Brand building has been in the ownership of Marketing management. It is vital to seek and keep the core strenghts and properties of the product (whereas the service can also be branded and called ‘the product’) to build a strong brand. A brand is not only the physical apperance nor it is merely the reputation, but a mixture of both. And most importantly, built on a solid ground, trust. Thinking back of ads embarrasing the whole concept concerned, it becomes obvious that the product itself needs truly to add value to the consumer’s life.
How Does the Communications Take Over?
More and more I see, that it is the Communications department that launches the Brand books, Branding strategies or the Brand concepts. What happened inbetween is the world. Digitalisation happened. Communication has in the past couple of decades evoluted from annual and carefully structured into daily, even hasty bursts of notes and captured moments. Compared to the scattered bits of shared insights, the still carefully planned Marketing actions and campaigns appear artistic and living inside a bubble compared to the branded product sharing, companioning and leading the consumer through today’s media rich reality.
So What is Left for Marketing?
Attraction. In order to build an (even prospect) customer relationship with the consumer, you need to be on everybody’s lips. The Brand and the Product has to have so many dimensions that anybody will need it. That’s where Marketing shows its teeth. Of course the promise to the customer has to be fulfilled both with the purhchasing and (often simultaneously) delivery processes and the produce chain has to meet up with the brand. But that’s another story.
Crossing the Blurred Line
There have been great examples of the dialogue and the interaction between the customer and community management adding value to the consumer. These communities and user generated content platforms can even bypass the value and the attraction of the original product itself. This is what happened between the Finnish Vauva (Baby) Magazine and its online community vauva.fi by Sanoma Magazines. What then is Communication and what Marketing and whereto the attraction should be dragged? The demand for a dedicated Brand Newsroom has emerged. The Finnish Food, Bakery and Confectionary Group Fazer has just launched theirs. It does not claim to be purely Marketing or strictly journalistic, but to live with the more and less dedicated customers in today’s busy world rich of information that often is hard to evaluate alone. Communities and Blogs cross the line between Communications and Marketing daily, naturally and with no further thoughts.
This is something also for the companies to take into account when building our processes and positions.