Branding News Roundup – 07/07/2006

Death of Mass Marketing

Marketers typically employ online ad targeting — especially through behavioral, contextual, geographic and search methods — for direct response goals more so than for branding ones.

The focus is shifting, however, according to’s ongoing survey of U.S. web publishers. While only 19.2 percent of respondents cited branding as the main objective of online advertisers in 2005, that figure more than doubled to 41.5 percent this year.

Assessing the financial value of brands

Assessing the size or success of something as slippery as a brand involves a great deal of subjectivity. That is compounded by the fact that two competing factions are promoting two very different approaches to measuring a brand’s effectiveness.
On one side are accountants, armed with the financial wizardry of the capital markets. On the other are workers from the creative industries, the people who create and maintain brands and need to judge their own success.

Mark Ritson on branding: GM is risking death by brand overload

GM is economising on front-of-house systems, with many dealerships now merged into cost-efficient, but brand-killing, shared retail points. Target segmentation and brand differentiation are being replaced by cannibalisation and commodification as GM gradually destroys itself.

Five Priorities for Brand Differentiation

Marketing leaders across various industries point to brand differentiation as their top challenge in 2005. Industry consolidation and buyer caution put a premium on brand leadership. Yet marketing budgets are barely growing and traditional brand building has fallen prey to the demands for quantifiable sales results. Buyer skepticism tunes out the constant chatter of me-too marketing claims. And the mergers and acquisitions reshaping the industry confuse buyers even more about who can do what for whom.

Real differentiation is possible, however, for companies willing to invest creatively in ongoing programs to build and promote a compelling story. Specifically, there are five investment areas that separate today’s brand leaders from the rest of the pack:

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