With this post, I’d like to start a short series of micro-lessons, just to share with you my work methodology and some of the theories on which it is based. The next 4 posts are going to run through the branding evolution steps that bring to the actual conceptualisation of the relationship among marketing, the idea of “brand” and the consumers’ role. Today I’ll start describing the “TO HAVE” era of branding.
Jacque Séguéla, one of the most important and famous French advertisers, theorised three steps of branding, but time has passed and I think we can assume an evolution of the brand concept in four phases, considering the change of approaches to marketing and to the consumer role on which brand analysis and strategic planning are based.
This evolution has certainly to be seen as a diachronic path, but also – and above all – as the surfacing of mental, cultural and social horizons as factors that influence and modify the concept of brand: the dynamics that characterise the four “eras”, in fact, once conceived became synchronic, transversal, they coexist and live together.
The 1st step consists of the “TO HAVE” era of branding. We are in a “materialistic” context. The approach to marketing is operative or “push”, focused on product/service technology, convinced that it is possible to sell anything which is produced. Actually no one asks himself what the needs of the target are, risking the so-called “marketing myopia” that is the result of not noticing that the market for the product/service does not exist.
This trend of marketing leads to defining a type of brand that aims solely towards the distinctive technical aspects of the product, which has as its sole objective to answer the question “What is it?” and the only understood dimension is “physical”: a “brand object”, so not a “real” brand.
In this context, the consumer’s role is reduced to that of mere “utiliser”, the one who buys and consumes. He has not yet reached the maturity necessary to be perceived and treated as “demand”, there is no interest in his needs and characteristics.
Are you curious to understand what happens in the second step? Read my post next wednesday! 😉