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September 8, 2017

Consider Your Brand’s Opacity to Develop A Winning Brand Strategy | Part Two

Dove is a Case In Point

Dove’s packaging informs and reminds customers of the brand’s difference at the product attribute level–one quarter moisturizing cream—which in turn allows customers to conclude that Dove soap cleans without drying your skin. Although this premise is central to Dove’s brand proposition, by itself it is no longer sufficient in the face of universal product enhancements by the other major players in the industry. That is why Dove has chosen to focus so much of its branding effort in traditional and contemporary media platforms on linking the abstract benefits of the brand with a higher social purpose—to help to bring about “a world where every girl grows up with the self-esteem she needs to reach her full potential, and where every woman enjoys feeling confident in her own beauty.”

While it is true that every part of the marketing mix plays a role in shaping customer demand and can have a branding effect, communication strategies need to play a prominent role in the design of brand strategy if CPG brands are to be successful in today’s hyper-competitive marketplace.

Services Brands Are Transparent

Brand strategy for services brands has historically focused on creating, delivering and communicating the compelling value desired by customers through the so-called services marketing mix and it includes four additional strategies to those used to formulate brand strategy for CPG brands: people, process, physical evidence and information technology strategies.

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.”