Thursday, December 14, 2006

Brand utility V Branded Utility

Have you noticed that the terms 'brand' and 'branding' have become highly abused in the advertising, design and marketing industry? 'Brand' has gone from being an approach to recognising and developing a products attributes, to being a cover-all term that usually masks a messy swamp of half-baked marketing waffle.

I knew something was up when I heard someone say 'Kylie is a brand'. err... I thought she was singer, or an Australian, or a cancer survivor, or the singing budgie. Not a sales sticker.
My concern was raised even higher when I started hearing the term 'branded utility'. A truck with a Ford emblem maybe ? No. Perhaps creating a product that actually stands out from the pack because it is more usable ? Like marketing a mousetrap that is actually better? No.

"If we took money from the TV budgets and created something useful, created a relationship, acted favorably towards the consumer, then the consumer will act favorably towards the brand. Consumers will actually thank brands for helping them out."

Sure, but is this something new - or a defense to the conscience of some advertising agency. Unfortunately the next line betrays them:

So many people who work in advertising hate what they do."

So it appears that to salve their conscience they actually want to build and sell a better mousetrap:

The key is to create something that is of fundamental difference. Not making more spin."

Hallelujah to that. more

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