Brand Vs Direct Response Marketing

In business there are 2 main ways to market your business – you can choose either brand marketing or direct response marketing. And in the next few minutes I’m going to show you which one is probably better for your business, and why.

But first let me explain the difference between the 2.

Brand marketing is something you’d typically see businesses on TV use, such as Coke or Nike. They don’t do any direct selling but instead simply try to get the “brand” stuck in your head so whenever you think of, for example, shoes, you would think of Nike first.

On the other hand, direct response marketing is when you test every aspect of your marketing to find out exactly what return on investment you’re getting. For example, if you’re direct response marketing one thing you might do is send out direct mail and set it up so that you can track the exact response you get from that and determine how much money you made back from whatever you spent getting the list and sending the letters out.

So, which is better?

Well, unless you have pockets the size of the Grand Canyon, direct response marketing is better in nearly 99% of the cases.


It’s simple really. Because you get to find out EXACTLY what marketing methods are making you money, and exactly which ones aren’t! This is something you don’t typically get to do with brand marketing because, well, there’s no way to test it.

However, there is actually a way to combine the 2 so you can get the benefits of both. How would that sound?
Here’s how you do it.

First you’ll need to create what’s called a “USP” (unique selling proposition). In layman’s terms, a USP is what makes you stand out from your competitors.

Do you offer a lifetime guarantee on your services? That might be a great USP for your business. Or maybe your club is the only health club with a certain piece of equipment that your target market wants. Your USP would then reflect that.

So then you take that USP and inject it into all of your marketing. For example the USP Dominos used to have is “pizza delivered in 30 minutes or it’s free”. They then put that into all of their marketing so people would remember them easier. It’s kind of like a jingle you hear on the radio which make phone numbers easier to remember, you’re just putting it in print.

So say for example you’ve rented a list of 5,000 names of individuals you think would be interested in joining your health club. In your direct mail piece, you would make sure to base that letter on your USP. That way you can both track the response from the direct mail piece, plus you’re branding yourself with your unique selling proposition which will in turn make them think of you when they think of a health club.

It’s a win-win situation and can do tremendous things for your business. I recommend taking 30 minutes every day to simply sit down and brainstorm various USP’s you can use for your business. Get creative, people love it!

Brian Cannone is a consultant with Fitness sales Training a health club operator, multiple fitness website owner and fitness event organizer, began his full-time career in the fitness industry in 1991 and continues to manage health clubs in today.