Dec 30, 2010

Upcoming Challenges in Branding, Marketing!

Change is everywhere and in everything. New categories in products and new types of services are emerging and diminishing at a rapid rate. Communication is increasingly fragmented and under the control of the target audience rather than the brands. The fast moving digital world adds new options and complexity. It is harder than ever for an offering or a marketing program to break out now-a-days.
Today’s top five challenging scenarios for a marketer or brand manager are as: 1) getting a seat at the table talk: Marketing team needs to get a firmer hold on a seat at the executive table where the real action is. It can and should be a primary driver of business strategy that specifying the value proposition, the selection of the product-markets in which to invest, and the development of assets and competences, especially those around branding that will protect a business from competition. Because marketing brings customer and market insight to the table, it is important to develop and refine the ability to create and evaluate those insights and turn them into actionable programs. Unless the strategy is right and clearly defined; tactical programs and investments are unlikely to be effective.
2) Globalization: it is a global world and new information sources, branding expertise, organizational forms are needed. But as far as their implementation is concerned it is clear that applying products and brands that work in the West is not a reliable recipe for success. It is also clear that having country brand specialists go it alone is not wise. There need to be ways to apply and adapt the brand experience and expertise of central marketing. The product and brand needs to be tailored to the country and region involved.
3) Brand energizing: brands more than ever needs energy to be competitive all the time. That brand equities are declining which have lack of brand energy. The two most beneficial ways to gain brand energy are as: one route to energy is what called “branded energizers”. When the offering itself is not exciting, or if it is between breakthrough innovations, it can find something with energy, such as branded social programs or proprietary sponsorships, that can be attached to the brand. Another approach is to deploy programs that involve the customer or potential customer.
4) Define a new product category/subcategory: the biggest opportunity is to create a point of differentiation that defines a new category or subcategories. It is hard to find a point of differentiation that is valued by the market and not quickly copied. It doesn’t only take customer insight and an organizational ability to execute on that insight, but an ability to build barriers around customer relationships and to generate ongoing innovation to prevent others from enjoying the benefits of the new offering.
5) To be a world’s social marketer: there is a role going forward for marketing to participate in some key issues. Should brands consider a link to programs that benefit society? What is the role of sustainability in marketing and brand building? Does marketing have any role in combating obesity and other unhealthy consumer trends? Can marketing aid organizations attempting to solve the problems of global warming, the use of alternative energy, hunger, water, disease and so on? How? Does marketing have any responsibility to address the perceptions and reality that business offerings and marketing programs sometimes encourage wasteful consumption? The fact is that customers are increasingly rewarding firms that visibly get involved in social issues, and which provide practical incentives to move on.

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