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All About Performance Branding: a Q&A with Asher Chester

Written by
Charlotte Norman

Performance Branding is a hot topic these days. Put simply, its goal is to meld traditional performance marketing with branded content to create a unified, long-term strategy. So, what does that really entail?

WITHIN’s Head of Strategy Asher Chester digs into the nuts and bolts to answer the pressing questions about Performance Branding and how it can ultimately drive sustainable growth for your brand.

How does Performance Branding differ from traditional brand marketing?

Traditional brand marketing is often measured by making a splash and getting in front of as many people as possible — for high reach and impressions. Conversely, Performance Branding is about making sure that you’re getting in front of the right people — in the right way and at the right time.

For example: in working with a yoga apparel company, a traditional marketing approach would be to run a TV spot on channels popular with females between the ages of 18-45. A Performance Branding strategy, on the other hand, takes it a step further to focus on women who are active and have an affinity for yoga as well. It could mean incorporating anything from outdoor advertisements near a running park, to YouTube ads on yoga technique videos.

Why Performance Branding? What are the benefits of integrating brand and performance?

The ultimate goal of Performance Branding is to create sustainable growth for a business by improving the quality of customers acquired. How do you do this? By telling your brand’s story to people who’ll find it valuable. To find those people, you need to make sure you’re personalizing your message for your audience and engaging with them on the right platform at the right time. When your story resonates with a customer, they’re going to be more interested in learning about your product. The more interested they are in learning about your product, the more likely they are to become an advocate for your brand.

At WITHIN, Performance Branding is broken down into five pillars. What are those pillars? And how do they impact performance?

Performance Branding is really a series of building blocks to use as a foundation for the strategy rather than a checklist of one-and-done marketing tactics.

Our approach is based on five Performance Branding pillars — LTV-driven audience segmentation, channel strategy, marginal bidding, personalized content and full funnel attribution. Adhering to this framework ensures that we not only get the right content to the appropriate audience at the optimal time, but that we also use performance data to drive decisions and make the most effective use of every dollar in the budget.

What is the single most important factor to consider when implementing a Performance Branding strategy?

It’s important to communicate and realign on what the objectives are and to be consistent with expectations. Honestly, I think the biggest thing is to remember that everyone is on the same team and wants the brand to be a success.

Performance Branding is uniting two teams that traditionally don’t work together. You all need to be on the same page and strive toward the same goals. Misalignment can be a real stumbling block. To be successful, both performance and brand teams need to work toward a common goal and have a unified set of metrics.

What happens to an organization when Performance Branding is done right?

Ideally, a team will spend a good deal of time analyzing data and reflecting on what the brand stands for and how they want to be perceived in the marketplace. Then they can nail down exactly what they’re trying to convey to their target audience and create a plan to meet those customers where they are. I think it’s a really positive exercise to go through, because the team also discovers which channels and what types of partnerships will be the most beneficial moving forward.

Also, with Performance Branding, the budget will work much more effectively, since it’s not invested solely in short-term gains. The strategy focuses on compounded growth over the longer term, and where the business wants to be, say, a year from now.

What is your one piece of advice for a brand looking to integrate performance and brand marketing?

Easy.  Have conversations that can sometimes be uncomfortable. Trying to integrate teams and consolidate goals isn’t always a walk in the park. You’ll have to be very clear about what you’re trying to accomplish with your brand and make sure to give your team honest feedback about their progress and setbacks.

I think it really comes down to being open to change. Any kind of transition or integration is hard, but the benefits here really outweigh the challenges if you’re willing to step outside your comfort zone.

If you missed our live webinar, Performance Branding: The New Paradigm In Digital Marketing, catch up with the recorded session. If you have any more questions, let’s talk.

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Written by
Charlotte Norman

Charlotte Norman is a content writer passionate about all things marketing. She received an MFA from NYU Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute’s Literary Reportage program and is currently based in New York City.


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