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Product, Marketing, or Both?
By: Janet Kalandranis
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Which comes first, the product or the marketing? Should one lead to the start of the other or are they meant to work in tandem for success? When looking at traditional, more established brands, a product or service is created and the marketing is built to support the idea. It’s logical, has worked for decades, and is definitely a strategy that has been successful for many brands. But it’s time to switch it up and make that strategy just one of many options.

What if the thought was to combine the product and the service to become the marketing? Not two separate business plans, but actually one and the same. It’s this combination that can prove to be even more successful to brands; if a product or service is handling the marketing, there is a constant reminder to the customer. There is an interaction with the brand that comes from a customer’s choice to use the product or service. It’s subtler than media, but more powerful in how it’s delivered.

Nike+ FuelBand is the newest venture in the Nike+ Running platform, which originally started as a marketing idea. It’s a product, but it’s marketing, so it must be both. The band tracks a consumer’s activity and translates this into “Nike Fuel,” which is connected to a myriad of devices. The end result is dynamic self-sustaining workout routine creating a daily interaction with the brand. Every day the consumer is hit with marketing that is simply relayed through the product. It’s believable, it’s requested, and it will become a part of their day-to-day life.

Products and marketing don’t necessarily need to be separate in order to be successful. If there is a way to develop an idea that incorporates both of these in one strategy, brands may be better equipped to reach customers on an ongoing basis. And that is one powerful combination.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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