What is the definition of a Brand?

If you ask ten people on the street define a “brand”, you are probably going to get ten different answers.  But if you ask ten people in marketing to define a “brand”, I guarantee that all ten answers will be vastly different.

So I was a little surprised when I read Seth Godin’s post on “define: brand” where he offers this definition of a brand:

A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer.

My surprise is in how closely Seth’s definition matches with one I would have provided. After all:

A brand is NOT a :30 second TV commercial.

A brand is NOT a “breathtaking” new logo.

A brand is NOT a coupon, BOGO, or special offer.

A brand is NOT what you hear in a focus group.

A brand is NOT a brand character, brand purpose or brand equity pyramid.

A brand is complicated and simple at the same time.  Which is why Seth’s definition is so perfect.  “A brand is a set of expectations, memories, stories…that account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product over another.”

I guess that is why a Brand Manager’s job is never boring.

eMarketer: Facts and Numbers for Teens / Tweens

Over the weekend I had a chance to catch up on some of the recent eMarketer reports.  They have been releasing quite a bit around Teens / Tweens and technology.  In particular, their Kids & Teens Communication Revolutionaries provides some stellar information for any Brand Manager marketing to the youth market.  For instance, by 2012 US youth will be almost 1 out of 5 Internet users.

kids-and-teens-communication-revolutionaries-emarketer

Furthermore, this generation wants to communicate in different ways than older generations, with a much higher preference text messaging than e-mail.

ref="http://hardknoxlife.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/digital-tactics-for-reaching-young-adults-emarketer_1226762950713.jpeg">digital-tactics-for-reaching-young-adults-emarketer

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Congratulations Motrin. You just proved why every brand needs to understand Social Media

Are you still trying to convince your management why your brand should be monitoring Social Media?  Well if you are a Consumer Packaged Good brand (or any brand really), just look at what happened to Motrin over the past couple of days and the reaction of Motrin Moms.

A simple search on Twitter of #motrinmoms will show you that they pissed off a lot of people with their latest ad around “babywearing.”  Mommy Bloggers are not people you want to mess with and you sure better understand the sandbox you are playing in if you do them wrong.  For instance, just look at this Consumer Generated Media that has already popped up in response.  Not exactly brand content you want at the top of search results.

The Lesson for Brand Managers:

Motrin screwed up.  It happens.  But in today’s world of Social Media, the place they really screwed up was in not monitoring what people were saying about the brand.  This PR disaster is happening underneath their nose and no one on the brand is responding.  Not their advertising agency, not their Public Relations group and not the brand itself.   The unfortunate fact is that company’s haven’t trained Brand Managers to respond quickly to situations like this.  That needs to change….and it needs to change fast.

People are going to be talking about your brand, with or without the Brand Manager‘s permission.  This simple fact is reason enough that you should be monitoring the conversations around your brand.  Motrin is just the latest brand to learn this lesson the hard way.

UPDATE – Well it looks like Motrin is trying to respond.  If you commented on their website, it looks like their VP of Marketing has a response that is being sent out (Thanks to Amy Gates for the lead).  And the Motrin.com site has been taken down for now, but thanks to the power of YouTube, you can still see the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmykFKjNpdY (Thanks Bill Seaver)

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

4 Reasons Digital Matters to Your Brand

Courtesy of Will Lion on Flickr

Courtesy of Will Lion on Flickr

It continues to amaze me how many brands do not invest in digital, choosing instead to stay with the safety of traditional mass media (ie TV and print).  When asked why, you will hear a lot of different answers, but none that haven’t been proven wrong time and time again.  Digital is measurable.  Digital can provide solid ROI.  Digital can drive trial and awareness.

But if you are still struggling with justifying your digital investment, I think there are 4 important reasons digital should matter to your brand:

  1. Digital enables relationships and community
  2. Digital tells a story around your brand
  3. Digital is a key part of an integrated campaign
  4. Digital builds brand equities in new ways

[Read more...]

My new gig – P&G Digital Brand Strategist

So I can officially announce that as of October 1st, I will be P&G’s new Global Marketing Digital Brand Strategist.

So what exactly is a Digital Brand Strategist?  Well frankly a lot of that is going to be figured out on the job since this is a completely new position for P&G Marketing.   At the highest levels, the job will be helping drive P&G’s capability in digital marketing, branded content, social media, mobile and a host of other “digital areas”.  My job will be helping guide and equip my fellow Procter & Gamble Brand Managers / Marketers across the company with the tools to develop their digital marketing strategy.  Here is part of the job description:

Accelerating the company’s Digitial Marketing expertise and efforts across the globe is one of the current top priorities. Our commitment is to equip our brand building community with the knowledge and capabilities to create and execute a Digital Marketing Strategy.  Specific responsibilities will include:
- building & running the global digital marketing network
- leading digital marketing training program (content & delivery)
- ‘collect & connect’ of best practices & inspirational case studies
- demonstrating use new digital capabilities for internal communications

This role will involve strong external networking and communication to bring the outside in and keep us in close touch with leading edge capabilities and expertise.

I am super excited about this new role because it allows me to dive headfirst into two areas that I love: Digital Marketing and Brand Building.  It will also allow me to meet and work with many of the people in the online community who I have grown to respect and admire while writing Hard Knox Life.  And with our changes at the top of our marketing leadership, the job will be even more interesting.

As part of the job I will be relocating back to Cincinnati so I’ll be getting ready for that move over the coming 2 months while finishing up some major projects on the Walmart Team.  If anyone is looking/wanting to buy a house in Fayetteville, Arkansas, I can get you a great deal on mine!