October 18, 2008

Lifestyle brand or not, marketing is about adding value.

Would you argue that it is easier to talk about branding when you are working with consumer goods or lifestyle brands? Surely it is easier to think brand when you are an icon like NIKE, APPLE, SONY.

Marketers have to answer to the CEO and the board about ROI and how much value they add to the business and that is where my point is. Marketing must add value whatever product or service you are bringing to market.

"A commodity is anything for which there is demand, but which is supplied without qualitative differentiation across a market. In other words, copper is copper. Rice is rice. Stereos, on the other hand, have many levels of quality. And, the better a stereo is, the more it will cost. The price of copper is universal, and fluctuates daily based on global supply and demand..

One of the characteristics of a commodity good is that its price is determined as a function of its market as a whole. Well-established physical commodities have actively traded spot and derivative markets. Generally, these are basic resources and agricultural products such as iron ore, crude oil, coal, ethanol, salt, sugar, coffee beans, soybeans, aluminum, rice, wheat, gold and silver.
Commoditization occurs as a goods or services market loses differentiation across its supply base, often by the diffusion of the intellectual capital necessary to acquire or produce it efficiently. As such, goods that formerly carried premium margins for market participants have become commodities, such as generic pharmaceuticals and silicon chips." 
Source Wikipedia

Fighting commoditization is what marketing is all about.
Find a meaningful point of difference for your target market, whether the difference lies in the manufacturing process or the quality of the materials, ingredients, the history around it etc.... It is around difference that you can articulate a brand strategy. And if your target market does not care, find a way to make them care. Educate them to choose better. Educate them to choose your brand.

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