There were Brands and then, there were Brands! How this has changed in the post internet age? How the Brand ownership has moved away from Brand owners to Brand users? How the Brand Relationship has evolved?
Off late I am meeting lot of branding “gurus” who are propagating what is branding and how do you brand a product. Nothing wrong in that though, because that’s the way this subject would flourish. However, since Marketing, Sales, Branding are more qualitative subjects and we can’t (generally) do 1+1= 2 here, we make our own assumptions. I mean, no one would say “In my opinion the 3rd law of Newton is ….. “ and run their imagination wild. You get the idea, right?
For starters, Yes, there are fundamentals and definitions and re-definitions of these subjects and these definitions are based on empirical research over decades and then their minute analysis from both quantitative and qualitative aspects.
So here is a very quick look at these subjects as Experts, Thought leaders, Ivy League B-Schools and successful practitioners think globally:
Branding is part of marketing - the process of establishing a brand is based on the rational, emotional & functional attributes that connects the brand with the Target Customers.
A brand is made of brand attributes (as above), brand promise (based on attributes) and brand delivery (final experience), which is created by intensive market research among its desired market segments and Target Audience. Based on these BA, BP & BD - the value proposition of a brand is established and is manifested as the Positioning Statement that the common people call tagline.
Advertisement, on the other hand, is one of the communication processes to promote the brand through mass media.
Marketing (we can't leave this subject now) is a pull strategy which creates product / services to meet a particular need of a segment of people.
Sales is a push strategy where you produce products / services without any care of the market and then sell them through promotions to anyone who might buy.
As a very sales driven country we are completely ignorant of the subject called “Marketing”. We think marketing is promotion and branding is advertisement. This is sad because this is the reason, why, instead of focusing on value proposing to pull the customers to us, we push the products with discounts after discounts thereby competing with our competition on just price.
In these days of quick availability of information, it is very easy to learn about a subject and then be an expert by practice; which essentially means you really have to LEARN the subject to begin with to become the EXPERT you are trying to be. It’s not that difficult. :)