We were introduced to marketing in economics when we learned about different economic systems. We learned about the monopolistic economy, where businesses and organizations had the goal of making the consumer perceive that they were the only ones in the market.
The key, then, is product differentiation.
Yes, in an economy where products have ample substitutes, businesses need to be able to convince consumers that the product they offer should be picked over a competitor's. In our consumption-based society, marketing and advertising the right message, portraying the right image, is crucial.
That's why we found the CoolBrands Council, located in the UK, to be very interesting. The CoolBrands Council — close to 40 marketing and fashion professionals, magazine writers and models — along with about 2,000 British citizens vote on the top 20 coolest brands in their country. The article that we read about them was exclaiming how almighty Apple landed the number-one spot on the CoolBrands survey for the third year in a row. Aston Martin, the winner of the automotive category, finished second overall, followed by sportswear & equipment category winner Nike.
Here is a link to see the top 20 brands and the winners and competitors in each category.
Of course Apple wins; not only does it do a fantastic job with branding, but with the iPhone 6 coming out, along with iOS 8, the brand was top of mind for many consumers and industry professionals. Since we're based in the U.S., we see very little marketing of Aston Martin, unless you count product placement in the occasional James Bond movie. We are surprised that Aston Martin landed that second spot.
Reputation and building a brand are very important, and they take more than just building a good product. One also needs to find the right market for the product and use those two elements to create a killer marketing campaign. Companies with CEOs and presidents who only look at the bottom line will miss this idea. Increasing profit and retaining customers is always the goal, but it is important to look at the whole picture instead of the pocketbook.
It's good to be a CoolBrand.
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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