Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Why "BRANDING" Goes In One Ear and Out The Other

John Jantsch posted his "Definition of Branding" on Duct Tape Marketing today - which always gets my blood boiling. No, not that John wrote something, but because today's branding practitioners have so fouled up the art. Here's my take.

In an age where consumer packaged goods have become commodities, top executives wonder where their growth will come from and short-lived CMOs spend more time chasing consumer ears and eyeballs deep into new media forests, I had a President at Procter & Gamble tell me that he thought branding was something you did when you didn't have anything important to say about your product. In my book, a "brand" is just something that someone started that caught on. Then "marketers" contribute to its obesity and kill it. And I have foundthis to be more true than false across the industry over the last 45 years when you consider companies such as Blue Cross and Blue Shield "brand" themselves with slogans such as "Discover The Power of Blue." Gee. I thought that was IBM. How is that "likable, knowable and trustable?" Simple? Yes? Easy to remember? Yes? Unquestionable? Debatable. But the problem with branding today, like advertising, is that it has fallen to the level of the people it targets, which is why it transmits right through us - in one ear and out the other.
So what should you do? Indelibly etch your impression on your consumer with a highly-differentiating and consumer-desired product-based selling dimension. I provide consumers over 10,000 comprehensive datapoints (product dimensions, product potentials, USPs or whatever you want to call them) in homework projects that frequently define breakthrough Special User Effects (tm).

1 comment:

Jim Symcox said...

Martin,

A man after my own heart! I've blogged about branding and the fact that many see it as the answer to getting more products to consumers (see http://business-powerpack.com/branding-is-the-emperors-new-clothes).

When in reality it's exactly what you're saying: "just something that someone started that caught on."

It's important for a company to understand what attracted people to it so that if they want to change it they do so with the full knowledge of the consequences.

Jim