Branding is one
of many expressions of positioning. Branding represents
the 'face' competitors show to their customers, competitors,
and other constituents. In the standard advertising paradigm,
branding is generally presented as the only available tactical
The reality is that branding is but a minor
subset of the overall positioning equation, a tool that
should be selectively employed in pursuit of the single
most critical marketing objective - superior competitive
Typical advertising agencies, regardless
of size and resources, are optimized to deliver a specialized
form of business communication messages. Advertising agencies
have perfected and optimized core competencies in media
and creative expression, both essential to crafting messages
that are intended to communicate brand identity.
The typical advertising paradigm fits well
with the process of branding. Brands are 'affixed' within
the collective consumer consciousness via the massive repetition
of high-impact, catchy messages.
What better skill-set
to deliver on this than one grounded in creative expression
and mass media communications - the definition of the typical
It is to be expected that professional service
consultants will skew their 'deliverables' around their
core competencies. For the attorney it is the law. For the
accountant it is numerical representations of business activities.
For the advertising agency it is branding.
If 'branding' were always the critical element
necessary to capture market share and drive revenues, then
a branding program may be warranted. Unfortunately, the
value of branding is generally just assumed, and branding
is expected to represent the backbone of most marketing