Saturday, November 22, 2008

I'm all about revenue growth

Yesterday, I heard a radio commercial (yes, I admit it again, it was on sports talk radio) for the Chevy Volt. I was only half listening to it, but it caught my attention when it said something about "those guys that were so good at chemistry are now working on the batteries for it." It then went on to say that the Volt will come out in the 2010 model year.

I realized that I was listening to an ad for a car that won't be available for a year! This ad is from the same car company that just went before Congress and stated that they won't make it to the end of 2009 without a congressional bailout. So, my first thought in hearing this ad was "shouldn't they be trying to sell the cars they have, rather than cars they don't?"

Then I thought, "maybe they're trying to revise their brand from 'uninteresting, middle-of-the-road cars for the masses' to 'leader in clean automotive technologies.'"

But this post is actually not about GM's advertising, it's about branding. As in, I'm not a branding guy.

That ad made me realize that, for more than a decade, I have been a marketer focused on revenue growth, rather than branding. My marketing focus was:
  1. Understand customer needs and define the appropriate product or service to meet those needs
  2. Use the appropriate promotional tools to drive revenue growth for those products and services
There's nothing in those two items about establishing and building brands. That's because many of the companies I worked for were small, even startup, companies where revenue was King. (Actually, cash was King, but revenue was a very close second, probably Queen.) We didn't have the luxury to invest in establishing a brand.

It's not that I don't appreciate the value of branding and would enjoy the opportunity to establish and build a brand. In fact, if you read several of my past posts on advertising, I am frequently referring to branding. Examples include my recent posts on a couple of radio ads, one discussing Microsoft's new I'm a PC campaign, or the one discussing La Quinta (whose brand apparently is 'hotels for idiots.')

I would love to do some branding work, but at the end of the day I'm a revenue growth marketer.
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