Reality is part of brand equation

I agree whole-heartedly with Alan Mitchell about brands and generalisations (MW April 3). I could add so many meaningless generalisations to his. What about “a brand isn’t a brand without advertising”? (I think that’s from an IPA recommended book.)

Too many business people, including marketers, detach the concept of “brand” from the concept of “product” – they see branding as a layer that adds value. As such the brand can be changed at whim as it isn’t restrained by the reality of the actual product.

This is why they miss the point. The brand is not separate from the product functionality – it is product functionality plus emotional benefits. It is the product constituents, the service, the look, feel, taste, smell, tone of voice, price, personality, and so forth. It lives in people’s heads in their lives: brands are physical entities and mental constructs.

It’s time we stopped treating brands as simply theoretical entities and used our common sense to talk about them in “reality” and to manage them in “reality”.

And can we stop generalising? Nobody seems to have told Google that a brand isn’t a brand without advertising.

John Wood

Managing director

Bds beechwood

London W1V

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