Alternative title: A funny thing happened on the way to the review
One of the most strident criticisms of Fashion-Incubator over at Problogger has been lack of branding. While it’s true reviewers failed to understand that F-I is a business to business site, from this morning’s Working Knowledge (Harvard Business School) comes a bit of iteration (emphasis is mine).
Many business-to-business (B2B) CEOs view marketing as the domain of consumer goods brands. They are wrong. Among Interbrand’s 10 most valuable global brands, we find Microsoft, Intel, IBM, and GE. All generate far more B2B revenues than sales to end consumers.
Consider these points:
- The CEO understands that building brand reputation reduces commercial risk, insulates the company in a crisis, and provides the common purpose…
- Efforts are focused on a single, global corporate brand rather than individual product brands.
- Intel is the ultimate ingredient brand. It makes zero sales to end consumers, yet Intel built a consumer demand pull for its chips that required every PC manufacturer to incorporate them and to advertise Intel Inside on their products and in their ads.
- Would Dupont’s shareholder value be the same today if it had not made consumers aware of nylon, Lycra, and Stainmaster and linked these innovations to the Dupont name? Definitely not.
So what does this mean to the average B2B business owner like you? As Miracle has often said, there’s a big disconnect in the ways that entrepreneurs market their product lines. If you’re selling wholesale, you must have a two prong approach. First you must know how to cogently market to retailers in ways that are meaningful to them. Second, you market your product to consumers through assurances and stories on your hang tags (mostly). Miracle says that many of your marketing efforts are a work around; you’re not targeting the buyer but trying to go around them to get to the consumer. Bad approach.
A related article is Authenticity over Exaggeration:The New Rule in Advertising (HBS). Only obliquely mentioned was consumer fatigue (and you know I’ve long been exhausted by spurious marketing claims). Trendwatching newsletter describes a strategy to consider as “Brand Butlers” whilst being mindful of “Crowd Mining”. The latter link will expire, here’s the pdf which won’t. More briefings are here.
Class dismissed, nothing new was added. Just some previous entries Miracle had written that always need airing and some recent trends in marketing. that I never know where to stick.