Seth Godin interview on Brand Mix (2) ~ Brand Mix

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Seth Godin interview on Brand Mix (2)

Question two: What about branding?

Meatball Sundae doesn’t mention branding very much. As a brand strategist, I find that a little worrying. I wonder if I am on the wrong boat or living in a parallel universe.

What are your opinions about branding? Are brands still relevant in the world of new marketing? In this new world, is there any role or reason for a company to establish a distinctive brand positioning, or is it up to the customer to decide?


A brand, for me anyway, is like the temperature of a sick patient. It is a measure, not a cause. Brands are the way we remember how we feel about something, not the reason we feel that way. So, all of the interactions of the New Marketing are incredibly powerful brand drivers. Not the other way around. Do the connecting part right and you get a brand out of it.

Brand Mix:

Not surprisingly, I have a different take on branding. Yes, brand (equity) is a reading of health. But shouldn't branding also be an organizing principle, a way of deciding what to do and what not to do? There's countless ways to implement marketing, ever more considering the explosion of new marketing vehicles. How do you choose the right ones? I would argue that brand strategy helps companies make consistent choices so that they stand for something specific in consumer's minds.


Yes, I agree that the way you act and the types of interactions you create are up to you, and you can choose to highlight the ones that fit together and tell a story. So yes, if you want to call that branding, it's essential.


BIG said...

This is why I bashed Seth Godin on my blog. He has absolutely no idea about branding. Word of mouth is a branding tactic that falls from a branding strategy. These WOM guys want to call it something else but it's not.

New marketing has been going on since the dawn of time. You just adapt your strategy to it. Do you think Volvo will waiver from Safety? No, they'll just work social media and WOM into their strategy.

The trick is doing it correctly. But make no bones about it, leveraging your brand identity should be at the core of everything any company does.

Just my 2 cents as a branding guy.

Alex said...

I think Seth is careful not to use the word branding very often, if at all, because the term has too many definitions. I don't think there is a universal definition that seriously sticks out.

Seth talks about companies telling consistent and compelling stories. It is easy to understand what a story is. Read All Marketers are Liars to get a better understanding.

Another theory may be that pretty much every marketing book out there talks about branding. Seth may be approaching the same way Starbucks does. Ever notice they don't have Italian sodas like every other specialty coffee shop?

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