Thursday, November 18, 2010

No wonder brand is a hard internal sell

Through various online sites, I have joined a number of networks that talk brand, marketing, communications, social media etc. You get the picture - living the delusion that I may learn a lot about these things by chatting to others with similar experience and interests.

In fairness, I have joined a few conversations that have been thought-provoking. For the most part though, I have merely been dismayed at the lack of consensus on what brand and marketing are. How often do you see people in these groups coming up with the questions : 'What is brand?'; 'Define brand in a single sentence.' ? For other variations, substitute the word brand with marketing. The answers are even more interesting, seldom cast light on the subject matter and leave you in despair.

The implications of this for those responsible for brand, marketing and communications are significant and career-limiting. These discussions merely serve to illustrate that brand means different things to different people and, worse, suggests to those not involved in brand that it is so ill-defined that it can be interpreted or ignored to suit pre-ordained corporate strategy. The brand community is largely failing to stake out its ground in the universe of corporate activity. In some respects, it is another variation on the theme of my earlier blog about the poor quality of brand / marketing presentations at many major conferences.

The purpose of this blog is not to add to the debate about what defines brand, but rather express my fear that while this sort of debate rages, brand will struggle to take its appropriate place at the top table of corporate strategy.

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