As we all know, marketing dynamics evolve over time; new technologies, evolving cultures, and a lot of other factors affect consumer behavior and constantly reshape the marketing landscape.
You’ve had a lot of experience in marketing and brand building across a lot of different industries; could you share some marketing principles that no longer apply, or are just unsound to begin with?
Dear Old Dog,
Yes, the landscape is constantly evolving—I myself am often amused by the amount of new insights I learn on a daily basis.
Having said that, here are some of the most common branding misconceptions that I often find myself curing my clients from:
Myth #1 - Customers who cry are customers who buy
Emotional levers have always been a staple of advertising campaigns, especially online where just having a heart-wrenching plot can already make a video go viral.
An emotionally powerful ad can rake in millions of shares, but they don’t always necessarily translate to sales. Therefore, it’s important to ensure that you are able to use your creative, emotional campaigns to drive customers from touchpoint to touchpoint, instead of just making the viewer go “d’awww”.
Myth #2 - The product is the brand
A lot of brands nowadays think that their product alone makes the brand. What many fail to realize, though, is that all touchpointsthat carry the brand’s name IS the brand—whether it’s the retail store, the sales associate, the website, or the Facebook page.
Customers do not perceive the brand as being run by different people. Anything that they encounter during brand interaction contributes to the way the brand is perceived, so the tonality, feel and personality must be consistent across all the elements of your business.
Look at it as an opportunity; leverage on all points of contact to create consumer delight and convert customers into brand ambassadors.
Myth #3 - The customer is always right
A former market leader in the mobile device industry can tell you that blindly following consumer studies can go horribly, horribly wrong—their market research led to them being blindsided by a new entrant, resulting in their exit from the consumer market within five years.
Simply following market research is not the best way to use your data. Market research should be used to verify and calibrate your decisions, not make them for you. Why does your market behave this way and what can you do to change it? What underlying trends drive consumer preferences, and how can you leverage them in new and innovative ways?
You need to be able to read between the lines and uncover marketing insights. Use these insights to craft campaigns that will allow you change market perception and drive the market, instead of letting the market drive you.
Myth #4 - The best brands break the bank
You may be getting results, but how efficient is your marketing spend? Sometimes, the same amount of growth can be had for just afraction of the cost.
Big budgets aren’t necessary to build big brands. What is most important is that you remain true to your brand’s personality, and that you structure your strategies to support your business objectives.
Not everyone operates with the same marketing budgets as telcos or FMCGs, but that doesn’t mean that your marketing has to be any less impactful. In fact, budget constraints can challenge you to come up with new ways to engage your customers beyond traditional marketing activations.
Myth #5 - Branding is marketing's problem
Many companies consider brand as marketing’s purview, or worse, reduce branding to just a nice-to-have, secondary to the bottomline. However, it is important to consider that yourproduct will always have its own brand, even without marketing, and that this is developed through the various efforts of the rest of your organization—HR via the persons that they hire, manufacturing via the materials used, etc.
How well does the rest of your organization support you? Do they value the growth of the brand, or are they driven purely by their own objectives? Each member of the organization should have a very clear idea of the brand they are trying to build and support it.
Overall, your investment in your brand doesn’t end with your marketing. Factor in how you allocate your resources towards the creation of experiences that support the brand perception you are trying to build.
Amor Maclang leads GeiserMaclang, an internationally awarded full-service marketing communications company that steers leading names in a diverse field of industries. For more information, visit www.geisermaclang.com.
Do you have a business question you’d like to ask Amor? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org .