Thursday, March 17, 2005

Channel Marketing: The Role of Branding in Distribution

I recently read the book “Brand Royalty” by Matt Haig. Some publicist sent it to me, having found my name among a list of bloggers.

I hated it. I dislike most business books, especially marketing books. “Brand Royalty” is no exception.

It lacked insight and applicability. The case studies were shallow. The 'secrets' were a mix of consequences, positioning and strategies. The categories were arbitrary. What is the difference between innovators and pioneers, or between 'responsibility brands' and 'emotion brands'? Hell if I know, even after reading the book. I don't think Matt knows either.

I like the topic though. While not “the most important aspect of business”, branding is a key element of a good channel. I am of the camp that builds brands through repetition of experience versus repetition of message.

In the long run experience makes or breaks a brand regardless of short-term publicity. And in the tech industry, fad brands die fast.

Brand development in the channel goes through five phases:

1) Innovation
2) Sales
3) Standardization
4) Protection
5) Evolution

Most problems occur in the channel when companies try to substitute brand for sales or standardization.

The Channel Pro

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