you set out to do will help focus your next ad message.  Make sure you know what type of ad you are setting out to create. 

Anderson Seal is an award-winning filmmaker & owner of Seal Media since 2007. A graduate of Cal State University Long Beach, community advocate, father, & husband. 

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