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April 6, 2016

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Are you using the words “brand” and “strategy” properly? | Part Two

So what is a Brand?

There’s a lot of debate in this industry on what makes a great brand.

On the one hand, there are those in the industry who want to believe that brand is all about the product or service. Brand to them is very simple, 100% rational and there is almost a ‘what you see is what you get’ view of brand. The product is the brand. Even with a brand like Apple, they’ll say it’s because Apple has “great products”.
The other side believes that brand is all about equity and success comes strictly from an emotional connection, no matter how exciting or boring the category. They tend to think that great communication can overcome any product deficiencies.

This division shows up in various places, including how companies organize their people and resources. There are too many companies set up with “product departments” and “brand departments”. I also hear the term “brand tax” where the product budgets pay a percent of their marketing spend towards the brand. And finally, I’ll hear “no that’s not our decision, that’s the BRAND’s decision”. And the ad agency and the client might say “this is an equity spot, but we want to put a 5-second tag of the new flavour at the end”.