Brand basics? Maybe not

At the recent ANA Branding conference, Steve Bratspies from Wal-Mart spoke on partnerships. AdAge has a short video clip from his Q&A. He made some excellent comments and part of me wonders why he had to make them. He commented that coming to a retailer with an idea that will increase sales of your product but lower sales of a competitor’s product, thus resulting in a net zero increase in sales for the retailer, makes no sense to the retailer. Duh!

He also noted that brands are what they are and trying to reposition them in the short term is a dumb idea. Again, duh. But maybe not so well known and perhaps a reason why CMOs have a short tenure. Reminds me of the quote from my audience member about the three steps in the CMO’s lifecycle: Rebrand, relaunch, and resign.

Lastly he reminded the audience of a funmdamental responsibility of marketing (all to often forgotten): You have to know your customer better than anyone else. I have stated for years that too many brand marketers have abdicated customer knowledge to the retailer, and then wonder why their brands have no value to the retailer.

Good stuff, and troublesome that it was necessary to present at a high level conference on brands.


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