Tag Archives: brand equity

Differentiate your brand

The most common word used across the marketing and branding forums and people is that “is your brand/activity differentiated enough to grab the consumers attention?”

And most managers would answer yes it definitely is different from what competition is doing, but is it really different? The answer is most probably no. The differentiating factor  is  most probably that none of the competition has tried it but today differentiation is more than just about your category it’s across brands.



Imagine a testimonial ad started by a FMCG category which worked well and this same idea was then taken by the agency to another category like an automobile or pharma and pitched as first in the category. Everyone in the room is happy since they achieved one thing in the meeting which is we are different from competition, but are they really different? From a consumers lens he would feel I have seen this many a times and all of them including other categories are giving the same message.

Creating a differentiation for me is doing exactly opposite of what conventionally marketeers are doing for e.g. when a service provider blocks the sale of the product or limits the consumption of their product or service immediately it becomes a big thing. Consumers start getting impatient as to what is this product all about or why can’t I get it. This ultimately results in massive awareness which is consumer-led rather than manufacturer led.

Differentiation-2

The above e.g. is a marketing strategy that is different but apart from strategy there are there ways of differentiating as well which could be via creative communication (e.g.Got Milk campaign), using different media (e.g. Ford for the launch of Fiesta in India during cricket matches), operational differentiation (e.g. Walmart’s procurement and supply chain management), different business model (e.g. Amway, etc).

The above are just e.g. and current trend could be different but the idea is to ensure that differentiation should happen across categories and not just within a particular subset.

Marketing V/S Branding

Tricky question for most, but the answer to this question of how marketing is different from branding and vice versa is that for most people both are one and the same.

But I think the answer lies in both the terms itself. Just remove the last 3 letters from both words (ing) and think for a minute what both words stand for …….

Am sure you would have guessed the answers by now….



In my view a market is full of brands (branded products) and unbranded products but a brand is a distinct individual identity in market. Marketing makes brands which means brands are derived from marketing. A lot of established and well to do companies have designations of brand managers and marketing managers but in reality there is negligible difference in both roles.

A role of a marketing manager is much richer as compared to brand manager but still people take pride in saying I am a brand manager as compared to a marketing manager..

Marketing has a different meaning across different companies

Ever wondered what marketing truly means?

As per the marketing guru Philip Kotler marketing means “Marketing is the set of human activities directed at facilitating and consummating exchanges.” But the meaning of the same term when you see or experience in real life becomes extremely different and unheard of.

Each organisation across continents has made their own definition of this term. This term also changes with change in leadership of the organisation or it may also change with change in business strategy.

I have had experience in working in a global MNC FMCG company, an owner driven company and a public limited company and all these 3 companies have taught me different meanings of the same term marketing.

A truly global MNC FMCG will make you feel that marketing is a science that is cold and calculative where everything is measured. Marketing in this kind of an organisation is the driving force behind the organisation and takes lead in all activities.



In contrast an owner driven organisation the meaning of this term changes dramatically as the owner believes that he knows his customer and he knows what they want and thus only he would know what is marketing. Here basically the marketing team is just extra pair of hands to get the job done.

Similar to the above organisation a small sized limited company would see marketing as a sales support team and any work that any of the other teams don’t want to do, fall under the ambit of marketing.

What we learn during our masters and what we actually see are 2 different things. For me what i gather from my experience and what i have learnt I just feel marketing means understanding the consumer, generating brilliant ideas to create innovative products to fulfill the consumer need, test the product and finally making impactful communication to maximise returns for the company.

The organisation that is the closest to what I think is marketing is definitely the global MNC but at the same time there are so many processes there which may curb your brilliant ideas, but then nothing in this world is perfect so how could an organisation be…….