This week Marketing introduces its first 'Branding' page - a
dedicated weekly space that will break key news stories on major brand
It's tempting to say that our increased coverage marks a significant
leap in the sector's evolution - and it's certainly possible to point to
the many design and creative agencies that are currently shifting their
offering from the practical to the strategic.
That shift is little more than an effect, and a recognition that
consultancy offers far greater margins. The cause - and the thinking
behind the page - is that client marketers looking to achieve
competitive advantage increasingly find that the answer lies within
It is here, rather than within advertising, sales promotion or media,
that the key elements of customer need, positioning, differentiation and
speed to market now converge. That hasn't happened this week, or this
month, but over a relatively short period branding has displaced
advertising and media as the crucial communications discipline.
It's not to say that advertising and media agencies can't deliver those
brand solutions. The jostling for 'ownership' of this territory has been
under way for some time, and many design firms have yet to learn that
changing your business stationery to read 'brand consultancy' does not
automatically make you the equal of agency partners that have offered
their clients decades of uninterrupted brand advice.
Yet all the evidence is there to prove that the most interesting
marketing stories around are originating with work done for clients by
the leading brand consultants. Walkers Snacks' latest launch, our lead
story on 'Branding' (page 13), illustrates the point well.
The strength of Walkers' upmarket crisps range 'Sensations' lies in the
work done by Landor to position the brand through naming, design and
Alongside Walkers' proprietary technology for manufacture of the crisps,
the Landor work will give Walkers a boost in the sub-sector and keep
rivals at bay for as long as is possible in this business.
Advertising through Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, featuring Victoria Beckham
('Posh' crisps, you see), is ingenious, but in this instance plays a
crucial supporting role rather than a lead one.
'Branding' continues this magazine's tradition of identifying the most
dynamic and important sectors in the business and creating dedicated
pages to cover them. We look forward to giving Marketing readers the
edge by breaking the major stories on brand strategy, innovation,
identity, packaging and design.
'Branding' is edited by Suzy Bashford. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.