Can You Be Anti-Branding And Pro-Sales At the Same Time?

Geoffrey James is a freelance writer and author. He used to sell expensive computer systems.
Here’s a small sample of his writing from BNET:

I also believe that developing “Awareness, Interest, and Desire” (aka “Branding”) inside B2B firms is mostly just an excuse to spend money.
In fact, branding is overrated in B2C firms, too. Marketeers frequently cite examples, like Coke, where corporate branding appears to command customer preference and a premium price.
But Coke’s “brand equity” is the result of a century of providing a higher quality product combined with an efficient distribution methodology with extraordinary reach. Those are far more responsible for the popularity of the Coke “brand” than the marketing, which has frankly been cookie-cutter SPAM just like every other consumer product.

I’m trying to process this information. You mean Coke isn’t Coke because it spends war chests full of money in thousands of crowded markets around the globe? They’re Coke because the pharmacist who mixed their recipe was a genius and their logistics people created a world class distribution model? Man, you can really learn things on this series of tubes.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Two words: “New Coke”

    Massive advertising, massive “branding”, product sucked, product dead.

    Brand reflects product. Crappy product, crappy brand. Good product, good brand.

    There are no exceptions.

  2. Starbucks. Crappy Product. Great Brand.
    McDonalds. Crappy Product. Great Brand.
    Coors. Crappy Product. Great Brand.
    Red Lobster. Crappy Product. Great Brand.
    American Idol. Crappy Product. Great Brand.