In a recent article (How your marketing mix helps define brand identity), we looked at how your marketing strategy, composed of the 4+3 P’s (Product, Price, Place, Promotion and People, Processes, Physical evidence) affects brand identity. Today, to push the principle, we’re having a quick look at several new P’s that are also being used to push the marketing strategy envelope : Productivity & Quality, Partnerships, Permission, Period, Purse and yes, even the Purple Cow!
Productivity (& Quality) – Improving productivity is a necessary condition for cost management and quality is essential to differentiate from other suppliers. The profitability of a company can be greatly affected by its service management, providing it ensures both a high degree of quality, and cost control for its services. Companies that have re-engineered their productivity model to just-in-time, short-cycle or continuous-flow have also sought a form of standardisation which, coupled with quality control, increases reliability. From a branding standpoint this alone adds value to the product or service, however the main appeal for customers is the perceived continuous quest for improvement.
For long-term profitability and sustainability, customers prefer businesses to be like dolphins, not whales.
Partnerships – marketing partnerships can bring expanded credibility (added value), cost-efficient means to gain distribution, and all manner of commercial synergies. Sponsoring and affiliates are also types of partnership marketing.
Brandwise, marketing partnerships elicit a similar emotional response, to that you would expect to receive as a result of a public relations campaign. The appearance that each entity in the partnership is implicitly recommending the other entity, comes close to a third party referral. Even if the impartiality has all but disappeared.
Permission – permission marketing is an approach to selling goods and services in which a prospect explicitly agrees in advance to receive marketing information. Opt-in or double opt-in e-mail, where Internet users sign up in advance for information about certain product categories, is a good example of permission marketing.
Subscriptions to blogs, newsletters, sales information are the basis of inbound marketing and lead generation. The trust and curiosity of the potential customer needs to be earned with pertinent content. For your brand, the fact that you have persuaded them to subscribe shows empathy for their needs and that you are on their wavelength. In other words: perfectly prepared to be sold to!
Period – The jury’s out on whether this should be part of Place, the moment that you sell is after all an important part of your distribution. However there are several parts to this, there are some businesses that do better business very early in the morning, others that will only work at lunchtime, and again others in the dead of night. There are some businesses that are dictated by the seasons and some industries that are 24/7. As for your brand image, it is as well to at least equate with your customer’s expectations of availability. And not like my bank that is shut on Mondays!
Purse – is when your client is convinced that you’ve the collateral to weather a storm. Yes this refers to sure-fire bets with huge outfits like Enron and Lehmann brothers. You should invest with these companies because they are just too big to mess up. A hollow ‘ha-ha!’ perhaps for these two references but there is credibility in perceived size. As for shaping your brand, bigger companies appear more stable, more reliable, with more resources, and these will comfort many customers. Success breeds success and customers will always assume that if you position your company as a leader then you probably are, and it’s for good reason.
Purple cow – This term was brought to us by Seth Godin the marketing guru, it refers to the necessity of standing out, being different and doing something remarkable. In short, a Purple Cow is something that is worth talking about.
Brandwise… considering that your ‘purple cow’ does not have to be an oddly coloured animal or mascot, but could be applied to any part of the former P’s, I‘d say that this is the master P ! If you are in business you have to get attention.
Add these P’s to your marketing mix, keep them coherent with your brand values and brand identity and you will achieve a winning formula.
Branding Consultant at Pont Bleu Communication
Daren Birchall’s career spans more than 30 years. He is a graphic designer, writer, analyst and communications strategist, marketing consultant, media buyer, production manager, and for quite some time was an advertising agent. He loves photography but his glasses bother him.