Branding from the Inside Out

October 6, 2009 at 4:05 pm Leave a comment

By Mike Kolbrener

Back in October of 2007, John Quelch of WPP and professor since 1979 at the Harvard Business School, shared his insight with Laura Mazur and Louella Miles regarding the power of “branding an ingredient” as a key to better marketing a larger or more complex product or service. “When is the provider of the final product or service willing to compromise its own brand-building to add the ingredient brand on the package as well as in advertising? There are four conditions:

  1. The ingredient is highly differentiated, usually supported by patent protection, and so adds an aura of quality to the overall product. Think Gore-Tex for water resistant rainwear.
  2. The ingredient is central to the functional performance of the final product. Think Shimano gear systems on performance bicycles or Monsanto’s Nutrasweet, added to Equal sweetener.
  3. The final products are not well-branded themselves, either because the category is relatively new, because customers buy infrequently or because there is low perceived differentiation among the options. Think about all of Dupont’s ingredient brands for clothing, from Rayon through Lycra.
  4. The final products are complex, assembled from components supplied by multiple firms who may sell the “ingredients” separately in an aftermarket. Think cars with Michelin tires, Dolby stereo systems and Champion spark plugs. “
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Entry filed under: Advertising, B-to-B Marketing, Branding, Marketing, Product Marketing (B-to-C). Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

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