CRO vs. Branding

When it comes to CRO, ditching facts and figures in the pursuit of building a relatable brand might seem crazy. However, there is more to branding than meets the eye.

Brand-building by the Numbers


CROs aim to distill the wacky and unpredictable world of human behavior into neat formulas. A spreadsheet full of numerical values is always the way to go. They should contain all the answers for success, right?

Unfortunately, the world of digital marketing is too complex for that. While data is, and always will be, important, it can not be the only defining factor of the success of a business.

After all, while keeping an eye on the bottom line is important, a lot more goes into a successful business. The bottom line is ultimately influenced by people and their emotions.

CROs focus on the math of it. They sometimes feel leery when branding people come in without a single spreadsheet and lots of colorful mood boards. However, both sides have important insights into the heart of business success.

You Can’t Measure Relationships

CROs want conversions, and so do branders. In the modern world of marketing, people overwhelmingly want to build relationships with brands. According to a Neilsen study, consumers seek a more personal connection in how they get information. Brand-building is what bridges this gap.

SEE ALSO: 4 Reasons Why Consumers View Brands As Relationships

Brand-making is concerned with memory, perception, value, and emotion. It asks questions like:

  • How will customers feel about your product?
  • How will they interact with your brand?
  • What kind of relationship will you develop between your customers, brand, and products?

All of these questions are necessary to explore and incredibly important to answer. They are also difficult or impossible to quantify.


Taking a Look at Future Conversion Rate Optimization (fCRO)

People react positively to brand logos and brands that they know and trust. They want to shop with brands that they trust. They are less interested in random businesses they don’t know anything about. Branding is a large part of what builds that trust and all-important relationship.

There is a reason that the biggest companies on earth invest time and money into logos, design, and brand strategy. These brand campaigns are what builds the consumer-brand relationship.

SEE ALSO: 10 Graphic Design Rules You Should Never Break

Ultimately, this relationship will get your business the conversion rates you want. You want to create a framework which consumers can relate to. This will include:

  • The brand’s story
  • The ability to cultivate brand awareness
  • Consistency in personality and values

The framework is what turns people into customers. However, it is also difficult to concretely track on a spreadsheet.

How CROs Can Help

When it comes to CRO, there is actually a lot that can be done to support fCRO efforts. This includes:

  • Accommodate brand campaign driven websites elements in your testing schedule
  • Understand that your pages will grow and evolve as a part of the brand’s story
  • Embrace experimentation
  • Incorporate changes in brand messaging into your landing pages

In truth, branding and CRO are equally important and need to be in balance for the best results.

Why Being Right Isn’t Always Right

When it comes to building a brand, being right by the books does not always to translate to real-world success.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Digital Branding Misconceptions

For example, remember the success of the “Intel Inside” campaign slogan? Literally, it does not directly apply, as the company was marketing the chips themselves, and not what they went inside.

However, consumers did not care that it was not technically 100% correct. It became so well known that customers began to demand them. So, leading major computer manufacturers bought millions of processors from Intel. This slogan made Intel a household name.

Think long term. Even if a campaign does not look immediately perfect on paper, it might be worth it. Think about setting the stage for future success too.

Achieve Negative Net Revenue Churn

Another thing to consider is Unconversion Rate Optimization (uCRO). This is the practice of A/B testing cancel and refund pages in order to create negative net revenue churn.

Negative net revenue churn is when the revenue you make from current customers increases instead of shrinking. It takes into account customers who choose to refund or cancel as well. There are many pros to negative net revenue churn. Some of them are:

  • Upping LTV conversions on your landing pages
  • Boosting your CPA tolerance
  • Increasing the ability to dominate competitors in ad channels

In fact, including brand campaigns on the top of funnel landing pages has an interesting effect. It can influence customers. It raises the probability that customers will upgrade or buy things from you again.

A Deeper Look into the Psychology of the Customer-Brand Relationship


Back in 1879, German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus began to study learning. He explored how the order and frequency of information can change a person’s ability to learn. It was only a matter of time before marketing pioneers like Thomas Smith began using those ideas in their field.

Smith’s 1885 work “Successful Advertising” provided the roots of modern branding. It is where popular ideas like ” a person needs to be exposed to a brand 5-7 times before they buy” got their start.

SEE ALSO: 6 Psychology Hacks That Immediately Improve Your Digital Brand

Modern digital branders not only need to ask how many times people need to be exposed to a brand before they buy. They also need to ask how much exposure will keep people buying.

Ultimately, this exposure needs to take the form of strong and relatable branded content. This will let consumers build the right relationship with your brand. Eventually, you want customers to feel like they have a sort of friendship with your business. Sports marketing legend Mark McCormack says it best.

“All things being equal, people will do business with a friend; all things being unequal, people will still do business with a friend.”

CRO and Branding Must Work Together

Truthfully, there is no CRO vs Brand fight where anyone comes out on top. Both disciplines are important and must work together against competing businesses. Ultimately, both are on the same side. Both are trying to achieve similar goals. They just happen to have different skill sets.

CRO needs to work together with brand-builders. Together they can support a story throughout their funnel. This will help them achieve important goals. These include:

  • Fueling future conversion rates
  • Increasing repeat purchases
  • Reducing cancellations and refunds
  • Actively evolving the company as a whole

Would you choose to focus more on CRO or branding? Why? Comment below…

Written by
Juntae DeLane

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