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February 21, 2018

BRANDING | Consider Your Brand’s Opacity to Develop a Winning Brand Strategy | Part Three

Why This Difference?

The transparent nature of service brands means that most customers can perceive distinguishing characteristics of a brand during both the production and consumption process. Unlike the opaqueness of CPG brands, the production and consumption of services brands is inseparable. It literally takes place in the full view of its customers. It’s transparent.

Because of the inherent intangibility and inseparability of services brands, the services marketing mix must include the four additional strategies in its toolbox. It is through these strategies that services marketers are able to ensure the consistent quality of their services offering and better manage customers’ perceptions of their brand’s distinguishing characteristics. People strategy and the extent to which front-line services interactions are supported through enabling business processes and information technologies are crucial in this regard.

This is Why Marketers of Services Brands Often Say, “Our Culture Is Our Brand.”

The Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts is A Case In Point

Renowned for its leadership in transforming the hospitality industry through its unique focus on offering only experiences of exceptional quality, Four Seasons makes this statement about its service culture on its website:

“Our objective is to be recognized as the company that manages the finest hotels, resorts and residence clubs wherever we locate. We create properties of enduring value using superior design and finishes, and support them with a deeply instilled ethic of personal service. Doing so allows Four Seasons to satisfy the needs and tastes of our discriminating customers, and to maintain our position as the world’s premier luxury hospitality company.”

Given their artfully conceived brand strategies it’s no wonder that both Dove and Four Seasons continue to win in the marketplace.

The next time you find yourself tasked with conceiving a brand strategy you now have a better idea of some of the important tools in the brand strategy toolbox and also their potential utility for brand building within different arenas. Most important, you now know that it is useful to consider your brand’s opacity if you want to develop a winning brand strategy.

While this post has considered only two examples of brands at opposite ends of the brand opacity continuum, contemplating where your brand fits on this continuum will help you to develop your marketing mix to build your brand and business.