Blurred Line Between Communications and Marketing

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 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.


Make your Innovations the New Normal

Great business can be made when you are able to communicate your  innovation as the ’New Normal’. The European commission has now awarded the Swedish to be the top European innovators with Skype, Spotify – and Ikea.

It is not easy to introduce a new approach to the consumer’s everyday life, but the Sweds succeeded in doing so! Let’s learn (after feeling sorry for ourselves for 1 minute 🙂 that innovative business also needs to change the life patterns of the consumer.

Talk, show and challenge

It is not only about a brand campaign doing strong, but it also demands public discussion both live and virtual. At all levels of (non)expertise, to effect consumer’s attitudes and conceptions. And here, public discussion counts as well the Top National Media as the smallest on-line-community.

This is the very thing that differents the true innovations – and in this case it was the Swedish innovations – from those hundreds and thousands of ideas and products pouring daily in to the marketplace. No matter how genius gadget, program or service you have come up with, if there is no desire and demand for it. Attention and attraction to something that hasn’t existed in your entire life can not be made through a fancy banner campaign. Even thoroughly tested and tracked.

Test, use and again – talk

Most successful products (may it be an item or a service) have been tested within a minor circle first. Only with real users you can start to tamper towards the enhanced user experience, interface routines with the real life and/or scientific testing. All this demands long-haul planning, media and stakeholder group relations and great confidence on the end product. Having faced these phases, you and your stakeholders already have come up with the ’New Normal’ phrases on the usage, the greatest moments and the most common questions and hence you can start and communicate the beauty of the ’New Normal’ life with the innovation – raising attraction.

Note! Especially within the electronics industry there are audiences, who are keen to all new and are most likely  the first ones to buy the product just for the sake of it being new on the market. Still, mostly this kind of customer behaviour demands brand loyalty and pre-marketing.!