They work as evidenced by the record week we are having with more readers in a single day then we had all of our first three months blogging online COMBINED.
Try marketing. You’ll hate doing it but love WHAT IT DOES FOR YOU.
And when I say marketing, I don’t mean advertising. So let’s end the week with a simple way to help you appreciate the difference:
THINK – what’s the top brand in the world?
One of GE’s stable of brands?
All these players are near the top.
But the most powerful brand in the world today is, according to the gold standard of brand valuation, Millward Brown’s Brandz report**, Google.
Now, that might seem superficially logical. But from a strategic point of view, it’s nothing short of astonishing.
Why? Because every other player in the top ten has spent decades – if not literally centuries, as for IBM and Coke – investing billions in advertising to build a brand.
But where these players invest on the order of 5-10% of revenues on advertising, Google’s advertising expenditure is almost exactly zero. A brand is more than advertising and a logo. It’s defined as a "promise" between product and buyer.
But that promise goes beyond features, benefits, and "information" into story.
The story is at the heart of branding.
And it cannot be achieved in the same way via brand advertising as it once did.
"Cheap Interaction" includes information gathering and conversation with peers. In many cases, consumers (like you and me) are telegraphing that we value our peers say-so than the claims of advertising no matter how cleverly and ubiquitously delivered.
That word of mouth becomes, of course, the "story" of a brand. That is not new. The brand story that is crafted behind the scenes by marketing and communications specialists pales in comparison to the version of that story which people share with other people.
And now, we have a digital network(s) to amplify that WOM and story.
Brands that look beyond traditional marketing towards engaging customers in two-way conversations will have an advantage going forward.
Brands that try to be of-use to their customers even if that means expanding the core products and services they provide (look at Nike) will have the advantage.
Brands that think innovation is a new delivery channel for advertising will not gain advantage.