Difference Between Brand Building and Lead Generation

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Difference Between Brand Building and Lead Generation

There’s more than one kind of digital marketing approach. While most companies will benefit from brand building activities, not all businesses are a great fit for digital lead generation. In this episode, Kevin and I discuss the differences between the two styles of digital campaigns. And we talk about when lead generation should be considered an option. Enjoy!

What is Brand Building?

Brand building is delivering a consistent message, look, feel, and story through consistent channels to the right audience. Many companies haven’t thought through what their brand message is, so when they get in front of an audience, the story is inconsistent. Building a brand takes time, but it helps develop trust with an audience that may not be ready to purchase yet. When they are ready, they’ll look to your company for their solution.

What is Lead Generation?

Lead generation is getting new people into your sales funnel so they develop into customers. Generating new leads is often the aim of companies that engage in marketing services. They’ve tapped out their outbound sales team and want an inbound lead generation program to bring in more clients. The program does the pre-sales work before someone engages with the sales team, ensuring that their leads are valuable. Having a program like this setup can be much more effective in terms of reach and costs than hiring another outbound salesperson.


For Example

Kevin made a terrific analogy for these two marketing approaches.

Imagine a movie is being made about your company. 

The brand-building aspect is the direction, film editing, acting, stylization, etc. of the film. It’s adding elements and aspects that are unique and attractive to the audience to catch and hold their attention so that you can tell your story.

The lead-generation aspect is getting people to watch the movie. 

  • Are there posters or flyers up where the target audience is? 
  • Are micro-influencers talking about it? 
  • Does the website tell the audience everything they need to know to get excited about watching it?
  • etc.

Effective Lead Generation Needs Brand Building and Vice Versa

If the movie is uninteresting, it doesn’t matter how much it turns up in front of people, they won’t want to watch it. On the other hand, a fantastic movie needs the word to be spread through channels. People need to find out about it somehow.

Building out the brand isn’t simply creating a style guide and following the color palette. To be employed effectively, every stage of the buyer’s journey should be addressed with a different brand building activity. Whether these actions are through social media, email, or some other channel, begin communicating with the audience through the rest of their buyer’s journey.

  • What stage of the buyer’s journey is the audience at? 
  • What is the thing they’re looking for when going through the buyer’s journey? 
  • What kind of brand-building activities do we need at each stage for our brand to feel like the right fit for the audience?
  • What questions is the audience asking that we can provide answers to?

business-people-making-marketing-lead-generation-decisionsDo Both

Build your brand with audiences who aren’t ready to buy yet. Use lead generation to provide a clear path for those who are ready to buy. Although it may seem like the lead generation actions are the only ones making an impact on revenues, brand building develops followers who turn into customers later down the road. They may not make a purchase in year one, but by year two, they are familiar with your brand story and they have the problem you can solve.

This grows upon itself year after year developing into a marketing engine that produces business growth.

The Bottom Line

It’s easy to look at a successful company’s marketing strategy and think “I want that.” But, their success didn’t happen overnight. It took a long time of consistent brand build and lead generation to create the engine that drives their success.

Most small businesses don’t have the bandwidth or expertise to focus on both brand building and lead generation activities. They don’t have the time or resources, either. The best option is by sticking to what they do best and trust their marketing actions to an expert partner like Hot Dog Marketing.


Are you ready to get strategic marketing the helps your business reach its goals? Don’t wait, contact Hot Dog Marketing to get started.