Everyone aspires to own premium brands even though when they know that the product on offer is either almost same or at times exactly the same. Was just going through some videos on TED Talks and found very interesting trend that was coming up which is how great brands drive certain kind of behavior or in some cases change consumer behavior.
Some brands have the power to make a difference in consumers life and powerful brands are able to change the way consumers feel, think, and act. They do this when they become part of peoples’ lives by answering the simple problems through their products and services.
There are certain brands that have changed the behavior of consumers and those are brands that are your evergreen brands since they are the strongest at the conviction level. For e.g. brands that changed the way we shop (Amazon, eBay), how we work (Microsoft) and how we access information across anything and everything (Google) basically these brands identified areas and changed the way consumers behaved.
So why do you think these brands did so well or What do these great brands have in common that makes them not just successful but successful over a period of time: zeal to understand latent consumer needs and create them into consumable products and services. It’s an extremely simple concept but not all companies follow this which bring their downfall.
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.
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.
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..