Branding “expert” idiocy

There is no shortage of branding agencies. They think they know the new rules of branding, but all they know is how to strip clients of money. The idea that content is more important than advertising is idiotic, along with the concept that people are more interested in your brand story than the product.

Content marketing, for the most part, is pure bullshit. For some reason, too many brand marketers believe people read their content when they skim content or don’t read it. Time is the new currency, and consumers don’t have time to read all the branded content that’s out there. But branding agencies love to tell clients to add more content to their websites. It’s pure stupidity.

Then there are those agencies and brands that believe their “brand story” is essential when consumers could care less about their brand’s story. We’re seeing a transformation from the importance of brands to the significance of products and pricing. It’s one of the reasons private label sales are rising so rapidly.

Our team has worked with many CPGs and found that sales increase when there is integrated advertising and promotion. FSIs, for example, lift product sales in double-digits when combined with advertising. One huge CPG brand took down its website for two weeks and had zero effect on sales.

The other point that some branding agencies are trying. To make that, brands have to be transparent. How do they explain higher prices and smaller product sizes when their CEO earns tens of millions of dollars and the media reports record profits?

CNBC reported this week that brands would not be able to pass higher prices to consumers. Really, you think? Grocery stores have been resetting aisles to de-emphasize slower-moving brands while promoting higher-margin store brands.

Brand agencies think they know better when every brand, and product category, is unique. At the same time, decisions are being made by high-level executives who expect marketing to overcome higher product prices. It’s not going to work.

Authentic branding is a deep understanding of your current customers and prospects. Trying to win people over with content and a brand story isn’t going. To work with consumers who could care less. It starts with your product and the promise you convey. If you advertise a frozen pizza with lots of cheese, your product better come out of the oven like the picture on your packaging.

There isn’t a brand agency that knows it all, and any agency that communicates the key branding elements should warn other brands that all they know how to do is empty clients’ wallets.

Branding “expert” idiocy

About richmeyer

Rich is a passionate marketer who is able to quickly understand what turns a prospect into a customer. He challenges the status quo and always asks "what can we do better"? He knows how to take analytics and turn them into opportunities and he is a great communicator.

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