Brand-building and direct response: no longer separate.

In the world of marketing, there used to be a hard line between brand-building messages and direct response. The former consisted solely of image management, the latter was used to drive sales (Think Mcdonald’s “I’m lovin’ it” and their “Dollar Menu Deals.” The first is designed to give you a positive feeling about the brand, the 2nd is meant to get you into one of their restaurants to buy something).

But that was then. Today the lines between brand-building and direct response have blurred almost to the point of non-existence. Direct response techniques (such as discount messages) and brand-building can and very often do occupy the same space.


Rick Bodamer, LoBo & Petrocine Creative Director explains, “With so many media competing for consumers’ attention, you almost don’t have the luxury of generating purely brand-building messages anymore. The tricky part is to move the dial on sales while simultaneously elevating the brand.”

And Scott Martin, a direct response copywriter in Charlotte, North Carolina, says, “What’s crucial is the tone of your message. An appropriately strong statement can perfectly complement and even augment your brand. It’s a matter of turning up the volume or turning it down, depending on the product and the audience. For example, if you’re selling financial products, you turn down the volume. If you’re selling cleaning products, turn up the volume to 11.”

So you can–and should–use direct response marketing to help sell products and services while simultaneously making people feel great about your brand. In short–if you do it right, you can have the best of both!

© Prepared by LoBo & Petrocine Marketing Communications, a Melville, Long Island advertising agency serving a wide range of clients in education, finance, healthcare, natural nutrition, hospitality, the automotive industry and more.