Useful / Useless Marketing
It’s an axiom, all products tend to look for ways to become brands. It’s only natural, in this way you can ask more from consumers (price), you can aspire to reach more consumers (market share), you can build loyalty (reputation) and much more. All in all, these are all summarised in the margin / profit chapter.
I have also seen case studies, however, where a product, if we were to look beyond the message on its packaging, communicates absolutely nothing, and yet is sold in impressive quantities, daily, year after year, with absolutely no problem. These cases are very rare and usually happen when the mix of tangible features, price and distribution recipe is unbeatable, something that any retailer with a rational mind cannot refuse and any consumer who balances the budget of his desires and aspirations agrees to buy, and actually does it joyfully. These cases, I repeat, are extremely rare and are the exceptions that confirm that an excellent mix of tangibles, price and distribution can work wonders. In this case, the brand is only built based on features and almost not at all on intangibles, except for the name and packaging. These, in this case, have the role of identifying the product; and that’s about it, marketing is useless in this case.
Taking into account that in any market of services and products – especially the consumer ones – there are thousands of similar or identical services / products, the brand becomes a differentiating tool if it is designed wisely and in an extensive period of time, worked on constantly and homogeneously. However, taking into account my experience so far – since 1994, as Anglo-Saxons say – successful services / products that have become brands have been those that have incorporated unique or differentiating tangible features into their mix, with them being the solid basis of brand building. In which case marketing proves its true utility.