Developing a brand strategy starts with the customer.

If the company founder developed a successful product, they did so for a reason. They fulfilled a customer want or need which was the reason they started the business in the first place.

Apple thought people would want computers on the desk or in their home and they were right. Ford thought people would want cars at home. Later Apple thought people would want phones in their pockets (a ridiculous idea then) and they were right too. Yahoo! And Google thought people would want to search the web (a glorified directory) and they were right.

So, the product (and subsequently the brand) was developed with a clear invention or innovation to satisfy a customer demand, a want. It started with the customer. And following the success of those products, others saw that market potential and launched ‘me toos’.

Companies wanted to piggyback that new market demand others had created and there’s nothing wrong with that as such, provided, you do it better. Samsung phones now outsell Apple for example.

But quite often, they did so without any clear differentiation or USP (unique selling point/proposition). It was just another ‘version’.

So often that becomes the job of marketers now – developing propositions and positioning for brands or services that don’t have an obvious differentiator – probably the key issue you have on your desk now. You’ve been handed a product that isn’t marketing led and you have to sell it…..But you still can do it. The only question is, how?

And that’s the Marketing thinking. Advertising alone, is not the answer. In fact, it’s a waste of time until you know.

We know.

  • A brand is something people will pay more for
  • To pay more for it, you must trust it
  • You cannot promise something you can’t deliver. Truth is Trust.
  • Marketing thinking must be at the core of the business. If it isn’t, the sales opportunity and the advertising opportunity are totally diminished.

Let’s park all of that for a minute and now think of the most important person in the mix. The customer, the person who is going to buy (you’ll see an article on that above too).

So fundamentally, does Advertising and Marketing work?

You’re kidding, right?

Every single time, but only, if it’s done right…..

What does your customer want? And how does your Advertising reflect that want.

Tom Fishburne on Brand Strategy: “Companies are quick to rebrand when they hit a rough patch. But they sometimes forget that a brand is more than a company name, logo, tagline, or ad creative. And that a shiny new brand identity won’t automatically solve all of the problems of the business. The marketing world is littered with failed rebranding initiatives (from the Gap to Tropicana) that illustrate one simple truth about branding: a company doesn’t own a brand. Its consumers do. Giving a brand a new coat of paint — dressing it in sheep’s clothing — won’t change consumer’s feelings and expectations of a brand.”