Corporate Eye

Brand vs. Commodity

The next time someone in your company suggests to you that investing in brand development, positioning and messaging isn’t important, remind them that without your brand, you’d have little left to compete with than price.  In other words, without your brand, you’re just another commodity.

Certainly, your products and company offer features and benefits that consumers want and need, but it’s your brand that makes those features and benefits recognizable and preferred.  Those features and benefits are extensions of your brand.  Will they function on their own without a brand to support them?  Perhaps, but a brand makes those features and benefits much more powerful and helps to further differentiate them from anything else available on the market.  The brand makes them special and makes customer loyalty possible.

Your brand is your most important asset.  Think of it this way, despite all its time in business and all its successes, what is a company like Coca-Cola without its brand?  What about a company like Mercedes or even McDonald’s?  Would those companies survive and thrive without their brands?  It’s hard to say, but investing in those brands and building them to what they are today has helped to grow those companies to become leaders in their respective markets. 

So the next time someone in your company suggests to you that branding isn’t important, ask them if they think the leaders of companies like Coca-Cola and McDonald’s would agree.  I bet that person will start to see the light.

The following two tabs change content below.
Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for Entrepreneur.com and Forbes.com, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as MSNBC.com, BusinessWeek.com, TodayShow.com, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.
 
Comments

Good points. I believe the channels of brand promotion are changing somewhat from your controlled, monitored message via traditional media to the extremely powerful word-ofmouth enabled by social media

Sachendra, I completely agree with you. I’m a big proponent of leveraging social media to grow and sustain a brand. I’ll have to publish some posts in the coming weeks about branding and Web 2.0!

Leave a Reply