The Marginalized Brand

Schultz, Don E.
November 2004
Marketing Management;Nov/Dec2004, Vol. 13 Issue 6, p12
This article discusses several issues concerning brand management and the concept of branding. Too many of the new brand gurus seem to operate in some kind of brand bubble, surrounding themselves with branding terminology, concepts, research, methodologies, and especially jargon so they're insulated from the rest of the company. They see themselves as brand experts, performing brand activities from which others in the organization are excluded. The sad truth is that brand management is becoming marginalized in too many organizations. Branding today is what a group of brand experts do, not what the organization does. The more branding is made as a province of a single department or manager, the less it can represent the organization, its products and services, its employees, and other stakeholders. That's the challenge many organizations find most difficult. The U.S. society lives in an age of specialists. And it continues to create ever more specialists in marketing, communications, and other business activities. The marginalization of brands and branding raises a number of questions both inside and outside the organization. If the brand is the company and the company is the brand, maybe the industry doesn't need more branding experts. Maybe what is needed is more conversations with employees and stakeholders so that brands are truly represented.


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